Marketing that is Right for the Times

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Some readers/viewers of my recent blogs/vlogs have asked for a summary of my recommendations for marketing during the pandemic. "Please boil it down," one viewer requests. I'll write today in the form of a checklist, then.

  1. Do what is right. Donate to whatever can save the most lives, whether cash or by making things that are urgently needed. Do it authentically because it is right, not just to make a good impression.
  2. Come up with unique creative that resonates with your brand, stands out from all other messaging, and makes people feel better. Do not disappear from the airwaves. I realize how difficult uniqueness is. I will pro bono help you with this one, just ask me: bharvey@rmt.solutions.
  3. Use this time to test new things. To be ready when the new normalcy sets in. As Rachel Lam of Imagination Capital says, "Use this window to try things in a limited test. You might be surprised and see things that do work."
    1. Cookies are crumbling, test contexts in TV and in digital. Reset Digital for example can test specific network contexts in OTT, selecting networks whose programming contains the same motivations as your ad, and Semasio can test digital contexts that mirror your ad's motivations, both of these companies being partners of my company RMT, which measures motivational resonance between ads and contexts and people.
    2. Test using Random Control Trials along with your usual means. RCTs bring certainty and incrementality. This lull in marketing is the perfect time for such testing. 605 is already doing cross-platform RCTs.
    3. The FOX study makes it clear that it's time to test heavier allocation to OTT and to News.
    4. Test different allocations of branding and activation, including creative that achieves both at the same time.
    5. Test ads appealing to different motivations. Study the motivations used in the ads of your brand and its competitors, and the motivations found in the users of your brand and in the users of each competitive brand.
  4. In selecting the Key Performance Indicator or Outcome Metric to use in tests, consider an eCom offer, i.e. a home delivery direct response measure. This is something the advertiser can measure directly without data cost, and also speeds up testing. Right now, with home delivery being the safest approach for people and pets, eCom fits right in.
  5. Keep up the morale and stimulate refreshed planning among your own Teams by sending new ideas on which to build the new future. For example, in the Simulmedia video interview I gave last week, are a collection of ideas that constitute a Pro Bono Blueprint for Reinventing Marketing.

We hope this checklist is helpful. Through this tragedy, I keep my own morale up by focusing on the good that I can do, and on the possibility that through this ordeal we can gain the will to make reforms that have been overdue in marketing and in every other sphere. For example, outside our sphere, the only way to reduce the threat of future pandemics is to maintain animal habitats, and treat animals humanely on the way to eating them.

Stay well, stay present.

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