It was just a few weeks ago that I started seeing COVID 19-related content aimed at brands and agencies that had one consistent message: “spend, spend, spend”.
This message of munificence was being heralded by media agencies, media owners, marketing journalists and authors.
But to me it sounded very shallow.
I work in a small independent creative agency and we’d already had very personal and emotional chats with all our clients about mutual issues of cash flow, furloughs, and messaging. We all knew the principles of saliency, that we shouldn’t let our brands go silent, but at the same time my client colleagues were fending off requests from their CEO to hand back all of the next quarter’s marketing budget.
I was worried that a “spend, spend, spend” message, whilst well-intentioned, was re-building one of the ugliest ivory towers we’ve ever had. It made us sound completely out of touch.
So, I spent the next few days immersing myself in as much COVID-related consumer research as I could find. I thought it might be helpful to digest and summarise it all and share it in a genuine spirit of “we’re all in it together” collaboration.
I adopted the same approach in our fortnightly podcast, Wax Lyrical. Recently our guests have included Dr Simon Moore from Innovationbubble and Orlando Wood from System1 Research.
As well as giving an overview of the COVID situation from a marketing point of view, I also wanted to illustrate the opportunities to actually do stuff without having to spend loads of money.
So, I identified ten insight-driven things that a brand could be doing right now, when 64% of consumers say that how businesses behave now will have a huge impact on their likelihood to buy from them in the future. (Edelman Trust Barometer: Trust and the Coronavirus March 2020)