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Tips for Restarting Your Marketing During COVID-19

Wes Sparling

Wondering how to restart your marketing during COVID-19? We’ve seen extensive change in consumer behavior over the past few months. Some of the change is expected to be temporary, and some is expected to continue long into the future. You’ll need to accommodate these changes as you restart your marketing while COVID-19 continues.

The national shift to a work from home model has played a part in radically accelerated online shopping and home delivery services. Some studies show nearly half of all grocery shoppers ordered online for home delivery during April and May. While the trend to buy online may slow, it is not expected to stop. Online purchasing in all categories, not just grocery, has grown and will remain strong. The impact of this consumer change will shake brick and mortar retailers to their core.

Marketers Shift Channels and Volume Amidst COVID-19

Let’s take a quick look at some of the behavior shift in media over the past few months. A recent IAB study showed that between March and June marketers paused or slowed spend on all media other than linear TV. Traditional media channels have been slower to rebound because they are also harder to adjust quickly from a creative point of view. Digital channels are beginning to show a rebound, but remain far off pre-COVID-19 levels.

At our organization, we are beginning to see a substantial pick up in acquisition direct mail in July, with an upward trend beyond July. We have also seen increases in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) activity that indicate additional consumer interest.

Marketers Should Restart Marketing with an Optimized Channel Mix for Biggest Returns

While this is all good news, brands need to start ramping up now, especially in media that harvest increasing consumer demand. Of course, how much and in what channel depends on what your brand is selling. We recommend that brands take a careful look at their program metrics.

It should go without saying that optimizing an acquisition program goes way beyond cost and requires more than one channel. Marketers have to know how adding more TV impressions will improve direct mail response when both are in play, and how much paid and organic search traffic will result when a direct mail package drops in market. It’s key to invest in the best attribution methodology you can, and watch your bottom line customer acquisition numbers. Expect channel shift and be ready to respond to it.

Adjust to Market Demands Using Data

Specific targeting using data analytics has always been important. It’s even more important now. The prospect you identified to receive your direct mail package may respond via search or social. They may react more strongly to an online offer than ever before. Targeting and measurement need to be tighter and more effective than ever—especially if you are not in a category that stands to benefit from increased online orders.

Double check your offers, make sure they are as compelling as they need to be; what worked before COVID-19 may not work as well to move the needle in the current environment. Make sure you measure everything. Focus on total program efficiency rather than cost efficiency, so you view the performance of your marketing holistically.

Focus on Improving Performance, Not Just Reducing Costs

Consider an example high-volume direct mail program. If you can drop your direct mail-sourced CPA by 28% and increase your lead volume, but it cost you 10% more per direct mail package, would you do it? What if the extra package cost meant the difference between 25,000 customers at $39 per customer and 17,000 customers at $50 a customer? If each customer was worth $100 to your business, the answer should be a clear yes. Spending an extra $125,000 to make an extra $800,000 falls into the “yes, please” bucket, but that’s a result you might not see if you only focus on taking out costs rather than improving performance.

At IWCO Direct, we engage with clients holistically, developing strategies that improve targeting, creative, messaging, and mix in order to produce exactly these sorts of results in all channels, both online and off. We specialize in finding the opportunities in your program that can make it work harder—many times for less total spend.

When restarting your marketing in an environment where people are buying differently, you can’t afford to keep doing exactly what you were doing before. Let’s talk. We would be happy to take a look at your program and show you how we can help.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2020/07/08/restarting-marketing-covid-19/
Wes Sparling

Author

Wes Sparling

SVP, Marketing Strategy & Data Analytics at IWCO Direct. Former agency owner and 23+ year direct marketing veteran. Joining IWCO Direct in 2014, he brings the "plan diligently and act definitively" philosophy to a variety of client campaigns. This father and former Arizona High School Track and Field Regionals discus champion loves stream fishing for trout, rooting for the Los Angeles Dodgers and his three dogs.

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