Navigating Advertising Strategy During the COVID Storm

Adobe reveals comprehensive survey results and strategy guide to help brand marketers achieve success.

Couple watching tv at home.

As stay-at-home orders begin to relax, brands are now asking themselves how to market to customers in this new reality and whether its warranted or desired to advertise to potential consumers in the first place. The line between being targeted and tone deaf is a fine one. Yet, insight gathered following the previous recession provides us with the knowledge that turning off the advertising taps isn’t a sustainable choice for a brand trying to navigate choppy waters.

According to John Quelch in his 2008 recession-era Harvard Business Review article, How to Market in a Downturn, “Although it’s wise to contain costs, failing to support brands or examine core customers’ changing needs can jeopardize performance over the long term.”

While the recession was a fundamentally different battle, the underlying result – lack of sales and financial hardship faced by consumers – is similar. With this in mind, Adobe Advertising Cloud commissioned a survey of over 1,000 global consumers and 500 brand marketers to examine current views towards advertising, how brands are reacting, what consumers are looking for (and what they aren’t) and where there are pockets of opportunity that marketers can leverage to ensure continued success.

Some of our key findings include:

Brands that leverage a customer experience platform will have a distinct advantage adjusting to the new normal outlined by some of the findings. Real-time purchasing patterns can be updated to profiles on a granular basis, keeping marketers up to date when choosing advertising campaign targets. By using data to understand individuals and the challenges they are facing, brands will be able to know what ads to issue and the sites on which to reach them. They will be able to manage assets, create site experiences and deliver ads that are completely connected from ideation through to execution and beyond. This will be vital for companies to continue delivering the kinds of brand engagements that consumers crave.

Turning off the lights when it comes to advertising isn’t an option, no matter how tempting that may be. Today, it’s about adjusting strategy and not curtailing it. By analyzing data and building robust, granular customer profiles, advertisers can succeed and navigate their way to success by engaging with demographics that still actively want to hear from them. And as our survey shows, consumers do want to hear from them. Just as experience delivery isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, so, too, is advertising experience delivery. COVID-19 has highlighted the need for heightened personalization, real-time engagement and constantly tailored messaging.

Click here to see more insights and download a strategy guide that takes the survey insights and delivers real, actionable steps to advertise in the COVID and post-COVID reality.