We may have entered a new national lockdown, but your business still deserves a profitable 2021. The best way to ensure you have a great new year is to keep advertising. After all, we found during the first lockdown that our customers who kept advertising were more top-of-mind than their competitors, measuring 27% higher purchase intent among people who saw their ads (find out more about how we calculate this).
These tightened restrictions are due to last until mid-February, potentially extending right to the start of the Easter break. If you want to get a head start on one of the year’s most popular holidays as well as the rest of 2021, it makes sense to keep up your marketing throughout lockdown.
Advertising is all about long term brand building
Obviously the inevitable decline in consumer demand will make promoting short term sales seem less of a priority. But this is not the case, and just makes it more important than ever to have a marketing strategy that combines sales activation with brand building.
(As mentioned in our bite-size marketing piece), the optimum mix for advertising is to have 60% of spend focussed on building your brand and 40% on short term sales activation.
This means that this temporary dip in demand should not automatically disrupt your long term brand value, there will, after all, be a time when things do eventually return to normal. Especially as 48.9% of our readers said that they started spending more on local businesses after the first lockdown was lifted.
This is the time to stand out online
With less footfall on the high street, you can no longer rely on people walking past your physical store to entice them in. This means that your best bet for reaching people is online.
During the spring lockdown, our online audience grew by 41% making us the smart place for reaching people when they’re at home more. And as we’ve said before, brands that continued their advertising saw the benefits upon re-opening.
So now that these restrictions have been once again renewed, it’s important to continue raising awareness by promoting your business online so you are ready for when the market bounces back.
Cutting ad spend could allow your competitors to push ahead
No matter the size or sector of your business, times are increasingly competitive. And if you don’t advertise right now you are going to lose ground to brands that keep spending.
All the evidence from previous economic crises says businesses should keep advertising. The recession in 2008-9 found that those who had long used advertising and marketing to build up distinct identities bounced back 9x faster. Other benefits included 4.5x higher growth in market share, and 38% profitability growth in recovery.
So basically, continuously advertising is a great way to get ahead of your market rivals. After all, let’s not forget that there was economic growth for 4 consecutive months after the first lockdown. Make sure your business is part of that growth.
Finally, this will not last forever…
We know these are extremely challenging times but it’s important you use the time you have wisely, to continue your advertising efforts and stay relevant to your customers.
It’s not just you who’s looking forward to getting back to normal. According to recent research, the majority of UK consumers believe that leisure pursuits such as eating out and going to the cinema are important for their quality of life. They are just dying to get back out there, so don’t hesitate to give them a nudge in your direction.
Need some extra ideas? Inspire your business’s community spirit with these 9 most positive business stories of the week