SalesTech Star

Digital Advertising Tips in Times of a Pandemic

Our guest author - Julian Baring, General Manager-North America, Adform shares his insights in this article:

Especially in uncertain times like these, it’s important for brands to maintain relevant communication with their customers. People are going through challenging times, and hearing familiar voices from brands they love reminds people of normal life and reassures them to some extent.

Relevant communication entails being sympathetic to the serious nature of the times. While people appreciate humor as a rule, this is not a time for jokes or tongue-in-cheek communication. It’s much better to err on the side of caution, recognizing that your customers are likely suffering.

When people are unsettled, brands have an opportunity to present authentic messages and campaigns. Staying top of mind with consumers and communicating the steps and measures you are taking to protect employees, clients, and partners is good. Better yet, talking about genuine initiatives to support our frontline healthcare workers, or those who are suffering due to the economic challenges that are intertwined with the health crisis, goes far to establishing your company as one that really cares.

Digital is uniquely suited to the nature of the times—it’s highly targeted, and it’s easy to develop creative for it. You can also easily switch out creative and target users on the medium where they are. People are connecting through digital devices now more than ever. They are sitting in front of desktops or using mobile devices to either get news or to find respite from the news. But they are all in front of addressable devices.

Video, CTV and display should be key. Forward-thinking clients are reallocating budget from DOOH or TV executions that are less relevant or harder to change creative to addressable formats where users are spending all their time.  Additionally, with the increase in supply due to shifting user behaviors and many advertisers pulling budgets out of an abundance of caution, CPMs have broadly come down predictably based on supply and demand.

These times are perfect to take advantage of all that dynamic creative optimization (DCO) represents. DCO enables rapid changing of creative messages, involved storytelling and dynamic up-to-date messages so that brands can update copy based on what is happening locally and provide relevant information as it relates to steps your company might be taking or various initiatives in light of the pandemic. The ability to change messaging to stay close and consistent with the evolving situation is critical in times like this.

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Additionally brands can and should be employing brand safety tools to ensure that content is targeted consistently with messaging to the right context. It is possible to still advertise around news and to carefully target specific content.

This is the perfect time for brands to make indelible marks on their customers – being sympathetic to their challenges and communicating relevant messages in highly targeted and cost-effective media. Advertisers can employ the tools of addressable media to ensure they aren’t against the sort of content they don’t want to appear against, and they can leverage dynamic creative to quickly update and amend messages to show how they as brands are supporting their customers and society through unprecedented times.

Brands that view this opportunity to communicate relevant messages to their customers will see a significant upside once we get through this crisis.

And, we should all remember that – eventually – this too shall pass. Until then, be safe, be healthy and be well.

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