When the economy takes a hit, like it has since the coronavirus pandemic began, many companies look to cut out any extra costs. And for some companies, marketing and advertising budgets are among some of the first departments that take the hit. But marketing and advertising efforts shouldn’t be viewed as optional expenses—they’re an investment in the future of your company.
Decreasing marketing and advertising spend now can actually be a costly decision for your company in the long term: during tough economic times, there’s less fighting with your competitors for good ad slots and sponsorship opportunities, meaning you’re better positioned to reach your target audience. It may not seem like it, but you can be, right now, strengthening your brand awareness and position.
A market like we’re seeing now, with closed retail locations, doesn’t mean no one is buying anything, it is just that people are purchasing differently. In order to capitalize on today’s market, you need to approach your audience differently—digitally—and with a different message.
Even—or especially—if your store’s doors are temporarily closed, it’s important to have a robust online presence. It’s all about creative thinking; taking that in-store, in-person experience and figuring out how to make it work online. Looking for ways to stay relevant that can help you stay on or under budget, but don’t cut your online efforts when they are most valuable. Simply put, when the internet is the only way you can connect with your audience, it doesn’t make sense to cut those efforts.
Many retailers have quickly found new ways to connect with their customers online. We’ve seen brands from bon vivant Jonathan Adler to mid-mod furniture giants West Elm to paint company Behr providing consumers with dream home virtual backgrounds for Zoom video calls (pictured above), as an example. At the same time, companies like BoConcept, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and Parachute, among many, many others, launched free and personalized virtual interior design services. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention how online home goods retailer Wayfair, leveraged that #WFH lifestyle and recently reported quarterly sales that soared 84% over last year.
And this easy and high level of service way to shop is going to permanently shift the way people buy home goods online. Meaning, it’s not going to go away when COVID-19 does.
At this time when digital connectivity has replaced in-person meetings, the digital space allows you to continue to generate brand awareness and, with social media in particular, is a smart way to help foster and grow your online community.
Much of your social media audience is thinking of ways to reconfigure and update their homes, both to accommodate the additional tasks now happening there, as well as the fatigue they are facing from just being at home more. That room that was slightly annoying before the pandemic, can become a huge endless-seeming eyesore when you see it every day. This audience is especially tuned-in to home brands on visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
This all presents a big opportunity for designers and home brands, but it’s definitely an opportunity that needs to be understood and strategized to be leveraged effectively.
Business of Home, the daily media of record for the home industry and the voice of authority for interior design professionals, has led the conversation around the uncertainty and the innovation in the home industry right now. You can (virtually) join interior designers and home industry professionals at their Future of Home event September 14-15 to learn more about how to make sense of how the social and economic upheaval of the pandemic has transformed the design landscape, and connect with peers about current challenges and future opportunities.
The pandemic has resulted in changes to just about everything we do, and that includes advertising, marketing, promotional and media spends. While your instinct may be to circle your financial wagons, now is not the time to cut your marketing budgets and stop advertising. Through our strategic, business-focused approach, we can empower your brand to make innovative and creative decisions as you navigate these unprecedented times.
Our robust team of social media experts can help guide you and your team along a mindful and meaningful path that acknowledges what is going on in the world, while reflecting your company’s values and providing a positive spot in their day that will have consumers becoming followers and quickly, customers.