It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, brands must create an advertising plan that best appeals to their consumers for optimal results and disruptions. That advertising plan has always been about anticipating the behaviors of their target market. But what happens when a change disrupts the plan?
Strategically, brands should always have, create and invest in advertising messages for long-term outcomes. During this process, sometimes marketing managers need to put aside the traditional business forecasting models that have been relied upon for so long and dive much deeper into examining and brainstorming all of the possible risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect the company and its advertising efforts. The addition of this familiar, long-range strategy exercise can force businesses to realize what they don’t yet know and allow some preparation as to the possibility of addressing it should it arise.
Because so many outside forces can alter the way consumers engage, businesses need to also work with an agency that prepares and anticipates various scenarios. They must able to turn on a dime and make quick changes that will ensure that their client’s advertising campaigns remain successful.
When events do occur, the number of engagements and strength of delivery are likely to change considerably, and consumers may respond much differently during these situations than they would have done previously. Content must continuously be monitored and evaluated for optimization.
Sometimes the changes are as simple as updating a creative message. Maybe a brand ran out of a specific product they were promoting, or the product offerings changed from the original message?
Other times, changes may be needed due to weather related conditions. Is a large storm coming, that’s going to limit people’s travel and keep them homebound? Even unseasonably warm weather will alter people’s behavior dramatically.
The latest reason many advertisers have found themselves in the need to change their current advertising direction has been the courtesy of a pandemic. Something no one expected or planned for, but everyone must adjust now. We’re you ready? Is your agency ready? Do you have the correct plan B or legalese in your media contracts, to cut and switch as needed?
Because these situations occur, it’s very important to have an agency that can adapt quickly and make necessary adjustments on “the fly”. Since they are prepared for these situations, the best agencies will already have a plan in place and know what needs to be done in any emergency, regardless of what the cause.
No media plan will ever be the final one. Marketers and their agencies must do whatever it takes to plan, develop, design, negotiate and run the best campaigns possible to get the greatest results. But really, the most important part of the plan is having the foresight and the flexibility to make the changes when the “what ifs” arise.