One of the biggest challenges for media planners during the COVID-19 pandemic is the lack of clarity about the future.

This virus managed to catch every business, institution, and government around the world off-guard.

No response, in any country, has been perfect in providing direction to private sector.

The uncertainty that we have been feeling for the last several months will likely continue for the foreseeable future.

That’s because the virus, due to being novel, isn’t well-understood. Not to mention, different geographies are experiencing varying levels of impact.

What we do know; however, is that the human spirit is a force of persistence and perseverance.

This summer, economies will open up in pockets of areas throughout the United States.

It is, understandably, an experiment.

Federal, state, and local governments see this action as a first step to re-establishing economic stability. But even with regions opening up, some employers are choosing to allow their employees to continue working from home.

Consumer behavior is changing so much that what was once predictable is now a question mark, according to AI researchers at leading companies like Amazon.

During this time, as a media buyer, you may need to make some tough judgment calls.

You may be working with a more constrained budget than you are accustomed to managing.

The markets that you’re trying to reach may be experiencing a steep decline.

Perhaps you’ve been tasked with contributing to the development of a new marketing plan.

Regardless of your situation, remember that the “new normal” begins with the decisions that you’re making every day.

The messages that you deliver to your target audiences has the potential to leave a permanent, lasting impression during this unprecedented time.

Here’s how AdQuick can help you navigate this balancing act.

Determining the ideal market for your campaign

You may need to shift the best practices of your advertising program.

For the last several months, AdQuick has been paying close attention to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the inventory in our database.

You can take a look at the trends that we have quantified, here, that are allowing us to keep watch over the markets that are opening up.

Using proprietary mobile geofencing capabilities, we are able to track how many impressions each ad unit receives.

With this data, we can help you approximate a potential return on investment for your campaign.

That means that you can advertise using an out of home channel with less risk than, say, digital media.

If you are unsure how to reach your target audience and are interested in planning an outdoor campaign, reach out to our team.

AdQuick can help you choose the right geography based on your audience targeting parameters. We are able to identify regions based on lookalike data.

So if you advertise in New York City and are looking to find similar audiences, we can help you find comparable markets.

Figuring out the right messaging

Messaging is mission-critical during this unprecedented time.

What you communicate during this time can leave a lasting impact on your brand for years to come.

The Edelman Trust Barometer Coronavirus Special Report points out the following trends that every brand marketer needs to keep in mind:

  • 81% of respondents say that they must trust the brand to be able to do the right thing
  • 62% say that their country will not make it through this crisis without brands serving a critical role in addressing the challenges that we face
  • 55% think that brands and companies are responding more quickly and effectively to the pandemic than the government
  • 33% have already convinced other people to stop using a brand that they felt was not acting appropriately to the pandemic

AdQuick and our network of partners has a deep sense of empathy and commitment to doing what’s right for consumers, first and foremost.

We are fortunate to work with a team of world-leading messaging experts and branding specialists that can help architect the right communication for the regions and audiences that you’re considering.

Within days of shelter-in-place orders rolling out through the United States, our team was ready and available to support public service initiatives related to COVID-19.

We can navigate all touch points from creative research to campaign implementation.

Structuring an effective test program

As you recalibrate your media budget, you’ll need to take careful steps forward — especially if you’re working with a constrained budget.

For this reason, you may want to move forward with a series of small experiments before scaling up.

AdQuick can help you:

  • Figure out where your target audiences are likely to be
  • Determine which ad units they are most likely to see
  • Explore alternative or complementary markets
  • Establish the right budget for an immediate-term campaign
  • Implement processes to help scale up your advertising program, over time

“We do GeoBlitzes—as city takeovers—at 8x8 in our top designated market areas (DMAs) and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) based on existing revenue and propensity to buy,” says Ken Suzuki, digital marketing director at 8x8 and customer at AdQuick in a recent a case study. “We look at the concentration of businesses in a particular area, as well as the buying patterns of customers.”

This approach to advertising is timeless and agnostic to channel.

Starting small and scaling up can help you put down new roots for an evergreen marketing program and strategy.

Getting clarity on your audience

In our unique time in history, empathy is everything. When is out of home the right channel?

When should you turn to other potential channels?

AdQuick can help you navigate these questions to make sure that you’re reaching the people who are most likely to resonate with your campaign.

Why not offer a thank you to essential workers?

How about motivational creative for small businesses that are beginning to open their doors?

How about a simple reminder to people to wash their hands?

It’s times like these that give rise to opportunities for kindness and innovation.

AdQuick is here to support you, by helping you build an ad campaign that is memorable, meaningful, and impactful to your bottom line.

After all, our business has always been about people.

Learn more about AdQuick customers with this 3 minute video.


Contributors Statement

This blog post was a collaboration between the AdQuick team. Chris Gadek, John McClung, and Jack Gaylor contributed to this piece. Payton Biddington created the visuals. If you'd like to learn how out of home can work with your unique marketing campaign and business, send a quick email to requests@adquick.com or call (213) 986-6179. We'll reach out with case studies and recommendations tailored to you.

Disclosure

The opinions expressed are those of the authors. This material has been prepared for educational purposes only. Please be sure to consult with your internal team of stakeholders to assess your specific needs before adapting any practices from this blog, as your own.