By: Cavan Chasan

At Guru, like the rest of the world, we are consuming hours and hours of media these days. Too much really. It is hard not to be hyper-connected to the developments of COVID-19. Through our daily interactions with TV, audio, and digital news content, we are observing a slowing in both brand and performance marketing activity. A recent, evidence-backed article from Forbes, using insights from the financial crisis of 08/09, warns that going dark on marketing investment in uncertain times is a mistake. In short, the article reads that “share of voice protects and can grow share of market.” Now more than ever is the time to have an investment plan centered on brand health. Jobs depend on it.

And good news… Brands have a big opportunity to stand out as they enter Q2. Lack of demand and tons of supply = a big share of voice for a smaller investment than normally required.

As March wraps and we as a country are deep into the impact of this virus, here is what the media industry and advertisers are seeing per a recent Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) study:

  • 24% of advertisers have paused their campaigns
  • 46% of advertisers are shifting spends forward into Q2
  • Digital spend is down 33%
  • Traditional spend is down 39%
  • Internet use is up 71% and Facebook reports a 51% increase in heavy hit countries
  • Mission-based marketing is up 42%
  • Cause-related marketing is up 41%
  • Audience targeting is up 38%
  • Streaming content targeting is up 35%

In addition to the above third-party insights from the IAB study, we know from our relationships with publishers and broadcasters that media costs to advertise are down 30-40%.

So what do we make of this? Where are we headed? What is the strategic, next move for brands? Well first, remember:

Lack of demand + tons of supply = a big share of voice for a smaller investment than normally required.

And the time is now because when we come out of this stuck at home, doom and gloom, consumer stockpiling mentality, there will be explosive excitement around consumer choice of experience and product. The challenge of share of voice throughout the media ecosystem will be real and it will be expensive.

The IAB takeaways above point to two key actionable insights:

  1. Now is the time to target your customer and prospects on digital where an increasing reliance on screens for all things work and home is present. The uptick in streaming content creates a big opportunity to leverage the canvas of video sight and sound to tell a brand story or deliver a very specific product message. Integrating video content with a value-based CRM/social content strategy can be a powerful media mix and not require an enormous investment.
  2. As we push into Q2, consumers will want something to look forward to. We are big believers in brands continuing to be of service to their communities through cause and mission-based marketing – but we also know that people are already complaining about the overload of messaging or perceived “brand attachment” to the virus. Let’s help people re-center their minds on lighter days ahead. We by no means are discounting the severity of the situation we are all in, but we are aware that human beings need positivity and levity to stay mentally healthy. Again, a big opportunity to create media and creative campaigns that provide entertainment or distraction while investing in your brand’s share of voice.

At Guru, we plan for consumer connection. We specialize in the conscious consumer because their values are our values. We hope we can be of service to you in growing your brand voice, making positive impact on your community, and safeguarding your brand health as we as a country strive to keep our economy moving.

If you want to chat with Cavan about your brand’s opportunity to expand its share of voice in Q2, email

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