Maximum impact, minimal budget is the industry mantra as spend switch flicks on

By Bruce Mundell

Australia’s response as a nation to Covid-19, the droughts and the bushfires – everything that 2020 has thrown our way – has been an inspirational demonstration of comradery. We’ve given ourselves an opportunity to show the rest of the world how we’re going to get our local economies humming again.

The facts are clear that the majority of people and businesses have been affected because of this pandemic.

Interestingly enough, consumer spending levels are already on the rise in Australia to pre Covid-19 numbers. We watched supermarket sales peak in mid-March, up nearly 50% year on year, and they continue to perform strongly, most recently up 20% year on year recorded mid-May. This is a key data point for our local economy. Put quite simply, if Australians keep spending, then brands keep producing products and services, and they need employees to do so.

Brand bounce back plans should be activated sooner rather than later. As a nation, we need to keep Australians spending, and marketers have an important role to play in kickstarting our local economy.

Consumers are ready to spend and are confident in the shape of the Australian economy on the other side of the crisis. Our latest research in The Covid-19 Pulse Report shows that 84% surveyed intend to buy electronics in the future, 76% intend to buy home improvement items in the future, and half of all Australians will look to brands who demonstrate understanding of and responsiveness to the community.

As a communications industry in Australia, I believe we can lead the way and inspire the rest of the world with the ingredients to bounce back, supported by strong marketing and advertising over the next 12-18 months.

So how do you continue to drive brand messaging, create maximum impact with minimum budget?

Leading ROI research organisation Analytic Partners completed an ROI Study in partnership with oOh!media in 2019 that looked at the average ROIs of 140 Australian clients across the last 15 years and $9 billion dollars in advertising spend. From this study there are some standout learnings that brands should adopt in the coming months as bounce back plans commence:

It’s time for local creative to shine. The study illustrated the importance that quality creative has on the ROI of your campaigns. Great creative on average contributes 62% vs 38% being executional elements of a TV campaign. For Out of Home, creative drives 41% of your ROI. The current landscape though is not a time to use global creatives. Ideas need to be built on the latest local data and insight, driving outstanding context and relevance to how Australians are feeling today. For this to happen we need clients to be brave. An outstanding creative idea with a minimal budget will be more powerful than a poor creative idea with maximum budget.

Remember the fundamentals. When planning media it’s best to remember the proven fundamentals for driving ROI. This same study identified core fundamentals of planning that drive more impact and better results for Australians. I encourage you to consider these to make your plans sing.

  • Now is not a time for wastage – demographic targeting has had its day – Buyergraphic targeting is the way forward and has proven results. Concentrate on audiences who in the last 12 months have transacted in your category.

 

  • Drive 1+ reach each and every week – the more category buyers you can reach and drive mental availability to your brand/ product; the better your campaign will perform and do it at scale. You are going to be far more successful driving 1+ reach when opening up yourself to all metro and regional markets.
  • Synergy is key – it’s proven that multi-channel campaigns work better than one channel in driving ROI. This is also proven when planning Out of Home as well, as multi Out of Home formats planned in synergy work better than just using one Out of Home product.

 

  • Remember the importance of your broadcast channels – TV and Out of Home do the heavy lifting within your market mix. Analytic Partners has shown that when you remove TV and Out of Home this will actually halve the performance of your digital channels. Every plan needs the heavy lifting channels to set the foundation for campaign success. For smaller campaign budgets under $1 million, Out of Home / digital is proven to drive better results than TV/digital.

 

As an industry, we need to show our support in getting our local economy humming quickly while building on the amazing national spirit and teamwork we have seen over the last few months. I encourage all Australians to invest in local business and resources. If you need the assistance of a freelancer or consultant, then look first to put the hundreds of talented Australians who have lost their employment because of this pandemic. It’s not the time to send a job overseas because it costs a few dollars less.

Lastly, there are a number of industries and companies who have benefited because of this pandemic and who are not having to plan a bounce back strategy. They are instead working on ways to continue their momentum. I encourage those companies to lend a hand and add utility to the industries who were not allowed to trade because of this pandemic. Wouldn’t it be great to hear that food delivery services have reversed their offering and started offering free rides to and from their restaurant partners, giving them the opportunity to increase their margin? It would be a great act and it would probably drive your advocacy metrics for those brands through the roof.

The last few months has been an exceptional case study on how Australians have united to support our people and minimise the impact of this global pandemic, and we couldn’t be more proud of our roots. But we still have work to do as our economy continues to take a hit. We all have a role to play in keeping Australians spending, so let’s take those learnings to work as one industry, back our creatives and apply the simple lessons of our past – showing the rest of the global marketing industry how to bounce back.