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As we find ourselves at the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of the novel coronavirus pandemic, it is estimated that 1 in 10 Americans are now fully vaccinated. With such a volume of people inoculated, there is a renewed sense of optimism for the summer months and beyond. While we are all in agreement that 2020 was an exceptionally challenging year, a positive outlook on the state of the world translates to cautious optimism from a business standpoint.
From a marketing perspective, many businesses know that there will be a renewed need to spend a portion of their budget on marketing in order to attract both new and returning customers. But just how much are these businesses willing or planning on spending? Recently, Borrell Associates asked a panel of small and medium sized businesses about their Q1 2021 marketing and advertising plans. Specifically, how firm or how flexible their plans were for spending on a scale from 0 to 100 – 0 being most flexible and 100 being least flexible. The study found that the average “flexibility” of marketing budgets fell at 32.2% on the scale – meaning pretty flexible! What’s more? The majority of respondents (77%!) were on the “flexible” side of the marketing spend scale.
This speaks to the fact that there are still many unknowns. Unknowns about when the pandemic will be over, unknowns about when New York State restrictions will loosen, and unknowns about how consumers feel about venturing out once again. In another study conducted by Borrell, it was found that only 33% of businesses have already placed ad buys in 2021. On the flip side, 42% of businesses plan to place an ad buy in the new year, but have not yet purchased ad space. As much has changed over the course of the past year, businesses are looking for insight on how to move consumers through the marketing funnel in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
The challenges of the past year have shown marketers and consumers alike the power of originality and the value in utilizing new, fresh advertising channels and mediums. While there are numerous ways to creatively and effectively separate your organization from the crowd, some are more cost effective (and purely effective!) than others. Leveraging marketing tactics with your business goals and priorities in mind is an important factor when determining the marketing avenue to pursue. If there are marketing dollars spent to attract customers, there needs to be positive ROI, or return on investment, associated with that spend. As normalcy resumes, businesses will be looking to learn about advertising ideas and opportunities that can assist them in returning to what was pre-pandemic.
If your businesses does not have an in-house marketing department and you’re unsure of where to even start, don’t fret! We’re here to help. If you want to get some ideas to kickstart your organization’s “great thaw”, check out a few tips that can help.