• Dialogue Communications

Winning Against the Economic Recession While Preparing for Rebound

The rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic that doesn't seem to stop just yet has forced the business players to think hard in adjusting and redesigning their strategy. This crisis has limited a lot of economical movement because of the fear of being infected by the virus. A variety of direct Impacts is varied from the loss of the income, the delayed project as well as the stop of the operational activities temporarily. And this has hard hit regardless the size of the scale of a brand.

As a result a series of adjustment needs to be done in responding the impact of the current economic recession. One of which is the budget cutting that is inevitable for the sake of budget efficiency. One aspect that constantly becomes the victim of this is the marketing activity. According to Nielsen Indonesia reported on the third Sunday in April, the total of advertisement cost has plummeted by 25% or equivalent to 3.5 billion rupiah. As the direct impact, the chance for that brand to be easily recognized and known by people and potential consumers is also decreasing. However, at the same time, the marketing team players need to also looking after the sustainability of the brand in the society. These efforts include brand awareness, reputation, and the consumer satisfactory level that have longer-term impact for a brand to exist. Now the next question would be when the marketing activities are experiencing a decrease of budget, how can they survive the crisis in the middle of this pandemic in the long run?

The key word to answer that question is crisis mitigation. Before the pandemic happened, brands have tried to establish the public awareness so they remain on top of mind of these people. Had this effort hasn’t been echoed, it would’ve been more difficult for the brands to build their brand awareness.

This is reflected from Stephen King research on advertisement budgeting amidst the period of economic recession. Based on his findings, the amount of advertisement budget is linier with the increase of Return Of Investment (ROI) as well as the market share. The same formula applies when the budget experience some cutting or loss. This means the marketing team players need to prevent the consequences of this decrease. In Indonesia, there were only four out of fifteen advertisers that increase their advertisement budget during the Ramadhan month last year.

Another thing to consider is the messages delivered by brands in responding to the situation during the pandemic. One thing that needs to be emphasise is the tendency to follow the trendy hashtag that can be seen as an opportunistic step, although, supporting a social cause could recover a brand’s reputation. This tragic example is taken from McDonald’s chains in Brazil that demonstrated a social distancing logo but still mistreating their workers. This created a demand for the brand to contribute more and better in real life to show sincere empathy during the crisis.

Apart form that, the change of consumer’s behaviour during the pandemic can be adjusted with the use of a certain platform strategy. For example, by supporting new digital innovations so that the consumers can experience the brands better in line with digital trend these days. Even though this transition is also popular among other brands and competitors, the aim is really not to gain as much profit as possible, but to survive the presence and in the long run. In conclusion there are three crucial things that need to be adapted by the marketing team players in preparing their rebound, namely; reconsidering the advertisement budget, social contribution, and innovation in responding to the shift and change of platform by the public.

Written by: Margaretha Nazhesda

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