There is no doubt that Covid-19 is continuously changing the hospitality sphere. It has dramatically changed the course of the advertising market as well. As with any other problem, we can possibly use Beyoncé to aid in finding a solution.
Say my name, say my name
A simple click on your local newspaper’s website or any major news source will fill a computer screen with tons of articles about the infamous virus referred to as Coronavirus or COVID-19. The virus name is also echoed across other media such as podcasts, radio shows, and television. One of the main issues arises when the virus name is found everywhere, and advertisers have blacklisted such names and terms.
A blacklisted term or name is one that the advertiser has stated that they do not want their ads to appear next to. Pandemic, virus, Coronavirus, and COVID-19 are among the terms that have been blacklisted by advertisers according to a recent New York Times article.
The problem: Advertisers do not want to place their ads in spots that are next to content that say such names and terms
The solution: While media outlets say the virus name, let viewers minds be reminded of your name, even if it is amid the virus content.
Put a ring on it!
Engagements can be costly and sometimes be full of surprises. The truth can be said about advertising. The best part is that your promotion mix is not as costly as it was during the pre-pandemic era. A CNBC article reports that Facebook and Google have large ad inventories that are not being used, resulting in a slashing of ad prices; the article makes note that ad prices have fallen 35%.
It is incredibly important to continue advertising to your niche market during this pandemic, especially since prices are so low. Allan Dib, the author of “The One Page Marketing Plan,” suggests spending more money to save time (money will come, time can’t be bought). That means it may be better to spend money now so that you are not using time post-pandemic to recapture your market.
This involves research and tact with regard not only to the channel or medium used but the market that the message will go to. Not all available ad space is appropriate for your business. There is a lot of work involved in the process. The surprise will come when your target market says “yes,” driving business to you during or post-pandemic.
The Problem: Your advertisement budget has shrunk because sales and profits have shrunk as well.
The Solution: Now is the best time to convert your advertisement budget from using the percentage-of-sales method to the D\desired-objective method or the all-you-can-afford method. This will have a longer return time frame, but the rewards will be worth the wait.
Cater to you (actually, cater your content)
The best way to beat the negativity associated with virus content is to allow your ad to counter with a positive. This was done incredibly well by Burger King who has taken advantage of low prices and has placed ads that announce their contactless food and delivery service. Verizon and Amazon have also followed in the same steps as Burger King.
The Problem: Ads are not connecting with the majority of the content people are surrounded by.
The Solution: Synchronizing the ads with the content. This may result in not only changing the ads but perhaps the business’ service offerings as well. This is a continuous process, but it is essential if your business is going to operate in a post virus era.
You’re a Survivor
The suggestions above may not sound ideal during uncertain times. A business is like a child: you must think quickly and take risks for the betterment of their future. Smart moves will pay off and bold moves will reap bold rewards.
The Problem: I don’t see myself making it out of this pandemic.
The Solution: Say it with me: “I’m a Survivor!”
The questions, tell me how you feel about this
Which target market or niche market might be the most difficult to reach during the pandemic? Why? Do you have any suggestions on how to reach them?
In what ways can a business cater their content so that it is synchronized with the content is surrounded by? What if the content contains blacklisted words such as death, crisis, chaos?
About the author
Steven Valenzuela is a senior at California State Polytechnic University Pomona. He has over 15 years of work experience in food and beverage, giving him a deep knowledge of hotel food outlets, food trends, fine dining, beer, and wines. Steven is interested in the areas of marketing and revenue management.
· Dib, Allan. (2018, May 5). The 1 Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand out From the Crowd. Page Two.
· Hsu, T., & Tracy, M. (2020, May 7). News Outlets Want More Advertisers to Act Like Burger King. Retrieved From https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/07/business/media/advertising-coronavirus-news.html
· Graham, M. & Levy, A. (2020, April 19) Plunge in digital ad prices opens spending opportunity for start-ups in gaming, e-commerce and online education. Retrieved From https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/19/as-digital-ad-prices-slump-gaming-education-companies-get-aggressive.html
· Vranica, Suzanne. (2019, August 15). ‘Shooting,’ ‘Bomb,’ ‘Trump’: Advertisers Blacklist News Stories Online. Retrieved From: https://www.wsj.com/articles/advertisers-blacklist-hard-news-including-trump-fearing-backlash-11565879086