How can you best prepare for a second wave from a media perspective?

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A spike in coronavirus cases in Europe has sparked reports that are suggesting that we may be heading for a second wave, but how can we best prepare for such an event from a media perspective?

It should first be noted that – no one knows how the next 6 months will play out, what further restrictions the Government will impose if any, and how people will respond. Therefore, as a media independent there are three things we must do if a second wave begins to look likely.

Learn from the first lockdown

 The March lockdown revealed that disruption to people’s daily routines leads to significant shifts in media consumption habits in both overt and more nuanced ways. For example, daytime TV saw a huge surge in viewers as you would expect whilst radio listening shifted slightly from ‘traditional’ listening to digital listening (i.e. through a smart speaker) as fewer people were driving. Therefore, acknowledging that there may be sharp changes in media consumption habits within a short space of time needs to be borne in mind when media planning.

Agility and flexibility

 The March lockdown also led to a severe drop in media spend (approximately 50% in April) as advertisers reacted to the uncertainty of Covid-19. We must, therefore, plan agile and flexible media campaigns that are reactive to sudden changes. Agility and flexibility are one of the digital media’s greatest assets, which makes it hugely important during times of uncertainty but that’s not to say we shouldn’t propose ‘traditional’ media channels but they should be approached with more caution than usual.

Capitalise, where possible.

Whilst the return to lockdown will be bleak for some advertisers, it may spawn opportunities for others. April – June saw the cost of advertising on TV drop to record low levels, perfect for new to TV clients who previously could not afford to run a TV campaign, whilst the increase in outdoor seating areas in cities may mean that certain well placed OOH panels become great ways for advertisers to reach their target audience. It is our job as marketers to spot good opportunities for advertisers and guide them through what will be a tricky period second lockdown or no second lockdown.

It is impossible to tell how the situation will change in a week’s time let alone in 6 months, however, we are now better equipped to deal with a fast-changing media landscape and can not only help clients survive but help them thrive.

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This article is published by Golley Slater.
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