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4 Tactics to Adjust Advertising Strategy While Helping Customers During COVID-19

Sprinklr Team

April 28, 2020  •  7 min read

“We need to provide solutions more than anything else. If that means we have to get creative, then let’s get creative.” -Gibbs Haljun, Total Investment Lead at Mindshare. And at Sprinklr, we agree and believe that advertising should be, more than ever, focused on providing solutions to both our clients and to their customers who need to transform the way they consume products.

Is it better to “take things two weeks at a time, versus making big changes,” (to quote, Peter Olsen, EVP of Ad Sales at A+E Networks), or to radically switch your advertising strategy? What if the answer is residing in listening to what your customers have to say about your brand and their needs?

We’ve compiled four strategies for running social ads effectively with Sprinklr during this global crisis.

1. Stay Consistent and Extend Your High-Performing Ads

Quiksilver has become recognized as the premium youth lifestyle and culture clothing brand within the action sports market. Last winter, they prepared for the high season, the surf competitions (happening between June and end of September in the South of France) – and then the COVID-19 crisis happened. Would you carry on with your social channel campaigns when no one is interested right now in buying your product?

Besides the short-term ROI goals of your business, staying consistent and extending your high-performing ads might be vital for you to decrease the negative impact that the COVID-19 crisis will have on your activity. Keeping your full sales funnel in mind is critical; while CPAs and conversions may be challenging, there’s never been a more opportune time to capture attention and educate around your brand while people are home with extra time researching products and services that they’ve been thinking of buying. When your sales cycle is traditionally long, a 3 week-long crisis might not have that much of an impact on whether or not people are actually going to buy the product they’ve been dreaming about for years – and that they want to use for the next decade.

“Stop and Go” management of campaigns is rarely beneficial for performance (in fact, usually the opposite) and can be a jarring experience for prospective customers. Now is a perfect time to cast a wide upper-funnel net to feed and curate a targeted, revenue-rich lower funnel..

Within any traditional acquisition channel, you have a “priority list” of clients with a higher probability to win a bid, depending on your spend / relevant content to users; by pausing the campaigns for a couple of weeks, you’re losing your spot in that list. Running your top performing ads during a crisis – when the content review team is reduced – allows you to keep a decreased CPC and a stable CPM.

2. Build Brand Awareness with Your Online Audience

SkyScanner decided to run a brand awareness video campaign on social channels (that you can find here) in order to maintain the special relationship they have with their customers. During the crisis, it’s probably vital to internally justify the role of advertising when your organization is looking at cuts to spending by evaluating performance across paid, owned, and earned, then reset KPIs based on updated demand signals.

In times of market hardship, advertisers are asked to consider shifting from commercial day-to-day ROI to a more long-term mindset, focusing on retention marketing for when consumers are ready to purchase again. Keeping a pulse on market conversation with solutions like Sprinklr Modern Research, Benchmarking, Paid and Owned Comment Sentiment Analysis, and more, can help guide you through the nuance of proper messaging and understanding the context for how your ads (across social, digital, and traditional) are being received by consumers in the market at large. These tools can also help to identify new opportunities and value propositions for consumers based on trends across key categories of interest (luxury ecommerce, in-store live streaming, etc).

3. Focus on Remarketing Campaigns

Travelzoo is a company offering verified travel deals from more than 2,000 travel, entertainment, and local companies. They previously ran a weekly email campaign known as “Wednesday Deals,” sharing the top 20 deals from their partners (i.e. discounted flights, hotels, tours, theater shows). In light of COVID-19’s impact on the travel industry, Travelzoo found a new way to handle their Wednesday email blast in a way that is still useful to their readership: their Wednesday Deals became a new “Roam from Home” newsletter, where they feature exclusive deals and discounts for travel-esque experiences that customers can enjoy right from the comfort of their homes ⁠— things like learning a language, subscribing to a wine-by-region delivery service, or even purchasing new luggage on sale. Travelzoo’s strategy engages their past customers by offering them a different kind of service while respecting their values and passion for travelling and discovering new things.

Why do anything? Because you wish you could reduce loss through Retention Marketing. The “back-to-normal” time will come, and you want to be prepared.

Using Sprinklr Modern Research, we found that purchase intent on discretionary products has dropped in comparison to the same time last year with the vast majority of conversation centered around essential goods and entertainment. Quick pivots in media KPIs toward brand awareness / community building via high traffic channels will ensure your brand will help build warm audiences to retarget when people are ready to buy again. Additionally, lower CPMs as a result of increased social media consumption are helping to offset some of the damage.

4. Test New Ad Creative and Audiences

MyLittleParis is a website that enables customers to discover new exciting places and experiences in Paris. The concept is to make their subscribers feel like they are the “happy few,” sending emails and recommendations to subscribers every week with restaurant discounts, tickets to attend artist happenings, etc.

They decided during the quarantine to have a partnership with Quitoque, a startup who offers to deliver healthy & fresh foods with recipes. Thanks to a Lookalike Audience on Instagram, they are acquiring new customers during this particularly challenging market climate.

In this time of uncertainty, the power and potential of an audience-first focus has never been more important. Adapting to this new normal will be key to connecting with today’s consumers and clients—and ultimately to sustaining business.

In the past few years, the activation of data and the ability to manage campaigns through technology platforms created efficiencies and enabled communication between buyers and sellers of media. Empowered by data and technology to capitalize on their own consumer insights, advertisers have become publishers, creating personalized experiences for their customers directly.

According to Jason Brown, Chief Revenue Officer at Xandr, “The savviest brands and organizations are rewriting the playbook, introducing innovations in their communication strategies that leverage direct-to-consumer platforms and an audience-based approach to engage and inform.” Brands and agencies are scrambling to unify data to deliver this vision for a more intelligent, unified, and personalized content experience for customers at scale, and is precisely what Sprinklr leads the market in as the lone leader in The Forrester Wave™: Social Suites, Q4 2019.

In Conclusion…

Social channels are excellent platforms where one can chat, see, and most importantly, interact with their favourite brand. By being present to your customers, you make them feel that you’re still there for them. And it will have an impact on your short and long term performance.

How can you do that? If social channels seem to be the ideal way to communicate with your customers, Sprinklr enables you to focus on what is really important – listening to your customers to ensure you answer them the best way possible.

To learn more about how you can bring these strategies to life, request a demo of the Sprinklr Modern Advertising solution.

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