It’s clear that 2020 is shaping up to be a truly unprecedented year with so many countries, industries, and companies being affected simultaneously by a pandemic. And while we can look to the Great Recession of 2008 for some guidance and lessons learned, the road ahead will be much different—but that doesn’t mean you can’t go into it prepared.
In particular, the advertising industry has seen major changes over the last 12 years, at a rate where marketers are scrambling to keep up. In 2008, big data was still in its infancy, and marketing measurement tools were not yet sophisticated enough to inform decisions quickly or accurately.
In a recent LiveRamp webinar, Laura Desmond, Founder and CEO at Eagle Vista Partners, met virtually with Jim Nail, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester; and Laura McEhlinney, Chief Data Officer at Horizon Media, to discuss how we can use some of the lessons learned from the last recession to guide us towards weathering the current economic downturn, and how this time, we have more tools at our disposal to provide insight, agility, and flexibility to do better amongst change.
If there’s one thing this economic downturn has taught us, it’s that our industry is more interdependent than ever. Advertisers must learn the importance of collaboration and partnership to create more shared value. And while we look towards the 2008 recession for guidance, we also must become familiar with the new tools that have emerged and leverage them. As Laura McEhlinney pointed out, “data is key right now in driving the message and reaching individuals of how you’re going into the market.” Especially key for this situation is how the pandemic will affect regions differently—we won’t see a resurgence of economy in each area simultaneously. Rather, it will be regional. Advertisers will need to get granular with the data to reach their audience effectively based on current accurate data sets.
Some other key takeaways from the webinar discussion to help prepare for an economic downturn were:
- Optimize spend by leveraging addressable channels. Shift media from a broad reach to addressable channels, where you can account for your spend and gain greater efficiency.
- Ensure campaigns are measured based on business outcomes. Every dollar spent should be traced to a measurable business outcome, for example a conversion metric or a brand awareness metric for a certain audience. With household television viewership on the rise, now is the time to activate on Advanced TV to ensure your TV campaigns are going the distance—on every platform.
- Invest in permission-based CRM data. With the increased demand for accountability, now is the perfect time to move beyond third-party cookies. As we move to a permission-based world, it will be more important than ever to communicate the value exchange of traffic authentication for meaningful content in a trusted ecosystem.
As we approach an economic downturn, it’s important to remember the value and long-term investment of partnerships that will help drive your marketing forward through any economic uncertainty. Laura Desmond encouraged attendees to focus on the long-term goals, noting, “companies that focus on a new strategy that does not depend on cookies, and are more focused on the convergence of performance of media and marketing, will accelerate and grow faster coming out of this crisis.”