How mail will support brands during Covid-19 and beyond

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It’s a critical time for brands…

Kantar ran a theoretical test on an unnamed, but real beer brand. The team found that if the brand cut all its ad spend during the crisis, this would have a 13% impact on sales in the long run and make market share hard to recover. However, a 50% drop in ad spend would result in just a 1% drop in sales.

“Brand health becomes vulnerable when companies stop advertising. If they do this for longer than six months, it destroys both short- and long-term health.

Brand salience is especially important in times of crisis: strong brands recovered 9 x faster following the financial crisis of 2008.

Now is an opportunity for brands to change their media, messaging and touch points to ensure they are reaching consumers with communications they are most interested in. 

Marketers should look at how budgets can be spent most effectively to maintain a presence and key brand metrics if spend does need to be reduced.” Jane Ostler - Kantar Insights Global Head of Media

64% of the UK agree that how a brand responds to the crisis now will have a huge impact on their likelihood to buy from them in the future.

It’s make or break time about what you say and how you say it …

During the current situation, and beyond what is important to consumers? What do they want to hear about from brands? How is the situation affecting media and messaging? What is the role of mail for brands and how can it help?

People agree that brands need to look after them right now. 

Consumers are looking for explicit evidence that brands are supporting staff, the government and consumers. Almost 80% believe employee health should be a key priority for companies, while almost two-thirds believe flexible working should be a priority. 45% of consumers want to see companies putting in place plans to protect the supply of services or products, while more than 40% want to see companies making donations of products, such as hand sanitizers or face masks. It’s a very delicate balance at the moment – brands need to be mindful of communicating in a way that supports Government and consumers and is not exploitative.

Brands that have shown great examples of this include; Iceland, the first supermarket to offer priority shopping times for vulnerable audiences, Premier Inn opened their hotels up to keyworkers, Heinz is using its expertise to ensure schoolchildren still get their much needed free breakfast.

What mail can offer at this time?

Boris Johnson has written to every UK household about the social distancing rules and has included a leaflet detailing support available.

Using the power of mail to deliver important messaging that will reach; everyone, those who aren’t otherwise getting the message, non-digital and vulnerable, those who want to spend time with the message.

Mail has more credibility; 52% say that they find mail campaigns believable, compared to 13 for email. It was also reported that 47% perceive a mail campaign as more important, compared to 15 for digital.

Mail drives digital behaviour, as a result of receiving post / mail from a company or an organisation in the past 12 months 70% were driven to an online activity.

Mail makes social media messages work stronger; brain response to the same social media ads was very different among those who saw mail first. Campaigns proved to be 44% more memorable when integrated with mail. 

Here are a few ways mail will enhance businesses;

Mail will maintain communication with the newly acquired older generation of customers, e.g. supermarkets may need to encourage their elderly customers to remain using their delivery services.

Physical mail will break through the overcrowded digital comms space.

Tangible campaigns add value, sending your appreciation for loyal customers that stuck around during the crisis will be more meaningful via mail.

  • Customers are looking for brands to take the lead, help them in their daily lives and communicate what they are doing to make a difference. Mail gets you into customers’ homes and hands to deliver real value.
  • Mail gives you the time and space to get your brand positioning and you’re the message right – relevant, useful, helpful, clear.
  • Consumers are expecting a reassuring tone and positive outlook that aligns with your brand values. Taking the time to write says a lot about a brand and its commitment to customers.
  • While email is quick to update, consider mail for more complex information and brand cut-through – a serious message usually carries more weight in print form.
  • Mail has the power to be personal, relevant and localise content while also reaching out to vulnerable audiences.
  • Every brand and sector has been touched by the pandemic.  The winners will be those that stayed close to customers by delivering the right messages in the right (not just the fastest) way.