Turn 2020 Pain into 2021 Profit with One Simple Strategy
By Michael C. Keenan,
President, Keenan-Nagle Advertising, Allentown, PA
There will be no love lost when we send 2020 packing. But before the door slams, this cruelest of years has one last insult to flip us off. And it has to do with that most valuable of currencies for businesses: time.
Five Months of Crazy Left
As we reach the halfway point of the summer, which for some businesses is their peak and others a slower part of the year, we’ve witnessed COVID killing off much of the seasonal uptick and taken ‘slower’ to, at best, a painful crawl. Once Labor Day gets here, the U.S. presidential election will take center stage. We will witness a pervasive, brutal media circus which will make the Roman chariot races look like bumper cars at the kiddie park. American attention circuits, already a bit spindly, will be overloaded with hourly drama du jour.
The encore to the White House brawl will be the blur. Thanksgiving Day is the official kickoff of that All-American annual orgy of excusable indulgence: the holiday blur. This will extend decision paralysis for many consumers and businesses right through to New Year’s.
Depressed yet? Don’t be.
As gloomy a picture as this is, the end of 2020 offers an immense financial advantage for strategic marketing in 2021, if a business owner has a modicum of faith in a post-COVID economic rebound.
Media Costs at Near-Historic Lows
In the marketing world, one of the side effects of the COVID experience has been a collapse of media prices approaching 2008 levels. Less highway traffic = fewer eyeballs on billboards, fewer ears tuned into drive time radio, etc., etc. With few exceptions, supply has drowned demand across the media spectrum.
Yes, the national elections will hike some rates, but that’s mostly big-time electronic media, not the bread-and-butter media choices that work so well for community-based and many business-to-business advertisers.
Opportunity Alert: Bundled volume deals on digital advertising, outdoor, radio, print, video/TV/OTT and other media can now be secured by smart media buyers at up to 50 percent off rate card…or less.
STOCKPILE Your Media Arsenal Now!
Keenan-Nagle’s recommendation for local and regional businesses is a simple 3-part strategy:
- Take advantage of current lower cost media to spend judiciously through the end of the year. Dropping off the face of the earth is never a good thing, but allocating your ad dollars to what is going to get you the best return in times like this is key. Spend wisely – test, track results and then modify your efforts on what you learn.
- Begin to stockpile volume media at historically low rates. If you are not comfortable navigating through the many complexities of advertising media, hire a marketing professional to help make it happen. They know where the leverage points are and can get the airtight contracts you need to build a serious stockpile of media firepower ready to unleash when the time is right in 2021.
- Be ready to deploy with a vengeance in the first two quarters of 2021 in high-profile (and even higher cost-efficiency!) marketing efforts aimed at beefing up the most profitable sectors of your product portfolio—low-hanging fruit, high-end relationships, whatever best floats your business boat’s bottom line.
“Moving quickly when the market is right is going to be key. Planning and buying now allows you to do that,” says Paul Leese, Executive Vice President, and former media services director, at Keenan-Nagle Advertising, Inc. “But the trick is not just buying media at great rates. Negotiating flexibility on run dates, bundled buys and ensuring you are getting premium space is just as important. Using the expertise of dedicated media strategists like ours to navigate these buys can make a big difference on maximizing your advertising investment.”
Big Boing Theory
It’s a very sound bet that during the first quarter of 2021 the COVID experience will be receding into the rearview mirror and the American economic spring—painfully compressed for way too long—will be ready to release its energy with a resounding “boing!” in consumer confidence, capital improvement and market expansion. Stockpile your media arsenal now at bargain counter rates and your business will be ready to pursue multiple growth opportunities and brand-building through smart marketing at a bare fraction of the media cost you would pay under normal standards.
As a bonus, you can also bid 2020 goodbye and good riddance knowing you turned some of its considerable pain into well-deserved profit.
Michael C. Keenan is the president and CEO of Keenan-Nagle Advertising, Inc. (K-N). Based in Allentown, K-N is the Lehigh Valley’s longest-serving advertising agency, providing strategic marketing and communications services to regional businesses and institutions since 1954.
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