The World Changed. Your Marketing Didn’t.
On January 30, 2020, 593 days ago, the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus a.k.a. COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. As we rapidly approach the second anniversary of that fateful date, I find myself reflecting on how many different ways the world has changed. The pandemic has affected every single aspect of our lives, from how we work, to how we learn, to how we play. It’s affected how we shop, eat, travel, clean, and even socialize with one another. We are spending less money on gas because many Americans continue to work from home. We are spending more money on just about everything else. We shop more online and less in stores. We eat more take out and dine in less. We stream movies instead of going to the cinema.
The list goes on and on. Consumer behaviors and consumer spending has been fundamentally disrupted. Chances are your company had to “pivot” during the pandemic. You may have changed your products or services. You may have changed the delivery of those products and services. But did you change the way you market those products and services? Probably not. Most companies are still employing the same marketing strategies and tactics they were using in 2019. Here’s some food for thought:
- Daytime television audiences increased 28% in the first few months of the pandemic but primetime television audiences stayed flat.
- With no one in the stands, TV ratings for professional sports (football, basketball, baseball, etc.) actually dropped.
- Drive time radio audiences have fallen because less people are driving to work.
- Audiences for video streaming increased 71% last year.
- Adults today spend nearly 45 hours a week watching TV and online video, which is twice as much as 2019.
So as people’s lives were disrupted during the pandemic, their attention turned inward, with more people staring at TV, computer, and cell phone screens. As a result, Harvard Business Review reported that social media spending by businesses on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube increased from 13.3% of U.S marketing budgets in February to 23.2% a few months later in June — a whopping 74% increase. So what does this mean for you? The obvious answer is to buy stock in Google. Just kidding.
The nation’s biggest brands and the agencies that work with them shifted their media dollars to social and online to capture more eyeballs during the pandemic. This trend continues in 2021, and we’re monitoring these trends for 2022.
At Madison+Main, we advised our clients to do the same thing. And many of them are reaping the rewards. The lesson here is simple — marketing is about capturing attention and one of the fundamental rules is placing your media where people are paying attention. #BoldBrandsWin
*Sources: Statistica, BBC, Neilsen, and AdWeek.
Monday we celebrated two Madison+Main-iac’s birthdays — Creative Director Art Webb and Copywriter Derek Fair. Although they were born two decades apart, Art and Derek are both Virgos, have well-groomed facial hair, and share a love of oversized flannel shirts. It has been reported that both were surrounded by family, friends, and endless amounts of birthday cake for their special day. Happy Birthday to our Birthday Twins!
On Monday we officially welcomed Jr. Graphic Designer Alex Osepchuk to the team…again. Alex has joined the team from “B-more” Maryland and has been working with us for a couple of months as a subcontractor. She knocked it out of the park so many times, we couldn’t let her slip away. Welcome to the team, Alex, we’re so happy to have you on full time!
TEXAS INN ON THE AIR
On Tuesday, I joined soundman extraordinaire Grant “Blue Steel” Rutledge from Broadscope Media to record some doggone good radio ads for the Texas Inn. The new ads will start running on Lynchburg airwaves in October. If I do say so, I think I did a dang good job, but Grant worked his magic on these ads.
CELEBRATIONS ALL AROUND
Wednesday morning we learned that our friends at the Virginia Department of Health were awarded a 2021 Government Experience Project Award by the Center for Digital Government. Their first-in-the-nation Exposure Notifications app COVIDWISE has received national recognition for radically improving the experience of government and pushing the boundaries of how citizen services are experienced. Our work has encouraged more than two million Virginians to download the Exposure Notifications apps. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Wednesday afternoon brought the Madison+Main-iacs together for some much-needed laughs and libations at The Lilly Pad for our official bi-monthly Happy Hour. We toasted to this week’s birthdays, new hires, and client wins. Director of Business & Marketing Leanne Pillow “Orange Crushed” it again with her choice of venue.
On Thursday morning, I found myself in Lynchburg eating breakfast, but not at the Texas Inn. I had a delicious breakfast at My Dog Duke’s Diner compliments of Stephan Parry, President of Parry Restaurant Group. Stephan is a super nice guy and famed restauranteur, who owns almost every restaurant in Lynchburg (believe it or not, 22 restaurants across Virginia).
At the other end of I-64 on Thursday afternoon, our Fearless leader Molly Whitfield and I traveled down to Fort Monroe to present their Discovery Report and Marketing Recommendations to the Fort Monroe Authority Board. It was great to have a meeting in person again. Molly knocked it out of the park and we can’t wait to get started on these upcoming projects. Such a cool place. This weekend they’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of the fort’s transfer from the U.S. Army to the Fort Monroe Authority. Here are the event details if you need a fun weekend excursion.
A PIECE OF CAKE
This morning at 8:05 a.m., Richmond radio listeners were once again treated to the sound of my voice as I spoke with John Reid from Richmond Morning News on WRVA. John and I discussed all the great events coming up in Richmond this weekend and next. I also got a chance to put a plug in for our great friends at Green Top who will be holding their annual Green Top Outdoor Expo on October 2-3. ICYMI, here is the link to my segment this morning.
Today, we also celebrate our Fearless Leader Molly Whitfield’s 14th anniversary at Madison+Main. She is both fearless and a leader. Molly, we are so lucky to have you as a friend and colleague. You make coming to work every day a whole bunch of fun. Now go have a drink to celebrate. I know I am. #Cheers #BoldBossesWin
A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE EVENTS
Green Top Outdoor Expo
October 2-3, 2021
Green Top is proudly hosting a FREE family-friendly customer appreciation event that features hundreds of vendors, product demos from the most popular outdoor brands, and exhibits, plus industry expert meet-and-greets, great food, live music, and so much more. This is the largest outdoor expo in the Mid-Atlantic, so don’t miss out!
Perkinson Center for the Arts & Education Performances
New Performances Weekly!
Check out a plethora of performances at Chesterfield’s Premier Center for the Arts & Education — including a new gallery show! Tickets can be bought online.
Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!
You better learn how to deal with the new normal because the old normal isn’t coming back.“ — Dave Saunders (Yes, I quoted myself.)