Should Marketing Agencies Be Worried About Big Advertisers Reigning in Spending?

When businesses sit down to create their budgets and business plans for the upcoming year, they often build in a degree of buffer or cushion based on current events and include contingencies for slower economies or challenges that might arise. As a variety of memes circulating on social media platforms so aptly put it, no one had a pandemic-level novel coronavirus outbreak on their list of “things to prepare for in the coming year.”

Covid-19 has so thoroughly and negatively impacted the American economic landscape that many industries are restructuring standard operating procedures on a weekly basis and struggling to find a “new normal”. Matters only escalated as the growth of protest movements across the United States have led to influential organizations like NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, and Free Press launched a “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign calling for businesses to pull ad spending from social media platforms to bring focus to the need for social reforms to address racism and violence.

Advertising and marketing industries have been damaged down to our very core income streams as organizations everywhere continue to cut discretionary ad spending and settle into minimalistic business models focused less on building sales through advertising and more on maintaining and building client relationships. We want to explore how major brands are cutting back on ad spending and how marketing agencies, such as ourselves, are finding other means of providing value to our customer base in order to remain in the game.  

What Unilever’s Advertising Pullback Means to the Industry

Markets and economies are heavily impacted by the actions and words of larger, more influential organizations. So when large, multinational corporations start to pull ads from major social media platforms, the entire marketing industry sits up and pays attention. 

The economic landscape was rocked by Unilever’s announcement that it would be pulling advertising from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the remainder of 2020 in light of the “Stop Hate for Profit” movement. The consumer goods giant spends upwards of $1Billion across multiple ad channels every year, so you can imagine how many marketing agencies are concerned about the impact this might have on the behavior of other brands.

On the Flip Side, Procter & Gamble and Other Large Organizations Double Down On Advertising

Other brands in the business of providing essential goods such as Procter & Gamble have taken this opportunity to up their marketing and advertising activities across a number of platforms. The goal is to position their brands and products as essential during these difficult times, and to ensure consumers that their brand is there to help them navigate whatever current events might throw their way.

Focus On Helping Brand’s Maintain Relationships and Build Business Through Increased Engagement

We understand businesses aren’t operating as usual. The low hanging fruit of getting the advertising and marketing account for conventions, exhibitions, and trade shows are nonexistent. Instead, businesses large and small desperately need the help of marketing agencies to create powerful and engaging content and advertising designed to reassure consumers that client brands are there to support their needs and care about maintaining a personal connection. 

The Answer: We’re Not Worried and You Don’t Have to Be Either

In order to face the challenges facing marketing agencies everywhere, we’ve focused our efforts on adapting existing services and creating new services, such as live streaming shoots so clients can remain working from home, that are useful to businesses struggling to engage with consumers remotely. Our focus has been on helping our clients to create powerful, engaging moments through simple interfaces and engaging content. With a focus on helping clients continue to create engaging visual media and video content, we also work with our customers and new clients on their existing websites and social media to create engaging experiences their customers might not find through other service providers. We’d love to start a conversation about how we can help your brand communicate its message during this time.