Now That Media Competition is Back, How Should Beleaguered Brands Move Forward?

One of the early realities of the pandemic was that, as marketers pulled spend, it became very cost efficient for brands that continued to spend. That gravy train has stopped, and once again competition is high. So how should marketers trying to navigate these new realities proceed? Here’s how we’re approaching this question at Max Connect.

The result of advertisers leaving in masses, was a significant drop in competition for those advertises that were fortunate enough to be able to continue spending. When you combined this with an increase of inventory due to screen times skyrocketing, this caused a drop in CPMs, CPCs, CPAs, CPVs, and any other 3-letter acronym you can think of for most advertisers. Suddenly advertiser dollars were going much further than they were previously, and the increase in effectiveness led to many businesses surviving the harsh economic conditions.

No alt text provided for this image

As more businesses adapted to the situation, realizing the vital role digital marketing would play in the foreseeable future, the drop in competition online started to disappear. Costs began to rise and advantages began to vanish. The most interesting part of this crazy cycle, is that it didn't end with cost merely returning to pre-pandemic levels. For many, the costs are higher than they were before COVID-19, and continue to rise.

Many believe the excess rise in cost is a direct result of companies who had neglected their digital marketing strategy, and then had to quickly adapt when the social and economic conditions of a pandemic required it. Between companies who struggled during the pandemic starting to resume digital marketing spend, and the additional companies who found the importance and effectiveness of digital marketing through this crisis, we are left with a net positive number of advertisers competing for inventory.

So what does this mean for digital marketers? When the “new normal” now consists of a market flooded with advertisers, and rising costs?

No alt text provided for this image

It’s a call for innovation, optimization, and the shedding of worn out strategies. Finding success through looking at channels in a different way. Testing new channels or channels that might not have met your pre-pandemic performance standards to ensure you are continuing to fill that marketing funnel and produce results. It's time to get back to nuance and rigor in building audiences, lookalikes, ad units - everything that can be done to improve targeting and ad effectiveness needs to be on the table if brands want to see CAC remain stable.

It’s easy to go back to doing things the same way we’ve always been doing them, employing the same tactics, utilizing the same mediums, and slapping on some new messaging, but that’s not going to cut it long term. We need to be able to recognize the changes in how potential customers are consuming media, and pivot our strategies to align with these new behaviors.

At Max Connect we have a team of passionate digital marketers, who embrace the challenges of this “new normal” and are committed to doing whatever is necessary to ensure the success of our clients. Adversity can bring out the best or the worst in people, and I’m fortunate enough to lead a team that has thrived under these conditions.