Despite a slump like no other, ad spending may fall by less this year than the 11.2% drop that followed the financial crisis in 2009. And whereas most of the advertising dollars pulled during the recessions of 2001 and 2009 never came back, this time they may return to pre-pandemic levels as early as next year.

Do you remember when using a mobile phone was just for making calls or sending that quick text message, well making calls is now hovering around number 10 on the things you use it for.

From what I can see there's something similar going on in ad land - what I mean is that what was once the go to medium for brands to get themselves 'front of mind' was already in decline before this crisis has had it's demise accelerated at lightening speed.

The reality is finally hitting home for all retailers who have languished for many years in the belief that they will always have time to to adapt to this brave new digital world - how wrong they were!.

The biggest change in retailing pre-Covid had already occurred, it happened some 20+ years ago when many traditional retailers thought that having a website was a 'nice to have'.

Today they have found out that they no longer have the luxury of another 5 years to turn the tanker around. The harsh facts are that Covid and the consumer will sink it for you if you haven't already adapted to where they are today.

With resource dwindling, marketing budgets becoming as rare as Rocking horse shit brands have no choice but to open up and explore other creative opportunities to help them remain 'front of mind'.

The rise in engaging content is being driven by users on social platforms like 'TikTok' and of course YouTube and Instagram, but simply re-purposing your corporate message that was originally designed for another medium won't cut it when audiences are looking for original, engaging and authentic content.

Let's be honest with ourselves, retail adopted the homogenisation and the blandness of 'corporate multiple retailing' long before the internet kicked it in the balls.

The whole thing was already leaning more to a 'transactional experience' than a social experience. Add to this the constant pressure on rising cost, the not very environmentally friendly splurge of fast fashion and a simple lack of 'retail theatre has led to this Covid opportunity to re-invent what was.

Consumers today are being 'influenced' daily because of unprecedented access to friends, family, aspirational peer groups, and related paid for 'influencers' who are reinforcing a false sense of personal worth.

They are doing this via free to use, free to access, on any device, anytime, anywhere via numerous social media platforms - GLOBALLY.

This behaviour isn't something that's new, it's just that back in the day before ad land got involved in social networks and called it 'social media' it was all about the one to few, our 'social circle' was sparse.

Social media isn't a place to move your advertising budget to post your 'offers', services, and talk about you, it's a place to be social and if you don't really understand the 3 pillars of being on social you will always lose out to your competitor, or a competitor who is yet to be born.

  1. A great personal brand - Why should a consumer engage with you.
  2. An aligned and engaged tribe of people who 'believe' what you believe.
  3. Great storytellers.
Oh, and they all need to be great listeners!!!