Media Insights

Marketer’s Guide to Navigating COVID-19 | Edition 1

As the COVID-19 situation rapidly develops, our teams are doing everything they can to help our clients navigate the impact on their marketing programs.

Through that work, we are identifying trends and themes that we want to share with the broader marketing community. To start, we have summarized the trends we are seeing across our client portfolio and captured the critical first steps marketers should take to combat the effect of COVID-19 on marketing investments

1) Store traffic is rapidly declining

  • Pull back investments on store-focused spend such as display ads and local inventory ads
  • Shift investments into channels with a history of strong ecommerce performance
    + Lean into targetable channels, such as paid social and display retention campaigns, that are valuable to drive promo awareness among loyal shoppers
    + Shopping ads are strong ecommerce influencers. Where possible, shift buget from non-brand search to product listing ads
    + Use key affiliate publishers to promote offers and increase conversion rate at the POS
  • Revisit creative and update store-focused messaging

2) New products and search terms are starting to trend

  • Compare your top products and search terms to the same time last month
  • Watch your search queries and do not broad match
  • Decrease bids on store-related queries
  • If you see new products or terms driving strong volume, breakout separate ad groups and product targets to better optimize
  • Edit promo messaging and ad copy to highlight product categories that suit your customers’ immediate needs

3) Brand messaging is shifting in response to changing consumer sentiment

  • Figure out how your brand message can authentically address today’s consumer demand and sentiment – e.g. offer or expand your free shipping policy to encourage continued shopping with your brand
  • Be flexible to change as your customer is changing by the day/hour/minute
  • Adjust ad messaging to support these updated brand goals
  • Leverage targeting abilities in channels like Paid Social to push promotional messaging to known loyalty audiences

4) Markets are not performing as they normally would and are being impacted differently

  • Analyze geo-based performance and adjust bid modifiers based on recent data
  • Suspend geo-split testing
  • Suspend store-specific initiatives, whether they are intended to drive store traffic or measure the efficacy of store-driving media

5) Volume is shifting to tablet and mobile as people stay home

  • Watch your device mix and optimize to device types that best support ecommerce performance

Ovative is a digital-first media and measurement firm seeking to transform the measure of marketing success. At Ovative, we help brands move the needle. We are curious. We value your brand. We want to see you succeed. Connect with us to learn more!

Download the full guide here.

Lillian Smith

Senior Analyst, Paid Social

About the Author

Lillian is a Senior Analyst on the Paid Social team at Ovative.

Dale Nitschke

Dale Nitschke

CEO & Founder

About the Author

Dale is the Founder and CEO of Ovative. After years of operating a large omni-channel business and leading a customer data initiative, Dale knew there was an opportunity to create a marketing firm that helped clients become more customer centric and drove better performance outcomes. A gap existed between business consultancies and advertising agencies that modern marketing approaches demand. He also believed that a strong, healthy culture could attract and develop smart, talented team members. In 2009, he formed Ovative to bring media, measurement, and consulting together under one roof to enable an enterprise approach that drives more revenue and grows clients’ customer base.

Prior to founding Ovative in 2009, Dale spent 23 years at Target Corporation where he served as President of and grew the ecommerce business from start-up stage to a $1 billion+ business and established the foundation of Target’s Guest database capabilities. Previously he served as SVP Merchandising at the Department Store Division of Dayton Hudson. Dale has advised retailers and brands globally on business, growth, marketing, and measurement transformation strategies.

Outside of Ovative, Dale is a leader on topics including business strategy, change management, and team leadership. He serves on the board of Allergy Amulet and on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison.  He enjoys spending time with his family, up north in northern Wisconsin, playing golf, and cheering on Wisconsin sport teams.

Seth Brand

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Seth is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Amanda McCann

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Amanda is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative, specializing in Retail Media Networks.

Jenny Reinke

Senior Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Jenny is a Senior Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Annie Zipfel

Executive Vice President, Media

About the Author

Annie is the Executive Vice President of Media at Ovative. She oversees delivery and growth across paid and owned media (digital, traditional, and retail media) and creative services.

Annie has more than 30 years of experience in media, brand management, insights/analytics, marketing, and product. She has also developed large, high-performing teams and built new measurement capabilities. Annie led the marketing team at Andersen Windows & Doors, leading the digital, social, content, customer insights, and creative functions. Prior to that, Annie served in multiple marketing leadership roles at Starbucks, REI, Target, and General Mills, with a keen focus on brand, media, insights, analytics, and measurement.

Annie is an industry leader in brand management, customer insights, e-commerce, social media, and analytics. She enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, fishing, and spending time with her sweet dog and two sons.

Bonnie Gross

Executive Vice President, Talent Services

About the Author

Bonnie is the Executive Vice President of Talent Services at Ovative. She is responsible for attracting and retaining top talent and creating a culture in which our team thrives personally and professionally. Under Bonnie’s leadership, Ovative has defined an industry leading leadership and development program and transformed our approach to talent recruitment with a focus on diversity, equality and inclusion. Prior to her current role, Bonnie led Ovative’s Client and Business Development team overseeing client satisfaction and new growth opportunities.

Before joining Ovative in 2014, Bonnie spent 13 years at Target Corporate as the VP of digital and Digital Marketing where she led the launch of Cartwheel, an industry-leading social shopping application. Bonnie was the VP of Marketing for Fingerhut for 15 years prior to joining Target.

Leander Cohen

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Leander Cohen is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Will Silva

Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Will is an Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Sarah Chang

Sarah Chang

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Sarah Chang is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

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