Stir crazy……

Scrabble lockdown

…well it felt that way after the first week of working from home, isolating from other people, the lack of outdoor time and negotiating with my wife for who was going to occupy which room at any given moment was all quite stressful, but then enforced rapid changes of routine does that to most people, like it or not we are creatures of habit.

Being “an outdoors person” (especially when it involves being on a golf course!) the curtailment of exercise options was to me like many of you a blow but of course a necessary one, however moving into the third week of no commuting to the office/lack of physical contact I am starting to adapt whether through technology or creating new beneficial habits.

Video conferencing has gone from a last resort option rapidly into pole position, something to look forward to and a boost to endorphins seeing people rather than just hearing them, rapidly learning the etiquette involved where there are multiple parties on the line.

My relatively short car commute has now turned into time I can be productive in and feel positive about rather than regularly being astounded at how careless drivers/cyclists/pedestrians are with their lives in the rush hour, I don’t miss that now – it’s spent setting a much-needed structure to the coming day instead.

As humans, we have always had to adapt to new surroundings and challenges, this one being so sudden and unexpected it has caught us all on the hop, but in amongst these there will be changes we make that become beneficial and the norm moving forwards and most likely around travelling less than before for business meetings as we familiarise ourselves with video conferencing.

As far as the media markets are concerned it is all moving rapidly, unsurprisingly TV viewing is up, news media in print and online is also gaining eyeballs for their content and radio listening is also up as it appears that people are seeking out the trusted traditional forms of media and entertainment, sadly the cinema industry is bearing the full force of lockdown and you can only feel for all those involved as they fight for survival alongside many other sectors.

It’s not just the news channels either, general entertainment and movies are up even further on TV according to Sky and ITV (16% increase in overall commercial viewing).

If you are a client who can sensitively drive sales during the current situation there is potentially excellent value to be had from your media buys currently with all these extra eyeballs accessible, if you have budgets to utilise now short-term incentives for new/incremental money is available from some media owners, TV cost per thousands in April and May have declined to levels we last saw a decade ago in the financial crash.

Research consistently shows that investing in your brand in a time when competitors may not be doing so will lead to market share growth in the mid-long term. It is not viable for all clients of course but those that should consider it seriously and talk to their agency team about what that would look like and for collateral to support the case, early indications from China are that consumers are now spending heavily as the restrictions are easing with pent up demand.

Meanwhile back at our virtual office as well as taking care of client’s needs, we are ramping up our learning courses online to boost skills and are happily hosting media immersion sessions online for clients using the hiatus to upskill their marketing team’s media knowledge, if that’s of interest as an existing or even prospective client let us know.

Finally having listened to a very interesting podcast from our China CEO on how they have managed the COVID 19 situation, and how they are now moving back to a “more normal” existence I am going to steal his sign off,

Stay safe, stay strong and stay connected.

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