Welcome to the Weekly Wrap for the week of May 25th! From Facebook CPMs rising, brands starting to test the marketing waters again, to Gatorade giving consumers a free app to flex, grab some coffee and catch up on the top marketing news and insights from this past week.
Facebook CPMs Are Up 20% – 50% (AdExchanger)
Due to increasing consumer demand for products as the lockdown begins to lift, CPMs on Facebook are beginning to get back to baseline levels.
- When the COVID-19 outbreak hit, CPMs dropped by as much as 50%.
- By the end of May though, CPMs rose 20% – 50%.
- “Kunal Gupta, CEO and founder of Polar, attributes the uptick in Facebook CPMs from their March lows to increased competition in the auction as DTC brands, ecommerce retailers and performance advertisers in general getting ‘back into consumer acquisition as the highly sensitive period of marketing during a pandemic is now behind us.'”
AdExchanger rounded up responses from several agency executives on how brands are starting to re-invest in marketing campaigns as the lockdown begins to lift.
- It seems like brands are beginning to adjust to new consumer behaviors and are marketing their products accordingly. However, there is an air of caution as they slowly ramp up marketing spend.
- “Recovery isn’t the right word. Reset is more accurate. The pandemic has radically altered so many behaviors, perceptions and realities of everyday life. Just how long and how deep this disruption will go is up for debate.” – George Manas, president and chief media officer, OMD
- “Those that are uniquely positioned to provide value to their audience, through services that can help with recovery or products people are using in quarantine, are increasing spend. At times they’re surpassing spend in normal periods. Those harder hit by the pandemic – retail, travel and hospitality – have essentially pulled advertising.” – Ashley Sobel, group director, The Media Kitchen
- “Reopening is not a light switch to spend. Strategy and tactics need to adapt to this ever-changing normal. With variance in state-by-state reopening strategies, we are advising our clients on a geographically informed approach. [As the country reopens], consumers will be more accepting of product-driven marketing, as long as the value proposition is relevant.” – Amanda Martin, VP, enterprise partnerships, Goodway Group
Gatorade Allows Consumers to Flex For Free (Campaign US)
Gatorade ups it’s digital game by giving consumers a free video app to download called Highlights.
- Users can use the app to capture, create, and share videos of their athletic endeavors. For example, a basketball trick shot.
- The primary target demographic is reportedly high school athletes; however, this has applications for all demographics.
- The app is unique in that it uses the phone’s camera to capture and respond to movements and motions such as sprinting and jumping height.
Bridging Livestreaming and Ecommerce (AdWeek)
Chinese ecommerce platform JD and livestreaming platform Kuaishou have come together to bridge livestreaming and eCommerce by enabling in-app shopping within livestreams.
- Starting June 16th, Kuasishou’s 300 million daily active users will be able to purchase products from JD within the app and during a livestream.
- This continues the livestream shopping trend that emerged during COVID-19 in China. For instance, Alibaba invited farmers who were struggling onto their Foodie Livestream channel to sell produce and reportedly sold 15 million kilograms (33 million pounds) of produce.
- JD plans to celebrate it’s anniversary on June 18th with more than 300k livestreams across its own livestream platform, JD Live, in addition to other platforms such as Kuaishou and TikTok.
It seems as though the ‘cheap’ CPMs on Facebook are starting to come to an end as increased competition between DTC advertisers that are re-entering the marketing foray pushes costs back up to near pre-COVID levels. As such, other channels that have less competition may now be a more attractive option for brands that are cash strapped and don’t want to risk ballooning CPAs .
Brands are being smart in exercising caution when it comes to ramping up marketing spend. Slow increases in spend allows them to test the new waters and correctly align with consumer behaviors. However, the brands that are benefiting the most right now will have already kept up a bare minimum of advertising during the peak of the consumer confidence crisis and so will already have some data on consumer behaviors and how to align accordingly. As such, brands may struggle to play catch up in that regard with CPMs across all channels poised to become more expensive again.
Gatorade have taken their digital game to the next level. Their Highlights app is a prime example of how to engage your consumers in a way that connects the offline world (sports & physical activity) with the online world (sharing videos on social media). Experiences that connect ‘offline’ with ‘online’ tend to be the most engaging way of connecting with consumers and maintaining loyalty, especially through a crisis.
Insights from the Frontline (from client campaigns)
⬆️ As the lockdown lifts, we’ve seen an uptick in jewelry purchases in urban areas.
⬆️ Apparel brands that have clothing suitable for WFH are beginning to look at ramping marketing spend.
✅ Collectibles. toys, and games brands remain very strong with CPA optimized campaigns.
✅ Make sure to diversify your channels. With CPMs rising on FB (with other channels likely to rise as well) it’s even more important to make sure that all of your eggs aren’t in one basket. Otherwise, you are leaving yourself exposed.
✅ Consider leveraging unique digital experiences to engage existing customers.
✅ Use paid campaigns to test the water and gauge consumer interest and behavior. Data is the key to understanding what consumers want and feel right now. Paid campaigns will help you get the necessary data so ramp it up slowly.
And that’s a wrap for this week!
Please write to us if you have any questions or want to suggest a topic.
See you next week! Stay healthy and stay strong.