If you’ve been in marketing longer than a day, you’ll be familiar with the philosophy of ‘right message, right people, right time’.
Today, it’s the rule that’s forcing marketers all over the world into a radical rethink.
Customers and businesses are hurting. People have had their lives upended, virtually overnight. The horizon is no longer in sight and nobody knows when the storm will pass.
That means carefully constructed, pre-COVID marketing and communications, plotted months ahead, are likely to completely miss the mark for customers and prospects.
It takes real courage to put a match to months of painstaking work. And it takes an agile team to be able to turn on a ten-cent piece and deliver an entirely new message. We’re starting to see it around the world now and it’s inspiring to see marketers adapt so quickly.
It’s what we’ve just done with Business Australia, creating brand new messaging and concepts in under a week, and a new national TVC on screens within the fortnight.
An organisation that champions and supports businesses, Business Australia had worked closely with our team for around eight months to launch their new brand and membership model, both internally and externally.
The centrepiece of the launch was a TVC that had been months in the scripting, planning, shooting and editing. Everyone was very happy. It was due to run in a week.
And suddenly, it was all wrong.
Without warning, Business Australia found itself at the frontline of an economic crisis. Their message about growth could not be put before an audience that was laying off in droves. Their stories of success, would feel hollow to people who, in many cases, literally woke up and found themselves facing abrupt financial hardship and ruin.
But saying nothing at all would have been equally disastrous.
Together, Business Australia and Six Black Pens convened a war cabinet. We hammered out a message, tested it fast with stakeholders, simplified creative.
In less than two weeks we’d created completely new campaign thinking, which went out across TVC, OOH and social, with a service message highlighting the types of resources available and where to find them.
The challenge was to mobilise, use our channels in a different way, and get Business Australia’s expertise to as many businesses as possible, on brand, fast.
You can see the TVC above.
Pivoting swiftly, because you’re aware of what your audience wants and needs, is the hallmark of a smart brand. And in times like these, when so many rules are being rewritten overnight, staying true to your fundamental brand values is a great place to start reconsidering what you can say.
‘Right message, right people, right time’ is what we all strive to do as marketers. And right now, that mantra has never been more important for brands.