Hard as it may be to believe, the COVID-19 pandemic has produced some positive benefits for brands, according to a study released Wednesday by PR agency 360PR+.
For instance, 76% of executives say the pandemic has helped them prioritize objectives. In addition, 57% feel the experience has opened their eyes to new approaches, and 42% claim they are now more nimble, while 42% say they are thinking holistically.
Moreover, 88% feel upbeat enough to increase their marketing spend in 2022.
Email teams struggling to drive results in the face of reduced resources and new compliance issues may take these findings with a certain amount of skepticism. Hopefully, they will be included in the budget increases.
The study also found that 40% of brands have partnered with diverse influencers. And 42% are focused on creating content that represents all audiences.
But email marketers beware: 95% of those polled recognize the importance of their CEO being an effective storyteller. And 68% plan to increase use of their senior executives in brand communications in the year to come.
If you’re unfortunate, expect some late nights as the CEO orders revisions of content and the emails that promote it.
That aside, 44% of brands plan to hold more virtual events next year. Overall, 68% have used diverse media for brand outreach, including advertising (49%) and/or earned media/publicity with diverse media (37%).
Meanwhile, 82% predict their brands will take more stands on social issues, and 57% wish their firm would take more risks.
The team at 360 has witnessed all this firsthand, “with the pandemic becoming a trigger-moment for thought-leadership and executives playing a more active, ongoing role in speaking for their brands and organizations, not just tied to expected financial events,” says Mike Rush, partner and executive vice president at 360PR+.
Rush adds: “That helps elevate a brand message in the marketplace with customers and other stakeholders and can benefit company culture, too, as employees see their organization’s executives as insightful and inspirational leaders in the larger landscape.”
360PR+ partnered with ENGINE GROUP to survey 200 marketing and communications decision-makers, including CMOs, CCOs, senior VPs of marketing/communications, VPs of marketing/communications, and senior directors/directors of marketing/communications.
All respondents were from companies with at least $50 million in annual revenue. The interviews were conducted June 23-July 9, 2021.