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As part of a new blog series, Pugh & Tiller PR is interviewing marketing leaders and sharing their insights on the impact of COVID-19 on marketing and business plans. Our inaugural post features Brandon Grosvenor, Founder & CEO, Brand Grow Media, a new-thinking, full-service media agency.

Adjusting Marketing during COVID-19?

“As we are an agency and act on behalf of clients across many industries, we have seen many plans change. Of course, many have simply put their plans on hold if they are not able to open or demand has gone away.

“For essential service providers we have seen an increase in tactical messaging such as home delivery or sanitized environments to shop in. Lastly, there are many inspirational messages and programs that have launched. Whether it is thanking front-line workers or simply thanking people for staying home. One example is a large national consumer product goods advertiser who, rather than cancelling their advertising, have donated their ad space to local businesses struggling to stay open, enabling those businesses to use the ads for their own messaging to the public.”

When Do You See the Economy Re-Opening?

“It has already opened up some. Places such as garden centers and hardware stores have seen huge lineups. For businesses that rely on foot traffic and in-space volume of people (restaurants, bars etc.) or industries such as travel and tourism, I think we are a long way away. Likely not until the public feels it is safe to do so and there is a vaccine.

“For us at Brand Grow Media, we have been very busy, working with our clients on their plans. Some are for future projects where marketing departments have more time to plan. Some, revising campaigns based on demand. And what is most promising, we are working on several new projects based on our current reality and what brands will need to do to adjust and thrive in a new environment.

“Media consumption has changed in addition to shopping habits, so ensuring our clients message is in front of the right audience at the right time is imperative. For example, streaming audio and television along with traditional cable have seen tremendous audience growth during COVID-19. Social media platforms such as Tik Tok and House Party have become household names and usage has skyrocketed. Conversely platforms like out-of-home and traditional radio have much smaller audiences.

“With the reality of brick and mortar closures, online shopping has become the mainstream. Reaching online shoppers through their journey is a much different marketing funnel compared to traditional methods. We need to focus on data insights around intent versus just volume.”

Time to Step Back Marketing or an Opportunity?

“Again, this really depends on the industry. For small to medium sized businesses COVID-19 will create new consumer shopping habits that are likely to become the new norm. A faster move from bricks and mortar to e-commerce. For them, it is a great time to get their plans in order. For larger brands it is also a wonderful time to steal share and build awareness. Most large media companies are offering extensive discounts for those who wish to stay active. Some of the largest brands in the world were built in times of hardship or uncertainty.”

About Brandon Grosvenor

Brandon Grosvenor brings two decades in media marketing and advertising to his current position as founder and CEO of Brand Grow Media. He’s held executive level positions at some of the largest media companies in North America, including AOL Canada, Microsoft Advertising and Postmedia Network.

Brandon was one of the first innovators to embrace the ever-changing media landscape and bring innovative digital advertising solutions to his clients. In 2015, he launched Brand Grow Media, a full-service media agency, as an alternative to the traditional advertising agency structure. Seeing the need for more flexibility and quick response, Brandon created a cooperative of top strategists, designers, media specialists and project managers who work to grow brands for marketers of all sizes.

A gifted speaker, Brandon is often invited to share his insights at industry events on both sides of the border. He has sat on several industry governing boards, including IAB Canada, Canadian Newspaper Association (CNA), NADbank and Local Search Association (LSA). He’s a past Vice Chair of Canada’s Top 10 Corporate Cultures.

Megan Bozman is a content director with Pugh & Tiller PR. 

Pugh & Tiller

Through an integrated approach, Pugh & Tiller helps B2B companies reach, engage, and influence the right audiences in order to achieve their business goals. By offering public relations, branding and identity development, digital integrated marketing, website and app development, and graphic design and audio / video production, Pugh & Tiller provides each and every service with an eye on the bigger picture.