Spielwarenmesse: COVID-19: Toy companies must rethink, not shutdown marketing and communications

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COVID-19: Toy companies must rethink, not shutdown marketing and communications

30. March 2020 08:40 h

By Bill Southard, president and CEO, Southard Communications

As uncertainty around COVID-19 and its impact both from a health and economic perspective continues to intensify and companies worldwide look to take the steps necessary to survive during this crisis, many automatically look at ways to reduce costs and overhead. This is understandable, as bringing your costs in line with your short-term revenue makes sense for those in the toy industry and even beyond. Unlike the financial meltdown of 2008, on the surface, this seems to be much more of a shorter-term crisis. At least that’s the hope.

For the toy industry specifically - with 65%-70% of sales being generated during the Q4 holiday season - this gives us some breathing room and time to react to the consumer demand once the crisis begins to subside and we return to some sense of normalcy.

Traditionally, marketing including paid and earned media has always been an easy line item to cut. For decades, and through many previous crises, there has been much debate over whether this is a smart approach or will shutting down proactive marketing and communications campaigns have a long-term negative impact. As you might expect, as a marketing professional I lean toward a continuation of marketing, digital, and communications campaigns. At the same time, as a business owner, I understand the financial pressures of running a company during tough times.




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