Keep Calm and Carry On with UK Business Development

April 9, 2020

With the rise of COVID-19, there are a limited number of new business opportunities across the agency landscape. In the finest tradition of British resilience, UK business development specialists need to keep calm and carry on. There are opportunities out there for new work if you look hard enough.  

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There’s progress in the FMCG space, especially with P&G, Mondelez, and Unilever and comfort foods like Ferrero, Pizza Express, McVities, and Cadbury who have dramatically increased video ad spend. Consumers are spending time at home and indulging. While luxury food items struggle, there are huge opportunities for challenger brands that provide in-demand alternatives.

In contrast to popular belief, some retailers are doing particularly well at capturing that share of voice. As consumers upgrade old office chairs and desks, High Street retailers are shifting their budgets from experiential and in-store to e-commerce. Companies, including Staples, throw tremendous spend into mobile advertising across social media, sponsored posts, Amazon Marketplace, and consumer demand. Consumers are upgrading old office chairs and desks.

UK Business Development: Dramatic increases in digital spend

Some brands have seen as much as 1000% increases since March. This is a great proxy for media formats and is a leading indicator of what’s about to happen across the broader marketing campaign. We’ve also seen digital activity translate into other opportunities like podcast sponsorships

Home improvement is another big area to focus on. A lot of retailers and platform companies in this space are doing incredibly well. This also captures companies in the home cleaning and appliance space including Dyson, Robert Dyas, and Homebase. We’ve seen this supported by YouTube and “How-To” videos where brands, including Dyson, have increased spend by 89.9%.

And it’s not just big brands that are spending. Newcomers in this category are clambering for share of voice, too. In most cases, there is a greater appeal and ability to adapt with small marketing teams who will need assistance from agencies. 

UK Business Development: Hobbies, interests, and entertainment

We’ve seen a huge uplift at Lego, Playstation, Electronic Arts, and Nintendo. These categories have increased their spend by over 90% on digital advertising, sponsored, and influencer marketing as consumers keep themselves entertained at home.

The last category to mention is subscription and membership services with the rise of Peloton, Fiit TV, and Mirror. Membership services have also increased their spend include Harry’s, Now TV, and Disney Plus. Currently, Peloton is spending 89% of its budget in the UK alone. 

Overall, there’s time to creatively reach these brands. A lot of business development comes down to mindset. There are business developers out there thriving and it’s their time to shine. In new business, if you’re able to set expectations effectively, you’re given the keys to the castle. 

While it’s a challenging time, UK business development changes bring opportunity. Give yourself an unfair advantage over your competitors and look out for the different sales triggers that may signal potential reviews or spend increases. Some of these are close to home as we see many British brands carrying on and remaining resolute.

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If you liked this blog post, check out:

    1. Digital Ad Spend is Climbing: 10 Advertisers Behind the Spike
    2. The Silicon Prairie: 3 Reasons To Take Your AdTech Company to the Midwest
    3. Want Your Agency to Survive a Pandemic? Stop Giving Away Your Thinking: Q&A with Michael Gass

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