PSA: we’re about to address a sensitive subject… Growing your business in the current climate. Striving for growth, leveraging opportunities in the market and supporting current and future sales. Obviously, lots of businesses and, therefore, lots of individuals, find themselves in a very challenging situation right now and this is in no way intended to detract from that.

However, there is business to be done; wins to be had and gains to be made if you approach things in the right way. When it comes to PR and marketing, at times like this, we encourage you to focus on your Excess Share of Voice, or eSOV. Sounds great – most acronyms do don’t they. But what is it? And why is it even more important now?

Share of voice

To understand eSOV let’s first look at SOV – share of voice. SOV is a measure of how much of the market you occupy compared to your competitors. Basically, how visible and prominent your brand is in the media (online and offline) and how much your voice is heard in conversations in your sector or industry. Studies show that there tends to be a straight-line correlation between a brand’s share of voice and its market share. For example, if you have a 15% market share, your share of voice is usually 15% as well.

Now, an interesting thing happens when a brand actively works to increase its share of voice. By investing more time, money and resource into share of voice, a brand can create a positive difference between share of voice and market share. This is what’s known as ‘Excess Share of Voice’ – eSOV. For example, if the brand with a 15% market share increased its share of voice to 25%, then it will hold an eSOV of +10. “Why is that interesting?” we hear you ask. Because these same studies have also observed that, over time, if a brand holds a positive eSOV, its market share will increase, to once again be in line with share of voice. Bingo!

PR & share of voice

There’s an opportunity in the current climate to really leverage this concept. We’ve talked about sensitively using PR in the midst of a crisis such as the one we’re all living through right now. But that assumes you’re actually doing something. Many brands, including those who usually dominate the media landscape, have pulled the plug on their PR and marketing budgets, whether that’s to their PPC and print advertising or their PR and media relations efforts. The result is a cliff-edge decline in activity. It’s a totally understandable, ‘rabbit in the headlights’, reaction but it means their share of voice is greatly diminished.

Cutting budgets can obviously help to protect profits in the short term, but in order to emerge from any form of market disruption in a position of strength, the most effective thing to do is to maintain or increase spend in order to remain front of mind with consumers.

So, what can you do? Simple: step into the void.

  • News of how you are genuinely supporting businesses or communities (no tenuous links please)
  • Hints and tips, expert guides and advice articles in area of specialism
  • Heart-warming and entertaining stories with a local hook, charitable angle or overcoming adversity theme
  • Positive news about your business: awards won, new offices opening and innovations made.

Notice the lack of sales messages. That doesn’t change no matter the circumstances. In the here and now, unless you are providing a vital product or service, the aim of the game is to build trust, credibility and secure a position as a trusted, reliable and genuine brand. Those who can buy now, are much more likely to choose that brand with the largest SOV and those who will buy soon… guess who they’re going to turn to when the time comes?

If you’re still feeling a little confused, think of it like this: there is less ‘noise’ now than there was before and there are more people listening. It’s the perfect opportunity to be heard – there’s a space for you to fill. If you’re still actively working on your PR and marketing, great; keep doing it. If you’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to start – this is it.

TeamRev are always here to support you and during this time, we know how valuable a friendly face (albeit via zoom!) and some objective advice can be. If you want to chat to us about your activity, feel free to drop us a line at lucy@revpr.co.uk or give us a call on 07921 572554.