Understanding the link between SOV and market share will help a brand or business survive these troubled Covid times.
When times become difficult, such as they are now, it’s important to grasp the importance of ‘Excess Share of Voice’ ‘ which can be abbreviated to eSOV. The term eSOV is merely an extension of SOV (Share of Voice), which measures how much of the market your business occupies compared to your competitors. In short, this translates into how visible and prominent your brand is in the media ‘ both online and off it. Ask yourself this question: ‘How much is your voice being heard in conversations within your sector or industry?’
Research has shown that a brand’s SOV is pretty much the same as its market share. So, if you enjoy a 20% share of the market, this is likely to equate to your percentage of SOV. With this key data in mind, it’s important that a business invests more time, money and resources into increasing its SOV, which should help it to increase its all-important market share. This means it’s time for a company’s PR and marketing departments to take centre stage.
Studies show that if a brand with a 20% market share increased its SOV to 28%, then it has an eSOV of +8. In turn, these same studies have indicated that if a brand or business maintains a positive eSOV over a period of weeks and months, its market share is also likely to increase. This should come as great news for companies hoping to gain a distinct advantage over their closest rivals.
It’s also important to note that, in particularly competitive industries, companies may have to increase their PR and marketing output just to keep pace with rivals ‘ and therefore maintain their SOV and market share. In other words, standing still rarely benefits! During the current Covid crisis, many companies have reduced their PR and marketing budgets regarding Pay Per Click (PPC) and print advertising. And, on the face of it, this would appear to be understandable. However, for many businesses, this has resulted in a cliff-edge decline in activity, resulting in a reduced SOV.
Cutting budgets may protect profits in the short term, but it reduces a company’s chances of bouncing back strongly when the market picks up again. Therefore, the advice to brands and businesses is a simple one: In order to emerge from any form of market disruption in a position of strength, it’s important they either maintain or even increase their budgets for PR and marketing activities. By maintaining a high-profile during difficult times, a company has a much better chance of hitting the ground running when business finally returns to normal.
So how can you achieve this? Find ways of keeping your business or brand in the spotlight by making good use of the media. In addition to increasing your social media presence, use the local media to try and heighten your profile. Local media covers a wide range of outlets (websites, newspapers, radio and TV). Tell them about how your business has been actively supporting local communities. Or perhaps there is a charitable angle to talk about.
Has the company won any awards or have any of your employees done anything outstanding, such as raising money for a good cause? There must be many positive stories to tell. Give advice on how customers can make the most of the products they have purchased from you. Perhaps there’s a tip or two to make a product last longer or maybe it can be recycled. It’s time to think on your feet. You don’t even have to make a sales pitch to enjoy a positive reaction from a feel-good story.
In times such as these, the aim of the game is to build trust and credibility. Show that you are a reliable and genuine brand. Customers are much more likely to choose brands that remain in the spotlight, with a sizeable SOV. In many ways, this is the ideal time for your voice to be heard and there’s certainly a space for you to fill. Maintain your PR and marketing at all costs because it will benefit the brand in the long term.