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47 (142) 2021
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Looking beyond Brexit - inward investment to Poland

Communication and business development during the new normal

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By Kazimierz Piekarz, Binaria Upgrade Marketing

"May you live in interesting times", the Chinese say, and that phrase is proving to be right, as from China has come a virus that’s changing the face of the world. A world used to continuously growing GDPs, ever-higher consumption and better wages, has had to hold its breath in the face of uncertainty.

In the global battle against the virus, one piece of positive news is the post-Brexit trade agreement between the UK and EU. The agreement has ensured that from the beginning of 2021, there would be no duties imposed to drastically reduce the exchange of goods between the parties.

This bright side of Brexit may be the foundation for a new opening in British-Polish economic relations.

According to OECD expert Angel Gurria: "Poland will probably come out of the Covid-19 crisis less affected than many other countries, thanks to the strength of its economy".

According to latest forecasts of the European Commission, Poland’s economy has begun to bounce back from the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Real GDP was forecast to decline in 2020 by 3.6% only – one of the lowest falls in the EU and in coming years GDP growth is projected to rebound – by 3.3% in 2021 and strengthen slightly in 2022 to 3.5%, as economic activity slowly returns to potential.


 source: European Commission, European Economic Forecast, Autumn 2020

Private consumption, one of the three pillars of Poland’s growth along with manufacturing and infrastructure investment, is expected to grow by 4.3% in 2021 and 4.0% in 2022.

Here are five important facts about Poland – Central and Eastern Europe’s largest market:

1)    Over 38 million inhabitants – over a third of the CEE region's population

2)    The largest economy – 37% of CEE GDP

3)    Before Covid-19, the Polish economy had been growing continuously for 28 years in a row (1992-2019) and this year it will probably return to the growth path at a rate of 3-4%.

4)    TV and internet account for 80% of spending on media, mobile devices generate 80% of web traffic

5)    Internet ads are blocked by 42% of users

Some say that everything we do comes down to communications, this applies to business too.
In times of great uncertainty in which we live – with the coronavirus pandemic overlapping rushing technological changes and fake news – interpersonal communications, meaning the two-way messaging between people, companies and brands using an almost infinite number of means, are gaining in importance. Their role in building consumers’ trust in companies, brands and services is more vital than it has been so far.

The best way to be credible and persuasive in today's communications environment is to have clearly defined values, by which an organisation lives, and to share content that expresses those values in a human and engaging way.

Introducing brands onto the Polish market is one of the areas of our expertise. Our original method for reliable and engaging communication, which has worked well before and continues to work effectively during the pandemic, is SOCOMOPR. It is a communication strategy based on four pillars: social media, content marketing, mobile marketing and public relations. The strategy has been successfully tested in communication with demanding users that are not easily influenced by advertisements, for example in a global promotional campaign for an IT software producer or in the regulated industry of law, with the launch of a new brand on the Polish market, about which I wrote in an earlier issue of the Contact Magazine Online.

Another proof of the efficacy of our approach in the practice can be found in the introduction and promotion of the British lamb on the Polish market. We started with market research, identification of the potential and developed the best targeting strategies.

In response to the needs of the moment, at the end of last year, we launched the #WybieramRestauracje (#ChooseRestaurants) educational and promotional programme which aims at supporting Polish restaurants during the pandemic by encouraging consumers to return to dining in the restaurants or to order take-away meals in case they are closed. All with British lamb in the background.

In the last quarter of the previous year we also ran campaigns promoting the sale of British lamb in Biedronka and Makro stores (over 1,200 locations throughout Poland).

In order to reach carefully selected representatives of the target groups interested in culinary topics with our messages, we used behavioural profiles and precise geographic targeting based on GPS in mobile applications together with monitoring the visits of mobile device users to brick-and-mortar stores.
In our own and partners' social media channels on Facebook and YouTube there were published posts inviting to taste the meat, while video tutorials presented tips on how to prepare tasty British lamb dishes.

Kevin Aiston, chef and celebrity, encourages Poles to buy British lamb for Christmas

Communication outputs – measured by KPIs such as the number of views, the number of interactions or the average percentage of a video viewed, and a synthetic measure – the ratio of the number of clicks to the number of visits to brick-and-mortar stores; in our case the ratio of 1:1.8 means that one contact with promotional contents converted into almost two visits to a retail outlet; and above all – a sales volume of meat are so promising that the client is ready not only to continue these activities but to expand them significantly this year.

Our cooperation with AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) has been in place for several years. We also have extensive experience in serving companies of all sizes in the TMT, automotive, food and drink, pharmaceutical or financial sectors. Our team's portfolio includes global and local brands such as Coca-Cola, Eli Lilly, Goodyear, Citi Handlowy, Link 4, Radio ZET and publishing house Blue Butterfly Editions. We have a professional film studio in which promotional, instructional or even feature films are made.

To communicate or not to communicate during the new normal? That is the question!

Certainly communicate, but through the channels that are the most efficient – both in ordinary and in uncertain times.

Sources:
1)-3) //data.oecd.org/poland.htm;
own elaborations based on the latest OECD data excluding Albania;
4) //www.statista.com/statistics/491822/poland-advertising-spend-by-medium/;
own estimates based on StatCounter data for 2018;
5) "The phenomenon of adblocking"; IAB Polska, November 2018;

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