Covid 19 has done more damage than any other catastrophe you can name in recent years. It is by nature a health problem, but it brought down every sector you can name– economy, tourism, mental health, finances, and yes even businesses.
In just a couple of months after it was discovered – it shut the world down for a bit and everything had to stop. We wanted to go to the beach, but we can’t, we wanted to party, but it’s not allowed, we wanted to travel but borders were closed and then there’s this need to wear masks and other protective stuff – our “normal” lives stopped in an instant and yes even the digital marketing world has been affected as well.
What we already know
Due to quarantines and social distancing, businesses that involved contact and mass gatherings had to stop. We saw malls closed down, factory productions halted, and other companies had to lay off employees just to continue functioning. The usual local business marketing strategy that peoples use wasn’t as effective anymore.
Non-essential businesses were deeply affected by the lockdowns and border controls at least in some areas. This led to a decrease in employment. Many became jobless as quickly as the virus continued its wrath.
Spending and cost-cutting
Due to the spread of the virus and how it affected almost everything in the world, marketing and advertising budgets needed to be cut to save funds at least until the crisis fades. A lot of business owners would put their workers on unpaid leave or lay them off just to survive.
Per Bloomberg.com, the global economic loss was estimated to reach $2.7 Trillion just for this crisis. This only means that we are looking at major cost-cutting trends around the world. IAB.com also reports that 73% of buyers indicate that Covid 19 will have an effect on the Upfront spend commitments this year, as well as a 20% decrease on the Upfront, spend vs the original plan. We have also seen that spending cuts on traditional media were also worse as compared to their digital counterparts.
Industries that are hit
Not all industries are hit by the effect of COVID. But there are those that are tremendously affected. Here’s the list based on Statista.com.
Retail brands had to close down their physical stores due to lockdowns. For some of the retailers that rely on imports, maintaining supply chain networks have also proven difficult.
A lot of major cities around the globe have ordered restaurants to only serve “to go” options. This is for preventing contact. More than that, global travel bands were also in place. Social distancing was also enforced which affected the maintenance of revenue. Again, layoffs were also common in this industry.
Businesses that were using manual processes also stopped their operations due to restrictions in mass gatherings. Car demands also decreased which meant that auto sales also declined.
One of the effects of the pandemic was pausing the expansion of companies – this was bad news to the construction industry. Delivery of supplies was also affected which resulted in layoffs, especially for small construction companies.
Even the tech industry wasn’t spared by the effects of Covid 19. The only good thing about this is that it’s most likely one of the first ones to recover quickly. The tech market decline was estimated to be at 20% due to the restrictions on imports. The SaaS and cloud services have also been affected but not directly but it’s more on the decrease in spending.
Changes in AD spending
Ad spending is one of the areas of businesses that were affected by the pandemic. This is both in the real world and digital marketing. Per nytimes.com, digital ad spending has decreased by 38% while at the same time decreases were noted on TV at 41%, Radio at 45%, publications at 43%, and billboards at 51%. This is due again due to spending and cost-cutting. The only channel that has retained most budgets and even receive new money would be the paid search ads per spiralytics.com.
Online activity increased
This is actually expected. Due to major lockdowns and quarantine periods, a lot of people or consumers don’t need to get out of their houses. Therefore, online traffic has increased in certain ways more than the others.
Tom Leighton, CEO of Akamai, a content-delivery, and cybersecurity giant reported that they had a significant increase in their traffic at about 50% more than what they usually have on a daily basis. This only proves that internet usage has increased more than ever before. A lot of e-commerce websites have also experienced these increases due to a boost in online shopping.
One of the effects of the pandemic is that a lot of businesses went back to their drawing boards. They re-evaluated, re-designed, and renewed their global or even local business marketing strategy. Most brands, to react to this crisis have identified and pursued opportunities in the online world. In a not-so-recent study but a valuable one, 61% of marketers were reworking their short-term strategies while 9% of them worked on changing their long-term goals.
This goes to show that while immediate changes were needed to compensate for the effects of pandemic. The long-term strategies remain unchanged. Therefore, long-term activities to maintain online presence like content marketing and SEO are still in.
Where do we stand?
To be honest – there’s no saying when this crisis will finally end. With this reality, businesses global or local, real-world or online will really struggle just to compensate for the losses and even prepare for the future. However, there are still opportunities to maximize your businesses through increasing your online presence – at least this will keep things running until the situation becomes stabilized.
Here are a few takeaways for this:
Be Empathetic – change your message to deal with what people need – it’s a time of uncertainty so a connection with your prospective clients is a must.
Focus on Digital Marketing – This is the safest place to be at least for now. Maintaining your online presence through powerful content marketing strategies, SEO and other activities will result to higher traffic and hopefully conversions.
Re-think Traditional Methods – These are new times so traditional methods might not work. It’s better to check which ones are good and which ones should be removed. Re-evaluate your methods and change gears to a better and effective one.
Growth Opportunities – Be alert to what is happening. Take every opportunity. If your competitor gives up on something – make a way to take it over. Every opportunity counts so jump into it with caution of course.
Covid 19 brought about a lot of changes, and we are not sure when this struggle will end. But we have proven to be adaptable and have survived the tests so there’s no way these situations will last forever. What’s important is we take on the best actions.