The Impact Of COVID-19 On The Digital Marketing And Advertising Industry

Advertising spending was already on a shrinking trend, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past decade, more and more people have shifted from offline to online. Brands and marketers have also followed the trend by increasing their digital marketing expenditure to meet their core target consumers in their favourite media. This article takes a closer look into the post-pandemic real-world metrics, in order to offer savvy marketers actionable tips and insight on the evolution of this dynamic industry.

How Did The Lockdown Influence Advertising Spending?

Here’s the ad spending data:

According to a study by eMarketer, dating back from February 2019, online advertising expenditure has exceeded global offline ad spend for the first time in the history of advertising, currently accounting for half of all ad spend. The same study forecast that no later than 2023 the global ad spend value will account for about 60-70% of total global media expenditure. We are talking about a market worth more than 300 billion US dollars. Taking into account that by the beginning of the 21st Century digital ad spend accounted for a measly 3% of global ad expenditure, it’s easy to see how steep this growth has been. Furthermore, the effects of COVID-19 can only speed up and amplify this already steep curve.

World Advertising Research Centre (WARC) has released a study that showcases the advertising expenditure split across all media before and after the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Jo Coombes of Publicis, the pandemics have accelerated digital transformation to an extent never seen before.

The lockdowns have changed consumer behaviour in a steady and permanent manner. Marketers have witnessed a rapid change in their customers’ preferences and behaviours.

The Changing Audience And The New Consumer Profile

To state the obvious, the shift of focus towards the digital environment has triggered a surge in online content consumption. All platforms offering this type of content have seen themselves forced to develop to keep up with this tremendous growth in consumer demand. Both the consumer profile and the consumer demand have changed, and therefore pre-pandemic forecasts are now obsolete. Nobody could ever expect this global shift in behaviour at all levels of the community. You will find agencies across different fields of digital marketing these include Seo, social media, content marketing etc. For users looking for a social media agency then see here.

While it isn’t unusual for innovators and trend-setters to embrace new media and digital platforms, the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown of 2020 has determined even sworn traditionalists to rethink their strategies and to make the shift towards digital media. The alternative was to disappear. Even basic needs such as grocery shopping have shifted to digital during 2020. Also, entertainment, keeping in touch with friends and family, and the acquisition of information have become a matter of using digital media. Before 2020, very few would have thought to buy their groceries online. Today, this is already a common thing to do. The lockdown has resulted in a steep increase in the size, availability and profile of the digital media audience, as even traditional people have had to use the online environment to access things that they were used to get offline. Furthermore, this has lead to a shift in their expectations, behaviours and content consumption habits.

A Kantar survey that included over 35,000 subjects showed that only 8% of them felt advertising was no longer needed during the COVID-19 pandemic. A whopping 74% considered marketers should avoid taking advantage of this situation. Moreover, 78% of them considered that marketers had a responsibility to help them in their daily activities. About 75% of them wanted communication from their favourite brands in regard to their current activities. It has come as a surprise that only 30% of all subjects considered that brands should be offering promotional discounts and only 19% of them thought that brands should improve their efforts to cater to customers by addressing their queries in a more efficient manner.