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The Impact On Digital Marketing That Every Marketer Needs To Know

The 2020 pandemic is having a huge impact on the lives of Australians. From the way we work to the way we shop, people across the country are making significant lifestyle changes.

If you’re looking to make changes to your digital marketing strategy in response to the coronavirus, taking note of the shift in consumer behaviour is a good place to start. 

Shifting consumer behaviours

Online is the new norm

With people encouraged to stay at home, the way we work and play has shifted online in a dramatic fashion. Online tools like Slack and Zoom have seen huge uptake over the past couple of months while entertainment options like streaming services and social media sites are busier than ever before. Screen time has gone up so much, that people are finding that digital marketing strategies have to grow to match demand. 

Although restrictions are easing, people have been forming habits to reduce social outings as much as possible and that means people are shopping online a lot more. Many consumers have their favourite shops and brands, but this pandemic has shown the ‘out of stock’ message more than ever before. In response, customers have been branching out and trying new suppliers rather than waiting for a shop to restock. It’s been a time for businesses to diversify and try new things. 

Long term change

Evolving patterns

While some might argue that these changes are temporary, a survey carried out in March showed that many customers are expecting these changes to be long-term. 

Almost half of those surveyed (43%) said they would continue to shop online more, more than a third (36%) said they were paying more attention to marketing messages and a quarter (25%) were buying noticeably more online. 

How marketers are responding to Covid-19

The coronavirus has made changes to the way people are shopping, consuming information and communicating, so it stands to reason that businesses and marketers are changing the way they sell. 

According to a recent Interactive Advertising Bureau survey, 63% of marketers plan to change their messaging strategy. More marketers also plan to switch to purpose-driven marketing, with 42% planning to increase their mission-based marketing and 41% increasing cause-related marketing. 

46% have adjusted or plan to adjust spending for the rest of the year while nearly a quarter of all respondents have paused all advertising for the first and second quarter. 

Here’s what else research found:

  • Marketers are leaning into marketing automation and UX and some are accelerating activities in those areas. The focus is on making every touchpoint matter.
  • Marketers are shifting spends in line with shifting consumer behavior either scaling up spend in channels that align with behaviours or cutting costs where they are no longer relevant or appropriate.
  • E-commerce advertising is forecasted to grow by 17.7%, and social media spending is expected to rise by 22.2% (according to research from The Drum).
  • Traditional TV ad spend is being impacted due to consumption losses with the suspension of most live sporting events.
  • Traditional out-of-home advertising is expected to take the biggest hit, with an estimated ad spend decline of 51% for March and April and a decline of 41% for May and June. This is due to at-home self-isolation and far fewer people outside to see billboards and digital displays. 
  • People are increasing time spent with social, advanced TV, and gaming for indoor entertainment.
  • Marketers are leaning on digital alternatives to offset event cancellations (such as using Zoom to create digital events).
  • Marketers are focusing more on high traffic channels like Amazon DSP, paid search, and social to follow news and shopping trends.
  • Campaign tracking and measurement, along with KPI expectations are likely to shift away from CPA or ROAS and focus on looking at longer lifetime value or profitability-based metrics.

Marketers are placing an importance on mapping out new customer journeys and refining their user experience.

So, what to do next?

Here are our digital marketing recommendations to create opportunities today: 

  • Check your numbers and make sure you are evaluating all angles of your business health. This includes website traffic and revenue trends to understand the real impacts of Covid-19.
  • Shift your media channel mix in line with shifting media consumption to align with market opportunities.
  • Brands that are driving value are leading the way. As people turn to brands to meet their needs, understanding their shifting needs is of the utmost importance; even if these shifting needs are temporary. If a brand can create opportunities for customers to try new things, they may gain a loyal customer going forward. If you are seeing shifts in purchasing behavior across a different revenue channel, revisit your messaging strategies to focus on online call to action, even if they translate to higher short-term sales.
  • In times such as these, testing and evaluating messaging is crucial. Examine what messaging is receiving positive traction across your paid and organic media and website. Determine lines of profitability in your paid media. If you are observing losses, consider changing your messaging, unless the campaign is focused on maintaining brand equity, as opposed to driving revenue.

Build a marketing strategy that works.

Not sure where to start with marketing campaigns in a post-Covid-19 world? Please speak to us for a free, no-obligation proposal and strategy session.