The coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by storm, and saying we were unprepared would be an understatement. With most of the world under lockdown for well over a month now, the global economy has been bleeding profusely, and there are still no signs of that stopping. An economic crisis might seem inevitable, but does that mean businesses should cut costs, lay off workers, and pray that they manage to weather the crisis and avoid bankruptcy? Or should they perhaps funnel their assets elsewhere? Is marketing still a worthwhile investment during this pandemic?
Well, there is no single correct answer to these questions, but there are multiple things to consider beforehand:
If the answer to these questions is positive, then you should probably consider increasing your marketing budget, rather than cutting it. On the other hand, if the answer is negative, you’re better off cutting your marketing budget and investing elsewhere. So let us guide you through our thoughts on how you should adapt your marketing budget during the corona crisis in more detail.
Since most of the world is practicing self-isolation, the only way most businesses can reach their audiences nowadays is online. It comes as no surprise that internet usage all across the globe has skyrocketed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. But is merely shifting your focus to digital marketing all that it takes? Well, not exactly.
You have to learn to adapt to your new type of customer for this strategy to work, and many businesses will struggle with that — particularly those new to the online marketing world. But why is this aspect so crucial?
It is simple — the online media and digital advertising realm are worlds apart from traditional media and propaganda. It has a much broader reach, it functions on entirely different principles, and it has different types of customers. Essentially, they are on two opposite sides of the marketing spectrum. And the diverse customer base, in particular, is the primary reason many businesses without expert digital marketing guidance fail. So if you don’t prepare your digital marketing campaign adequately, your efforts will be doomed from the get-go.
Aside from that, you also have to keep in mind whether the industry you operate in can compensate for the loss of physical sales or services via digital ones. Here’s what we mean by that…
According to data disclosed by Neil Patel, there has been significant growth in website traffic for particular industries — media, food, healthcare, and finance in particular. However, most others saw a substantial decrease in online traffic. That decrease in visitor rates has directly affected the conversion rates as well, everywhere except in the food, healthcare, pharma, and media industries. Here are examples of the industries that were most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic:
|Positively Impacted||Negatively Impacted|
Online delivery services
Online streaming and entertainment
Video conferencing software
|Travel and hospitality|
Public gatherings, events, conferences
But what does all this mean? Well, it implies your business will find success in the digital landscape, primarily if it’s part of these thriving industries. If not, the change in marketing methods won’t do much for you, so you’d likely be better off cutting costs to ride out the storm.
69% of marketers indeed stated they’d be reducing their ad spendings in 2020, but proactivity has become more vital than ever. Some would argue this time is perfect for attracting a new audience. After all, so many people are at their homes on their phones and PCs, so it’s bound to work, right? Well, that’s debatable. Namely, overzealous advertising in this time of already tight budgets could drain your company’s funds at an astonishing pace. So what should you do?
Well, first of all, let’s begin by saying that, according to Match2One, the prices of CPC and CPM have dropped by 47% in the last few months. That means such advertising is particularly affordable right now since so many businesses have backed out of it. And people are doing it; you can bet on that. As many as 41% of companies announced they would increase their marketing efforts during these times! So, as you can see, this opportunity is perfect for getting your brand name out there, but you still have to balance your budget so as not to overspend. That would be a surefire way toward bankruptcy.
Overall, no one can decide that but you. However, what we can do is give you a few more pointers and ideas on how to determine what’s best for your business. Many marketing professionals have differing opinions on this topic, some believing this is the best time to invest in online advertising, while others advise cutting costs. Here’s what we think are the most vital factors to consider when coming to a decision:
If you are, for example, the unfortunate member of the hospitality or travel industries, there’s sadly nothing you can do but wait for the worldwide lockdown to be lifted. In that case, you should save as much as possible and be exceptionally thrifty when it comes to all expenses.
If, on the other hand, you’re part of the medical or online entertainment industries, you should take advantage of this opportunity to thrive by increasing your marketing budget. But make sure you don’t exploit this unfortunate situation in any way — such a course of action could not only destroy your company’s reputation but might even have legal repercussions.
No matter how much you can potentially earn from increasing your marketing budget during the corona crisis, you must be able to afford it. And by that, we don’t mean recklessly splurge all your saved-up business funds. The rule of thumb would be that you could afford to lose your investment and still be OK. Yeah, we know that’s unlikely, taking into account the circumstances, but if nothing else, make sure you have a plan B in store if your investment backfires.
Before we wrap up, we decided to throw in a few tips. We hope these will help you with creating your content marketing strategy in these times of self-isolation.
We hope this article helps you come to the right decision regarding your marketing budget during the corona crisis. Good luck out there, and stay safe!