Ronak Kothari is the founder of RONKOT, a full-service digital marketing agency.
Marketing has traditionally been one of the first departments or budget line items up against the wall when it comes to restructuring funding at any organization. Surprisingly,recent surveys indicate marketing has seen a redistribution of spending as opposed to job cuts despite the COVID-19 crisis.
There is a new twist compared to major economic crises of the past however: brands are doubling down on digital marketing with fairly significant success. What are marketers doing to preserve their business and even grow during these unprecedented times? Here’s an overview of what they had to say:
Spending is Shifting From SEO to PPC Content
To guard against online sales losses, roughly 63 percent of respondents indicated their marketing budget was shifting from SEO to contextual advertising options like pay-per-click. Many in the industry speculate this change is intended to minimize the impact of quarantine on performance benchmarks like conversion rates and total sales numbers. Brands are spending more on digital marketing due to its superior reach during lockdowns and quarantine, and to date, it has proven to be quite effective at both retaining customers and earning better ROI.
Working From Home is a Game-Changer
Digital marketing requires only an internet connection and a way to recharge your mobile device or laptop. Working from home has been a natural transition for the many graphic designers, web developers and other marketing specialists in the industry. Cutting costs at the brick-and-mortar facility is easier and more sustainable compared to cutting jobs, especially in the long term. Agile brands have been able to continue their efforts safely without any major bottlenecks or general slowdown.
Customer Churn and Sales are Driving Changes
The economic impact of the pandemic has forced many businesses to close their doors for good. It’s not pretty, but it’s the truth. Businesses and many consumers have less to spend on products and services, and that ripple effect extends to many service industries, too.
Roughly a quarter of survey respondents have responded that sales experienced negligible changes during the pandemic, while others stated a significant drop. Responses vary significantly between industries, and it is probable these discrepancies are due to the nature of each industry and not an overall economic trend.
Digital marketing leads the way for every industry right now since it allows for a leaner operation. Coming out of this crisis on tope means higher ROI that helps sales and marketing teams meet and exceed goals even during an economic downturn.
Almost every agency surveyed indicated they have instituted some type of anti-crisis plan to help their clients maintain their marketing efforts and reduce churn. For example, discounts on services, anti-crisis deals for new customers, offering certain products or services for free, and adapting product service offerings to local currencies have all demonstrated measured success in about 20 percent of responses. All in all, every industry and brand is currently fighting to stay competitive and relevant even during times of economic downturn. Earnings are low, fewer people have jobs and many people are struggling to make ends meet. Smarter, client-focused digital marketing that connects brands with people who need their goods and services is going to be what helps everyone through this crisis. Now is the time to lead with better digital marketing and pave the way to success despite the COVID-19 pandemic.