One-Third of Marketers Plan to Retain COVID-Induced Changes to Their Media Mix

by Marketing Charts

Consumers are spending less this year as a result of the pandemic. And, also as a consequence, some 6 in 10 marketers have seen their budgets cut since the start of the pandemic, with about one-fifth (39%) reporting cuts of more than 25%. Alongside these cuts, a report [download page] from OpenX and The Harris Poll reveals that three-quarters (74%) of marketers have made changes to their strategy because of the pandemic.

Covid Marketing 2020

As consumers spend more time with digital channels such as social media and online video during COVID-19, marketers have followed suit and increased their investment in digital channels. Of the 3 in 4 marketing professionals who claim they have made changes to their marketing strategy because of COVID-19 and intend, more than half (56%) say that they will continue to concentrate on digital channels even after the pandemic is over. Another 46% say they will retain changes to their media mix, while 43% plan to continue to more directly address issues in the news as part of marketing.

Factoring in the percentage of respondents who haven’t made changes as a result of the pandemic, these results suggest that more than 4 in 10 marketers overall responded to the pandemic by concentrating more on digital channels and will retain those changes. Likewise, about one-third responded by altering their media mix and will keep that change.

More than one-quarter (28%) of those who have made changes as a result of COVID-19 say they will continue to spend less money than they did pre-pandemic. However, about one-third (34%) of all 500 respondents surveyed say they expect their 2021 budgets to be larger than pre-COVID-19 budgets.

The final quarter of 2020 is also somewhat promising for marketers. Some 46% overall are planning to add money back into their budget in Q4, with 8 in 10 believing their Q4 budget will be the same as (43%) or more than (37%) it was before COVID-19. This is right on time for the holiday season, where 6 in 10 (58%) consumers surveyed expect to spend the same or more than recent years.

The question looms about what marketers will do if there is a second wave of COVID-19 (editor’s note: the survey was conducted in July) or if there is a prolonged effect of the pandemic. Seven in 10 (71%) reported they would change strategy if this were to occur. Of those, half expected that they would put a strategy in place to facilitate online shopping, while 45% planned to more directly address the pandemic in their marketing.

Article originally appeared on Marketing Charts.

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