Data Hub: Coronavirus and Marketing

by Marketing Charts

Let’s take an updated look at how marketers and consumers are dealing with this crisis. The below is a curated list of data that we’ve gathered in recent weeks, but with news about the global spread of the coronavirus and its effects on consumers and businesses changing daily, this data will continue to evolve over time.

coronavirus marketing

Stay safe out there readers, and please respect all local rules and regulations.

New Research

There has been a clear shift towards digital advertising during the COVID-19 pandemic, and regional and local advertisers in the US are following suit, with the majority planning to use digital channels for their advertising in the second half of 2020, per a recent report [download page] from Advertiser Perceptions.

Regional and local advertising accounts for more than one-third (36%) of US ad spending, according to the report. Of the 150 marketers and agencies surveyed in mid-June who were budgeting for regional/local advertising in the second half of the year, an equal percentage said they would be using paid social (75%) and display (75%) for those efforts. Seven in 10 will also be using paid search, while almost two-thirds (64%) intend to invest in digital video.

On the other hand, fewer regional advertisers plan to use traditional channels such as broadcast linear TV (46%), cable linear TV (46%) and terrestrial radio (38%).

While this is similar to global ad spending trends, regional advertisers’ reliance on digital advertising channels during this time is likely a response to the uncertainty and differing circumstances across regions and localities. Advertising on digital channels likely affords regional advertisers the flexibility and nimbleness in messaging to respond to a constantly evolving situation.

Now, let’s have a look at some of the data that has come in since the last update:


  • Social media budgets accounted for almost one-quarter (23.2% share) of total US marketing budgets in June, up from 13.3% in February, with CMOs prioritizing the use of social media to build their brand and retain customers. Read more here.
  • Topping the list of Unruly’s Global Chart of Most Emotionally Engaging Coronavirus Campaigns is Japan’s “Thank You” from Google, followed by the Singapore government’s “Together, We Can” and Australia Tourism’s “With Love From Aus.” Google’s “Thank You Healthcare Workers” campaign was the only US advertisement to make the top 10. Source: Unruly.
  • Small businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, with 8 in 10 small business owners reporting that it has had a negative impact on their business. That said, all of those small business owners surveyed say they have used the time to build their business, with 76% saying they have upskilled in areas such as SEO, social media and data analytics. Source:
  • Many marketers have used this time to try new marketing technology and features, with at least half investing in technologies such as site/mobile chat (56%), mobile app functionality (55%), email (51%) and video (50%). Read more here.
  • Data provided by SEMrush shows that global search advertising campaigns on Google Ads across all but one of the industries analyzed declined y-o-y in June 2020, with Travel (-75%), Arts & Entertainment (-44%) and Law & Government (-23%) seeing the biggest dips. The Health industry was the only industry that experienced gains during June, up 21% year-over-year. Source: SEMrush.
  • A June survey from the Conference for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) found that 72% of B2B event organizers had cancelled at least one exhibition, compared to 62% who said the same in April. Read more here.
  • Another example of the effects the coronavirus has had on live events: nearly 6 in 10 (58%) esports companies report that COVID-19’s impact on live tournaments and events is one of the most important issues impacting the esports industry right now. Read more here.
  • As a result of the pandemic, 7 in 10 (69%) CMOs have asked their employees to get active online in order to promote the company and what it has to offer. Read more here.


  • In light of restrictions and quarantine measures hindering travel in the US, many Americans appear to be embracing the great outdoors. Recent data from Comscore shows that weekly visits to Sports & Outdoor retail sites saw considerable y-o-y growth in April (71%) and May (86%). Source: Comscore.
  • Although the pandemic has led to a great deal of uncertainty, consumers are still shopping, and advertising is still a driver in purchase decisions. More than one-third (36%) of US consumers surveyed report they have made an impulse buy based on an ad since the start of the pandemic. Advertising isn’t the only driver – they still like a good deal, with some 76% reporting that they have discovered new products based on deals they have received from brands. Source: Valassis.
  • During the pandemic, more than half (53%) of American consumers say they have purchased brands they would not normally purchase. But that’s not to say that this behavior will stick post-COVID-19, with about three-quarters (77%) claiming they will return to their favorite brands at that time. Source: MRI-Simmons.
  • Media & Entertainment brands have driven offline conversations since the pandemic began. Indeed, Engagement Labs’ data finds that in the 12 weeks ending July 12, 2020, Netflix saw a striking 75% y-o-y growth in real-life conversations. Amazon, Disney+, CNN, Hulu and Amazon Prime also topped the list of offline conversations. Source: Engagement Labs.
  • Looking ahead, many US adults say they will spend less time watching pay-TV programs (41%) after COVID-19. That said, pluralities believe their consumption of pay-TV programs (44%) and watching movies (53%) or series (54%) on streaming services will remain the same even after the pandemic has passed. Source: Ipsos.
  • US kids (ages 4-15) are spending an average of 95 minutes per day with TikTok since the beginning of the pandemic, compared to the 82 minutes spent with the app in February 2020. Read more here.

Interested in learning how V12’s marketing and technology solutions can help you thrive during COVID-19? Click here to learn more.

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