Data Hub: Coronavirus and Marketing

by MarketingCharts

Let’s be clear from the outset: we’re in the midst of a pandemic, and there are far more important things to be concerned about than marketing statistics. But this is a marketing data site, and to the extent that we continue to function normally (or as close to as possible), let’s take a look at how brands and consumers are dealing with this crisis.

Note that the below is a curated list of data that we’ve gathered in recent days, but with news about the global spread of the coronavirus and its effects on consumers and businesses changing daily, this data will also likely evolve over time. We will do our best to update this page in the coming weeks and months.

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


  • A survey of more than 200 industrial marketers conducted by IEEE GlobalSpec found that, at the time of the survey, more than half (54%) of respondents said that the coronavirus has not impacted their tradeshow plans. (Editor’s note: here’s an example of data that is bound to change over time.) About one-quarter (26% share) of those surveyed said that while the coronavirus had not yet impacted their plans, they were evaluating their options. So, where will the money go for those marketers who say their tradeshow plans have been or will be modified? More than half say they will reinvest their budget that is set aside for tradeshows. Three in 10 (28% share) say they will divert that budget to digital advertising, while others say they will shift that money to content creation (14% share) or to the sales travel budget (13%). Source: IEEE GlobalSpec
  • Conferences represent one of the industries already experiencing reduced Google ad performance, seeing a 33% drop in performance since the end of February. Other industries that have seen ad performance decline include Travel & Tourism, Bars & Restaurants and Live Entertainment, while Nonprofits & Charities, Health & Medical, Business Management and Finance have seen an increase in volume and performance since the outbreak. Source: Wordstream.
  • For many if not most marketers, working from home is likely to become a reality. And, while a survey by Econsultancy found that there are some upsides to working remotely such as increased concentration and efficiency, senior marketers in the US (67%) and UK (71%) believe that creative collaboration suffers when works don’t share a space. Source: Econsultancy.
  • Further data from Econsultancy finds that close 6 in 10 (57%) marketers say they are delaying or reviewing the launches of products or services for the first half of 2020. Source: Econsultancy.
  • The International News Media Association (INMA) reports that almost two-thirds (62%) of its members surveyed have already seen a decrease in advertising, particularly in branded content, travel, events, programmatic and tourism. On the other hand, only 1 respondent (out of 56) said they had seen a decline in reader revenue. Source: INMA.
  • SparkPost reports that in the 30 days from mid-February, email volume in 26 industry sectors analyzed skyrocketed from about 3,600 to more than 40,000, with the average read rate at almost 24%. (We can’t help but wonder what percentage of these are corporate updates on how they are handling the virus?!) Source: SparkPost.
  • How useful are retailer emails explaining what they are doing to protect consumers and employees from the spread of the virus? More than half of US adults find them to be somewhat useful (32%) or very useful (22%). Source: YouGov.
  • eMarketer has revised its estimates for global media ad spending this year. New estimates have media spend totaling $691.7 billion, which is up 7% over 2019 and only a slight downward revision from the previous estimate of a +7.4% rise. Source eMarketer.
  • More than half (54.1%) of professionals who use the professional community app, Fishbowl, believe that the coronavirus will result in company layoffs, with advertising professionals (65.4%) the most afraid of company layoffs. Source: Fishbowl.


  • Only one-quarter of US and UK consumers agree that they are shopping more often online (including groceries and other goods), with Millennials (39%) being the age group most likely to shop more online right now. Source: GlobalWebIndex [pdf].
  • With more people turning to social media to stay connected, Obviously reports that it has seen a 76% uptick in daily accumulated likes on #ad posts on its Instagram campaigns over the 2 weeks of publication. Engagement on TikTok also increased by 27% between February and March. Source: Obviously.
  • When it comes to mentioning coronavirus in ads, two-fifths (42%) of consumers say it is appropriate, with another 44% share saying it’s appropriate depending on the message and/or the brand. Source: Ace Metrix.
  • US consumers are turning to food delivery services and at-home meal services with Uber Eats and Blue Apron both seeing a lift in use among those worried about the coronavirus. Source: YouGov.
  • While Millennials and Baby Boomers are often framed as being in conflict with each other, there’s at least one area they have in common. As the coronavirus crisis continues, more are saying they expect to spend more money on movie and TV streaming. Between Mar 6-9, 14% of Millennials and 13% of Boomers said they expected to spend more money on these services because of the virus. By Mar 13-16, that figure had jumped to 26% and 24% respectively. Source: Morning Consult.
  • It’s not just streaming video consumption that is going up, digital site visits to government sources such as the CDC, NIH and WHO increased 425% between the first week of January to mid-March. Additionally, news site visits increased by 106 million and top retail site (Amazon, Target and Walmart) visits increased by 74 million in that same time period. Source: Comscore.

Article Originally Appeared on Marketing Charts.

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