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The effect of the Corona-virus lockdown on marketing - 4 June 2020

| Written by Martin

The effects of the Corona-virus lockdown on marketing

It goes without saying that the Covid-19 lockdown has impacted all business: some industries are booming, such as those within the home and garden improvements sector, but for many businesses, the lockdown has brought on hardships.

Marketing publisher Econsultancy recently conducted a survey on marketing professionals around the impact that the coronavirus has had on their businesses and ways of working. We took part in this survey, along with over 5,000 others. 

The survey was conducted at three stages of the lockdown, in order to track the trends.

From that survey, here are the key outtakes around what has happened and what is currently happening in the marketing world:

How productivity has been affected

60% of those surveyed said they had disruptions to productivity at the start of the lockdown due to working remotely, adjusting to new processes and travel restrictions. However, a month later, disruption has decreased as people started to adjust — but it does still remains a major issue for half of those surveyed.

 

Lower demand for services

As the lockdown continued, demand for products and services has dropped significantly, with 68% of respondents indicating lowered demand since April. Of those who were asked, 20% said demand has reduced over 50%

 

Employee morale

Concerns over employee morale are high and on the rise. Long-term furlough, the uncertainty of job security and the effects of social distancing are certainly impacting morale.

 

Marketing budgets

72% of respondents have reported that marketing budgets have reduced. Offline marketing (out of home, TV, radio, direct mail, etc.) has seen the largest cuts. Digital marketing is a bit of a mixed bag, seeing cuts and increases in similar amounts.

There has been a lot of growth in online activity since lockdown started, with large increases in ecommerce, online learning, entertainment, SAS (software as a service). Why, then, are so many cutting their budgets and so few embracing the change? Well, it won’t come at a big surprise that many businesses are simply in survival mode and while there may be the demand online, they simply don’t have the resources to invest.

That said, 55% say their finance team would listen to an investment plan for marketing.

 

Strategy and planning

Despite marketing budgets being slashed, 59% of respondents have said that budgets for strategic initiatives are being maintained or increased, suggesting that many businesses are investing in adapting to the new climate as well as their transition to a more digitally-focused future. By the way, this is something that Wrapped specialises in, so do get in touch if you need help initiating this yourself.

Customer journeys

89% of respondents said that customer journeys have changed. For 62% of respondents, these changes have been significant or even radical. However, businesses are for the most part managing to adapt with most saying that they have learnt a lot about their customer journeys..

This strongly suggests that the online space is going to become even more competitive, even after bricks and mortar business re-awakens.

New innovations

Respondents have reported that many of the new innovations made to products and services, marketing and branding and ways of working will continue after the pandemic is over.

Employment

We are all aware that much of the workforce is furloughed and that redundancies are unfortunately too common, so it is especially scary to hear that 83% of respondents say that budgets for new hires have been reduced.

A changed world

The general consensus is that the world has changed and “‘business as usual” will not be the same when we reach the other side of this crisis. Because the lockdown has gone on for months, with restrictions looking to be in place for many months to come, people’s behaviours and expectations have changed. 

Offline processes can be adapted to online, from a process of working through to the way that we order food from our local deli. Working from home is achievable for many, meaning potential flexibility of hours.

Who knows what will happen to the high street: it could continue the trending decline it has suffered over the past decade or it could see a resurgence if four-day weeks become the norm and people have more free time to physically go out.

One thing for sure is there are going to be many new innovations and ways of life that come out of this; hopefully for the better. I, for one, hope that physical money will be retired as it becomes less and less used. 

Do drop us an email and tell us what you think or if you need any help reaching your customers, wherever they may be.

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