The pandemic has redefined normal for the world. Even as the world is grappling to adapt to the new normal, businesses are finding the situation chaotic and uncertain. A more immediate crisis for many business owners is to ensure that their business stays afloat.
A strategy that many businesses are employing to stay afloat is to cut down advertising expenditure, including their digital marketing spend. Research shows that advertising spend decreased by 25% in 2020.
Given this development, will digital advertising continue to wield its power or will it lose its earlier magic?
Here are some fact-based insights regarding digital marketing that businesses may find critical when making decisions on advertising expenditure:
Digital Marketing Is Still Valuable
Letting go of marketing altogether during the pandemic is not advisable, says Forrester study. The study reiterates the importance of revising products, their prices, and the way they are positioned, in accordance with the current pandemic-influenced customer demands.
It is equally important that businesses do not stop marketing. Doing so may seem to be a cost-saving strategy in the short run. But in the long run, such businesses will find it extremely difficult to recover. Businesses need to keep marketing their products or services to increase their chances of surviving the economic downturn.
When McGraw-Hill Research studied the 1981 and 1982 recession, they found that businesses that undertook aggressive marketing experienced sales that were 256% higher than businesses that stopped marketing. The study also draws the focus of marketers to the decline in offline media consumption. Marketers are keener on spending on advertising that reaches their customers who are now restricted indoors as a result of the pandemic.
As a result, money is not being spent on outdoor advertising where it earlier used to grab the attention of commuters and business travelers. The focus is now on online avenues that make it easier to reach consumers.
If you already have a digital strategy for marketing in place, then it would be reasonable to revise it to suit consumer needs during the pandemic than to scrape it off. With COVID-19 limiting consumers indoors, approaches such as social media marketing can bring your brand closer to your customers.
The Rise in Online Consumption Increases the Need for Digital Advertising
The pandemic has compelled consumers to rely on their digital devices more than ever before. Limited to indoors, people are using their digital devices for pandemic updates, entertainment, education, and shopping.
Nielsen advises marketers to tune into this highly-engaged online population as a measure to counter their shrinking business margins. Nielsen also draws marketers’ focus to shrinking CPM (Cost Per Mille) costs globally due to the pandemic. CPM is the price that marketers have to pay for 1, 000 impressions of their ad on a single web page. The reduced CPM has drawn the interest of small and medium businesses. They are investing in these ads to reach a larger audience.
With CPM being low, this is an opportune time for marketers to consider investing in new forms of digital advertising methods. Such advertising can help marketers bring new customers into their fold.
Changing Consumer Behavior Heightens Relevance of Digital Ads
According to a study from Accenture, pandemic-influenced consumer behaviors show that consumers are more eager to buy local and more cost-effective products. They also prefer digital shopping platforms over brick and mortar stores. These new behaviors are most likely to continue even after the pandemic.
As marketers, you want your brand to be on the most visible spots, which is what digital avenues are turning out to be. While the pandemic may have prevented people from going out, they are still connected to the world through online channels. This makes digital marketing an effective tool to reach out to consumers.
A significant pandemic-driven digital marketing trend is social commerce. Advertisers can leverage this crisis to drive sales to their online business. 36% of consumers using the internet in the U.S. say that they rely on social networks to make product choices. This is a trend that is likely to continue, which is why marketers need to seize the opportunity. Well-planned digital marketing strategies can help businesses make the best use of the situation.
A point of significance is that online marketing does not require whopping budgets. Advertising avenues such as cost-per-click adverts on Facebook cost less than a dollar. The low cost gives marketers a great opportunity to experiment with different advertising methods and choose those that best suit their business objectives and customer needs.
The digital platform continues to be one of the most efficient channels for advertising, and more so during the pandemic. Businesses need to reconsider investing in digital marketing.
Allocating budgets for digital ads can be a challenging decision for many businesses during these times, especially when they are trying to survive. But they can benefit from the rise in digital media consumption during the pandemic.
When it comes to successful advertising, the secret is to understand your customers’ problems and address them. At Eight Media, we realize what makes an advert truly speak to your customers and get them to act. We have been helping entrepreneurs across the country with our data-based digital marketing solutions for many years now.
Whether you are seeking to revise your marketing plans or are looking to make a digital transformation to meet pandemic and post-COVID-19 challenges, we are here to help. Get in touch with us today.