The Impact of Covid-19 on Marketing and the Best Ways to Deal with It

What is the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on marketing, and what are the best ways to deal with these newfound challenges and sustain your business? Read on to learn the best possible ways to sustain your business and build strong communities during these troubled times.

Covid-19 Accelerates Online-Offline Retail Convergence

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the offline-to-online convergence in retail, leading to a huge shift in the way people shop over a short period of time. Shelter-in-place orders have forced shoppers to purchase the majority of their goods online, and it’s made retailers rethink the way they’ll operate in the post-pandemic world.

Big0-box retailers have beefed up their ecommerce divisions, and we’ve seen dozens of major chains with new curbside pickup options. Some types of retail environments have done better than others. Hardware stores, like Home Depot and Lowe’s, have found themselves categorized as “essential” businesses, and they’ve been able to remain open in many areas with little adaptation necessary. The transition has been harder for retailers in high-touch categories, like clothing, and for those independent operators that didn’t have websites with ecommerce capabilities in place before the pandemic began.

What Comes Next For Businesses After Covid-19 Shutdowns?

As states around the country begin to reopen their economies, local businesses are looking anywhere they can for guidance. County health departments are issuing advisories about proper social distancing and sanitation practices, but what about the technology upgrades businesses might need when they reopen after their pandemic shutdowns? How might business contend with changes in optimal inventory levels if shoppers continue to buy in bulk?

Advertising Rebound: CPMs Tell Us Now is the Time to Take the Ball and Run

While some countries are slowly easing their lockdown mandates, for many, uncertainty still remains for when business will return to “normal.” And a big question hovers: “When is the right time to take our foot off the break and apply the gas?” When you look at advertising costs as an indicator of economic recovery, it’s clear that now is the time, and social advertising is the vehicle. 

How Brick-and-Mortars Move Forward

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed brick-and-mortar business, possibly forever. Peter Paine, former eBay and Walmart executive and now head of retail partnerships in the Americas for Cover Genius, checked in with Street Fight to share the strategies physical businesses large and small should prioritize to prepare for the near- and long-term future.

Playing the Long-Game with Today’s Low CPMs

As companies try to strike the right advertising tone given the global pandemic, it is apparent consumers are getting hit with the same messaging over and over — albeit from completely different brands: ‘Now more than ever’… ‘In these uncertain times’…. ‘The safety and comfort of home’… ‘We’re here to help’… ‘We’ll get through this together’… 

It seems the same playbook for how to engage customers during this time leaked to every team. So how can brands break away from the ‘hipster conundrum’ (trying to be genuine and unique while everyone else floods the market with the same message and approach)? 

Affiliate Marketing Strategies to Help You Through Covid-19

In the affiliate marketing ecosystem, brands partner with bloggers, influencers, publishers, even other brands to promote their products or services. By only paying for sales, leads, or new customers that their partners deliver, affiliate marketing allows brands to efficiently scale while optimizing their return on ad spend and cost per action (CPA).

Brands with creative and agile affiliate programs are the ones who will have loyal customers and partners long after this global crisis is over. With that in mind, here are some ways brands are adjusting their affiliate marketing strategies in the time of Covid-19.

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As States Reopen, Conversion Patterns Point to Early Programmatic Recovery

The data that Goodway Group uncovered suggests that some marketers have begun to increase spend and re-enter the programmatic marketplace. Additionally, when looking at the regional level, the Goodway Group’s Benjamin Diesbach and his team are seeing that CPMs in many of the hardest-hit states have bottomed out, and they are starting to move closer to previous levels.

The impact on certain states reopening is still being felt, and while medium-to-longer-term dynamics remain volatile, Diesbach is seeing early short-term signs of programmatic marketplace recovery.

Adapting to Covid-19 Using Location Data

My personal experience getting sick during the pandemic also got me thinking about how easy it is to spread the virus just by moving around and how important it is to abide by government guidance to stay at home or at least limit your movements. As someone who works in the location data industry, I have an appreciation for the mass movement of people, and staying at home and limiting contact with other people is the right thing to do right now.

I also had the chance to think about how location data could be used to help hospitals, governments, and businesses combat the spread of the virus. 

6 Live Streaming Platforms for Gyms and Fitness Studios

The fitness industry has changed overnight as Covid-19 forces gyms across the country to close their doors. While gym owners wait for the go-ahead to reopen their businesses to the public, many are moving their classes online as a way to generate revenue during the pandemic.

Local fitness studios seem to be having the most success utilizing online platforms designed specifically for their needs. Technology companies offering fitness management software and live streaming tools have stepped up to the plate with tailored offerings for fitness studios and gyms, and some are even finding ways to work together with Zoom, YouTube Live, and other popular video services.

Here are six options that are worth checking out.

Beyond Store Visits: Better Objectives for Current Times

A more adaptive framework that allows campaigns to still operate with the hyper-locality of a Store Visits Objective campaign, but without the specific objective requirements, is timely and ideal for maintaining strategic flexibility. This framework can actually be replicated with other objectives, such as Conversions, Lead Generation, Video Views, or even Website Traffic, especially with specialized tools.

Developing campaigns across other objectives that utilize local pages and localized copy still provides the same local performance benefits as an SVO campaign, as well as the attribution models to ensure you can still prove ROAS. 

Amid Coronavirus, Are the Fraudsters Also Staying Home?

To date, the app industry has said little about the effects of coronavirus on fraud. With self-isolation enforced globally, and workers now adapting to the new world of working from home, we investigated whether the rate of ad fraud (and by proxy, the output of fraudsters) had been disrupted. Or are fraudsters themselves in the line of fire as they continue to operate both above the law and in close proximity with each other?

Rely on Empathy to Stop Second-Guessing Your Covid-19 Marketing Strategy

We have to recognize that — just like us — our customers are in a heightened state of stress and sensitivity. They’re likely to remember brands that get their messaging very wrong or very right during this historic period, and no one wants to be among the former. But we also have to remember that empathy in the face of daunting challenges is a proven business strategy — brands that deliver humanized experiences are twice as likely to outperform their competitor’s revenue growth.

AARP Launches Platform Empowering Neighbors to Assist Each Other during Pandemic

Built by the team at AARP Innovation Labs over the course of just a few weeks, the Community Connections mutual aid aggregation platform gives volunteers and people in need a place to connect. It features a searchable directory of local mutual aid organizations, which are typically informal groups that provide key daily services, such as picking up groceries and delivering medications to people who are at high risk for contracting Covid-19. People can access the platform to find volunteer groups nearby, with links to those groups’ websites and locator maps.

Pop-Up Distribution Centers Overcome Last-Mile Delivery Challenges during Covid-19

Ecommerce has suddenly become the primary sales channel as a result of Covid-19, and retailers are having to find creative solutions to meet consumer demand for both essential and non-essential goods. With Amazon announcing delays in shipments of non-essential goods in the US and limits on the quantity of goods retailers can ship, the task of getting products to end users becomes even more difficult.

Supply chain issues also resulting from Covid-19 complicate things further, but merchants are still tasked with fulfilling orders on time. This means looking into non-traditional fulfillment methods that can provide flexible and cost-effective solutions to the issue at hand. For retailers struggling to find ways to cope with over-forecasted demand, below are some viable options.

What Search Behavior During Covid-19 Means for Healthcare Marketers

The headlines are everywhere. Open any newspaper, and you’ll see story after story about coronavirus and its impact on American society. But new data on consumer search behavior shows Covid-19 isn’t the only healthcare topic on people’s minds right now.

In an analysis of consumer search trends during the coronavirus pandemic, a team from the healthcare provider scheduling and search platform Kyruus found that search terms seemingly unrelated to Covid-19, such as “diabetes,” “cancer,” and “depression,” continue to rank more highly than those associated with the virus.

How to Move Your Classes or Programs Online – Tips for Small Businesses

A week before it ran several online classes, Practical Martial Arts didn’t have a video strategy or an online conferencing platform, and the couple was terrified about what the stay-at-home order meant for their beloved business, their customers, and their employees. But in a couple days they were able to pivot. And you can, too.

If you’re looking to offer online versions of your in-person business or are simply looking to connect online while we ride this out, below are some tips and resources to help you go virtual, too.

How Agencies and Advertisers Can Target Relevant Audiences During Covid-19

Since establishments have limited services to take-out, pick-up or delivery, advertisers are creating geofences where they know consumers are still going. Rather than using the actual footprint of a restaurant, advertisers can use custom polygons to include the pick-up area in the parking lot or the QSR’s drive-through area.

Getting creative to find restaurant audiences is just the tip of the iceberg, however. Even when large portions of the population are staying home, there are ways to find and advertise to audiences that are high-intent in a range of consumer categories. There are several commercial and public locations that you can target to help find audiences that are relevant to your clients and your campaigns. Below I detail optimal strategies for major categories of brick-and-mortar physical businesses.

As Agencies Feel the Squeeze, Covid-19 Reshapes the Martech Industry

One in four small businesses has temporarily shut down, and 43% believe they have fewer than six months until permanent closure is unavoidable. With the small business community in panic mode, budgets for digital marketing have been slashed, and agencies are feeling the pinch.

“Everyone has been in panic mode, and rightly so. Businesses are worried about who might have to be furloughed [or] laid off, getting their PPP loans, what kind of regulations do they need to comply with, [and] what their contingency plans are for keeping any amount of revenue coming in,” says Simon Schwartz, founder of Locasaur. “Businesses are not interested in being pitched new marketing tech.”

5 Retail Tech Solutions Keeping Shoppers Safe During Covid-19

Beacons, sensors, security cameras, and touchless payment solutions are all being used in ways they haven’t been before. Technology vendors are even changing up their offerings, or in some cases pivoting altogether, to better serve the retail market during this ongoing pandemic.

Here are five examples of technology providers offering innovative solutions for enhanced social distancing and improved shopper safety during the Covid-19 outbreak.