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.

In Times of Crisis, There’s Still Value in the Gig Economy

The pandemic-driven economic shutdown is also affecting the estimated 57 million Americans who make their living, or supplement their income, as members of the gig economy. While some freelancers and side hustlers may feel secure, full-time gig economy drivers certainly do not. Covid-19 has numerous implications for the gig economy, including some that will last even after all the dust settles. Let’s sort through them.

Curbside Pickup Moves Into Primetime, But Retailers Struggle With Implementation

Petsmart and Kohl’s have it. So do Best Buy, GameStop, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and dozens of other national retailers. With social distancing orders in place across most of the country, curbside pickup is becoming an increasingly popular checkout option for retailers. Integrating curbside technology into existing ecommerce fulfillment programs hasn’t been without its challenges, though, especially given how hastily many of these programs have been rolled out.

Navigating Social Media Marketing in a Global Crisis

What is the role of brands in facilitating this connection? A recent report shows that 91% of people believe in social media’s power to connect people, and 78% of consumers want brands to use social media to help people connect with each other. Those numbers send a clear message to companies as they navigate a crisis that is so much bigger than their brands: create connection through relevance. 

But the question is how brands can achieve relevance right now. How can you create meaningful connections on social media during a global crisis? Here are a few tips.

Location Weekly: Google and Apple’s Covid-19 Mobile Tracking

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association hosts Rob Woodbridge and Hidetoshi Uchiyama, CEO of Unerry. Asif Khan and Aubriana Lopez also discuss Google and Apple building a Covid-19 tracking system into their OS platforms and PlaceIQ acquiring Freckle IoT. They also touch on the ethics of price gouging by home delivery services during the coronavirus crisis.

Covid-19 Tracking: Privacy Risks and Lessons for Digital Advertising

The surveillance systems now being rolled out for the pandemic are unlikely to have a direct impact on local marketers. However, the debates that they have precipitated should remind us all of the importance of customer trust when it comes to data collection. 

In short, advertisers who rely on consumer data should ensure that they are only collecting what they need, that they store and process this securely, and that they are open and transparent with their customers about collection. Many of those same best practices apply to governments collecting data to fight Covid-19.

Why and How to Take Steps Toward Brand Assurance

Companies are adapting at breakneck speed. For example, Dick’s Sporting Goods is offering curbside pickup to protect its customers and staff. DoorDash is discounting delivery services to help working parents. Walgreens is making it easier to get critical prescriptions. Measures such as these have been essential in instilling a sense of community, care, and trust.

We must not attempt to carry on business as usual. We can no longer think about marketing and advertising in the same ‘brand vs. demand’ framework. Now is the time for brand assurance — to actively fulfill brand promises, to help customers, and to maintain brand reputation. 

Covid-19 Is Changing Ad Auctions, Creating New Opportunities for Brands

Amidst all the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, savvy marketers are finding new opportunities to reach consumers at discounted rates. According to data compiled by Goodway Group, competition within ad auctions has gone down 13% since early March, and win rates are up 54% during the same time period.

The drop in competition within ad auctions is largely the result of brands pulling back on digital advertising during the outbreak. Most experts agree that dropping out entirely is a mistake, since it gives competitors an opportunity to convert new brand loyalists, but continuing to run existing campaigns without acknowledging the current economic and global health realities can be costly as well.

Posting and Advertising during Quarantine: 50 Small Business Social Tips for 50 Industries

While there may be a downturn in customer spending during the Covid-19 crisis, there is an increase in customer touch points and attention. With Facebook usage up 50%, it is more important than ever for small businesses to turn to social media to maintain relevance and build relationships in their local communities.

Here are 50 social tips for 50 industries, complete with some real-world examples of best-practices for SMBs to keep their communities engaged, even in a crisis.

Email Marketers See Increase in Engagement During Covid-19 Crisis

In the middle of a global health crisis, email marketers are experiencing a renaissance.

According to new data from LiveIntent, email newsletter engagement has grown during the coronavirus pandemic. Newsletters in the health and fitness and “hard news” categories, including those focused on law, government, and politics, have seen a sudden increase in engagement and click-through rates on ads.

Location Weekly: Uber Eats Moves into Grocery, Foursquare Merges with Factual

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association covers Uber Eats moving into grocery delivery, Foursquare merging with Factual, Filipino super app SIF expanding services during Covid-19, and the OutStreets app pivoting to monitor store shelf levels during crisis. Gimbal’s CMO/COO Matt Russo joins for the first installment of the LBMA series “Members at Home.”

No Time to Think Small: Innovate on SMB Reputation Management

A small business’ reputation is the company’s most valuable intangible asset. During this current climate, we are seeing successful brands adapting quickly to their customers’ change in lifestyle and priorities. They’re catering for their isolation with services that make their lives not only easier but also more entertaining. By remaining engaged and keeping conversations fluid, small businesses will be able to weather the storm as well as keep and attract new customers.

A trustworthy and actionable understanding of local communities is now more important than ever.

Here are a few ways small businesses can build and sustain a healthy reputation.

The Upside of Being Down: How to Market Your Small Business During Coronavirus

Studies show that eliminating advertising during tough times can lead to a decrease in sales. Business owners may view marketing as a discretionary cost and forgo it because they are bringing in less. But consumer and advertising spend are significant drivers of revenue, even in the midst of a downturn.    

Coming out of the Great Recession of the late 2000s, marketers learned a valuable lesson: Going dark can have long-term consequences. Instead, business owners should adjust their marketing approach to reach audiences in thoughtful new ways. Here are some tips.

5 Curbside Pickup Solutions for Retailers to Use During Covid-19

Curbside pickup isn’t just a win from a public health perspective; it also gives stores an additional lifeline as they look for ways to sell products without violating physical distancing guidelines. What’s more, the trend may stick, bringing additional retailers into the process and boosting customer adoption even after social distancing subsides.

These are five technology companies offering platforms and tools that retailers can use to implement curbside pickup during the Covid-19 crisis.