The covid-19 epidemic is still in its early stages, with The United States and Australia first responding to local outbreaks only days ago. We are beginning to see the negative knock-on effects this pandemic is having on our marketing industry, sales and overall economy which usually leads to times of uncertainty and decreased spending. However, it is not all doom and gloom, with Australian’s doing their part to voluntarily isolate and many businesses working from home, we are seeing new opportunities arise for marketers and businesses alike.
With the covid-19 epidemic is still in its early stages, with The United States and Australia first responding to local outbreaks only days ago. We are beginning to see the negative knock-on effects this pandemic is having on our marketing industry, sales and overall economy which usually leads to times of uncertainty and decreased spending. However, it is not all doom and gloom, with Australian’s doing their part to voluntarily isolate and many businesses working from home, we are seeing new opportunities arise for marketers and businesses alike.
The eMarketer recently lowered their 2020 worldwide ad spending forecast from 712 billion dollars to just 692 billion, estimating a total of 20 billion dollars that will disappear from global ad spend. However almost all of the reduction in marketing spending is occurring in China, giving the rest of the world a better opportunity to respond to the covid-19 economic impact and reduce the impact on the economy.
China is the world’s second largest economy from a PPP standpoint and as such has the world’s second largest ad market. The impact of covid-19 to this economy has truly shaken the world and as such governments are preparing earlier and are better equipped to control local outbreaks.
From a Western point of view, we are just beginning to see the knock on effects of covid-19 across the marketing landscape. Much of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries have experienced economic losses and many businesses immediately look to cut marketing budgets to mitigate these losses. Take public transportation advertising, for example, due to the gigantic drop off of consumers taking public transportation, companies will be quick to pull advertising efforts from transport precincts as they are just not getting the ‘eyeballs’ that they used to. While this epidemic will impact all ranges of marketing media, typically, digital advertising is the first to get the chop as it is the quickest and easiest to adjust.
Almost ironically, we are seeing a huge increase in media consumption as consumers spend time in voluntary isolation, making advertising to people from the comfort of their own homes vital for brands and businesses. This combined with the fact that during times of confusion, advertisers tend to be drawn to tried and tested marketing platforms, such as Facebook and Google, suggests that we should be investing more into digital advertising to keep our lesser affected industries afloat.
While we are on a positive note, it is important to understand that we are seeing an amazingly, strong turn around in China where no new local infections have been reported for the first time since the pandemic broke out. Knowing this, we can be cautiously optimistic about the future while keeping an eye on Ad spends and conversions across the board.
I have noticed three emarketing examples that struck me as excellent responses to the CODIV-19 climate and make excellent case studies showing other businesses how to stay afloat during hard times. So to give credit where credit is due, I would like to present my top three climate responses from various companies in various industries.
On Tuesday the 17th, while most of Australia (including the government) were still undecided on a course of action. Telecommunication giant Optus, took the first brave step to address the ever changing, hostile climate. In these ‘unprecedented times’, Kelly Bayer Rosmarian, the Optus CEO (designate) reached out to her customers to provide a few comforting words of wisdom.
She addressed the uncertainty in the air, the importance of peace of mind and most significantly what Optus was doing to ensure customers had exceptional connectivity to coordinate family wellbeing to never truly feel isolated.
This was an excellent emotional marketing response to what was a very worrying time for Australians. The email went on to showcase the latest Optus nbn, 5G and prepaid offers to keep Australians safe and connected.
Overall, I was very impressed with this EDM. The simple touch of using my first name with no last name and the CEO’s first name in the email subject line really drove home the personalised feel. Most importantly though, the email came across as genuine, caring and supportive without seeming too salesy or sleazy. By perfectly walking this fine line during a worrying period in Australia’s history, Optus have cemented their brand as an industry leader - in my mind at least!
The Australian Skin Institute have quickly announced their new product, an Antibacterial Cleansing Gel - just in time to address the Woolies and Coles shortage! While we are seeing a drop off of consumers in the beauty service and product industries, ASI have quickly turned this around and released their new product to address the public’s growing germ & hand washing safety concerns.
They are promoting this new product on their website and offering a free bottle to be included with orders over $100. This is a prime example of a business that has adapted to a difficult circumstance and has shown that they are supporting their customers, while looking to increase sales and revenue. Rumour has it that they are looking to release their own brand of toilet paper next!
Grill’d quickly followed Optus the following day with a caring EDM. The engaging ‘Firstly, how are you doing?’ opening got me hook, line and sinker. The EDM goes on to assure customers that Grill’d are taking extra precautions to ensure their Restaurants are germ free, their staff are flu free and their food is still available during lock down.
They even go as far to encourage people to dine in during quiet hours or to get take away meals to avoid crowds and public places altogether.
The EDM ends with the beautifully worded:
"It’s important now that we work together to help our communities safely through and out of the covid-19 outbreak.
So, check-in on your neighbour, support your local café, restaurants and corner stores and share a burger with a friend — social distancing doesn’t have to mean losing social connection."
And if that isn’t the perfect Australian attitude we’re looking for during this time, I don’t know what is.