Spending Your Way Out Of A Pandemic
Contrary to what some may believe, last year was not a great one for advertisers.
Overall, 61% of businesses experienced a drop in revenue — including 58% of firms that sell online only, according to State of Digital Advertising 2021, a study by Criteo.
Yet 27% of online-only firms report sales increases, with 9% saying they experienced big ones.
Firms that also have both online and physical stores did worse — 63% experienced declines, and 21% enjoyed at least modest hikes.
In the U.S., 22% suffered major revenue declines due to COVID-19 — only Spain, with 25%, did worse. At the same time, 21% in France and 18% in Australia took big hits.
Looking forward, roughly 40% are planning to boost their digital budgets this year.
Email ranks down the list in terms of probable increases — 36% are planning to raise their email spend, while 47% will hold steady and 17% will decrease spending.
In contract, 47% will budget more for social media, versus 40% who say their spending will remain the same and 13% who foresee a decrease.
Another 44% will spend more on content marketing and 43% will increase spending on advertising on retail websites and apps.
Their 2021 goals are:
- Acquiring new customers — 49%
- Retaining content customers — 47%
- Expanding into new offerings — 45%
- Reduce operational costs — 40%
- Transforming our business models — 38%
- Building brand value that connects with customer — 37%
- Forming new partnership — 35%
- Improving ROI — 34%
Meanwhile, 59% say their digital marketing campaigns are going ahead as planned. In contrast, 53% say the same about marketing budget commitments in general.
Also on track are co-marketing campaigns (51%), launch of new products or services (49%) and in-store marketing campaigns (46%).
Have firm seen any positive outcomes during COVID-19?
Yes. They are:
- Increase in website sales/conversions—38%
- Increased efficiency—33%
- Rapid digital transformation of business processes—33%
- Greater customer loyalty—31%
- Improved supply chain—27%
- Increased average spend per customer—27%
- Increased productivity—27%
- Rise in new customers—26%
- Lower cost of sales—24%
- Increase in app installs—21%
- Increased app sales/conversions—19%
At the same time, marketing has grown in importance during COVID-19 in support of these goals:
- To acquire new customers—55%
- To retain existing customers—54%
- Due to increased digital marketing activities—51%
- Greater need for performance marketing campaigns to drive ales—50%
- To maintain engagement with external and internal audience during the lockdown—49%
- To build or reinforce our brand values—45%
- To stay top-of-mind with our customers/prospects—45%