Spending Your Way Out Of A Pandemic

Spending Your Way Out Of A Pandemic

by , March 2, 2021

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%
  • Others—1%

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%


MediaPost.com: Search & Performance Marketing Daily


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