Digital Marketing Is the Current Foster Home For Marketers During Covid-19 Crisis
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is today at the center of all concern and speculation as the epidemic has tragically spread its web across the Globe. A health disaster but also a real financial virus for businesses, COVID-19 today tends to temporarily paralyze the world economy. March 2020 in the world, and after a dreaded passage to the Great Financial Depression, all sectors are impacted and advertisers are suffering the brunt of this real tsunami in the digital ecosystem, trying to maintain their growth while waiting for a return to the normal. Which verticals are most affected? Through the learnings of advertisers that we support, CCI offers you an overview of data, strategies and advice to understand and better understand these coming weeks.
Covid-19 is the 1st crisis of this magnitude in the world, advertisers have been facing traffic and conversions flirting with the two extremes since the end of February, depending on the sector. It is also surprising to note the speed of the phenomenon, the situation changing the context and the figures daily. In the most impacted sectors (events, restaurants, travel and tourism), we observe a drop in conversion, sales and transaction rates, with CPCs also degraded according to verticals, for traffic that remains more or less iso. Others (drive, catering delivery, hygiene product, global health player or even general e-merchant) welcome a spectacular increase in traffic with very high conversion rates and a demand from Internet users, reduced to confinement, very present. The continued activity of the logistics and delivery platforms will also play a crucial role in the pursuit of this growth.
Google side, the statisticians of ‘Loop Capital Markets’, indicated that the Giant should expect to record a drop of minimum 20% of advertising revenues compared for the sectors most affected. As for Facebook, the drop in budgets already observed in recent weeks in the travel, retail and entertainment sectors should represent a negative impact of up to 45% on their overall revenues. Under confinement and with the obligation to reduce our trips to the strict minimum, it is the players in online entertainment such as distance learning platforms, music, games or streaming who benefit from the traffic brought down from closed stores to the web, with an increase of around 20% since the start of 2020.
If many advertisers have chosen to cut their campaigns when the stores are closed and the difficulties encountered in terms of conversions, the Coronavirus can also represent a real opportunity to reinvent itself and develop digital uses for consumers. Indeed, the challenge around which brands must now reorient their strategy is to find new devices and experience to compensate for the loss of turnover via forced digitization of their audiences. It is therefore time to reflect in order to stand out and remain visible on the market, as well as to prepare the post-crisis recovery strategy which will have to be especially ambitious, depending on the degree of impact on your sector.
Case Study: Trends Observed Among Advertisers
Tourism comes in pole position among the most impacted sectors. The reason: the closure of borders, the confinement of populations in several countries, closed holiday complexes and bitter travelers who have no other choice but to cancel their trips for lack of means to get there. Tourism websites records a decrease in the conversion rate around 8.5%, when overall purchases on the travel and tourism websites are at -20.8%.
When classic hotel sites fared slightly better with slightly weaker conversion rates (-0.7%), the number of transactions fell by around 9%. Hardest hit, the transport, travel and theme park sites which suffered an unprecedented drop as the high season approached -19.8%.
Business organizations in tourism (transport, camping, holiday village and group travel) also feel this drop in overall conversion on their site coming from almost all channels. It seems that they are not yet fully prescribed with brand awareness and their generic campaigns still active to try to make a difference. If the budgets are reassessed at -20, -30%, it is the advertisers with campaigns who are currently suffering the most with compulsory reductions of -70 to -80% of their advertising budget overall.
Retail is one of the other sectors hit hard, with + 25.7% of time spent searching for articles online at the start of the phenomenon. If retailers, particularly in the fashion and luxury sectors, did honorably at the start (+ 7% conversion rate), the trend has been reversed in recent days with traffic still increasing by + 6% but conversion rates which drop to almost -15%. For our retail advertisers, they are facing the closure of stores, having only digital to make a difference, while absorbing the problems of logistics, deliveries, and imports of goods sometimes from China or Italy.
Large Distribution & E-Commerce: + 20%
While today consuming in supermarkets is more of a test than of traditional shopping, we are not surprised to see absolutely positive statistics for players in mass distribution and general e-merchants. Because who says confinement, also says more time to surf the net (+ 45% time spent), when the conversion rates benefit them from a recovery of about + 20%. A trend which should increase in the coming weeks, provided that the logistics centers and delivery players obviously continue to maintain their activity to the maximum.
With our advertisers, we therefore see no reduction in spend on campaigns, and even an increase in budgets for some. Example for an e-merchant specializing in garden equipment products who recorded last weekend, a 40% increase in its transactions, probably explained by the desire of the people to continue to enjoy themselves and enjoy their garden – for the lucky ones – even during confinement.
Health: + 27%
Unsurprisingly, the overall health sector has seen a predictable increase of + 27% in conversions. There are pharmacies here, but also e-shops specializing in health products (survival kit, mask, hydro alcoholic gel, disinfectant products, etc.) and also Para pharmacies. Their site visits benefited from an increase of + 10% and it is interesting to note that although the latter were shorter ( -23% of browsing time), the number of conversions increased by + 27%. Internet users therefore seem to have very intentional profiles with a specific product search at their head.
In the advertisers we support, some have medical offices abroad and if the traffic on their site is currently very strong, it was unfortunately necessary to cut campaigns on other countries (Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Greece) due to blocking of borders. For our clients in the medical insurance sector, some have increased their budget by + 90% in light of the increase in traffic on the site. Finally, our advertisers for tele-consultation of doctors from a smartphone, are undergoing such a demand (+ 150%) that the campaigns have been reduced to a minimum to successfully manage the demand in terms of available doctors.
(COVID-19) China’s Digital Marketing Industry Keeps Growing Amid Epidemic
You will be surprise to know that China’s online marketing industry, dominated by online marketing, is less affected by the epidemic of new coronaviruses, or even growing, due to soaring the demand for online advertising in the games, short video and online education sectors.
Due to the closure of public recreation places during the Spring Festival, games, short videos and other Internet products have become the first choice of entertainment for Chinese people. This leads to an increase in advertisements for these sectors on the Internet, according to a Securities Times report.
In addition, universities, schools and nursery schools nationwide have postponed the start of the spring season. Studying at home has become an engine of growth in online education. Online education digital ads have increased dramatically, bringing profits to ad companies, the report said.
To offset the impact of the decline in offline business, advertising companies have increased their online marketing, the source said. The overall advertising market in China remains promising this year, because many brands will have to invest more in the sector after the epidemic, in order to make up for losses in the first half of the year. The trends to be equally promising for the rest of the world.