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Advertising on Google and Facebook has become less expensive, meaning that there are fewer advertisers.
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The state of digital in the time of corona

Advertising on Google and Facebook has become less expensive, meaning that there are fewer advertisers.
  • Kaushik Banerjee, Co-founder and CEO, MeVero Inc writes why brands should engage with its current customers and prospective one, to help them tide over this crisis.
  • He further shares how every situation, however bad, presents an opportunity for brands. and their marketing strategy now depends on the consumer problem the product is trying to solve.
This time of the year is always a time of festivity in many parts of the world. What that means is a lot of shopping for discretionary items. Total spending in the USA last year during this time is estimated at $18 billion+. The top purchases categories included food, clothing, gifts and premium handmade products. With increasing number of people moving to online shopping, almost all digital companies – be it a start-up or a relatively established player, plan for a surge in marketing spends around this time of the year. Online shoppers have increasingly spent more than those going to stores. As a result, mobile payments have seen around a 10% rise during these times, year on year. Be it digital payments, digital media, e-commerce or logistics, every start-up in these domains plan for an upswing in consumer spending propensity.

But the times are different this year. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused widespread disruption of normal life across the world. A lot of industries have come to a halt, like retail, automobiles, travel and tourism, F&B etc. People are also postponing their discretionary spends in view of the uncertain economic outlook. This has resulted in contraction of marketing spend for start-ups in general. All major campaigns have been postponed. This is evident from the fact that the advertising on Google and Facebook has become less expensive, meaning that there are fewer advertisers. The CPMs for Facebook, Instagram have fallen by average 15% in March 2020 compared to February 2020.
The marketing strategy now depends on the consumer problem the product is trying to solve. If the product is in digital healthcare, digital learning, media, hyperlocal delivery, or anything that can help people sustain and engage gainfully while staying at home due to lockdown, it is the right time to engage with the customer, both current and prospective, through meaningful communication. Social media can be used effectively to promote health and hygiene while carefully weaving the brand story into it. If the product falls under the discretionary category, or caters to it, it is best to postpone any marketing activity. Rather resources should be used to improve the product.

Every situation, however bad, presents an opportunity for brands. People now need to spend time productively, maintain health & hygiene, take care of family, manage finances wisely and work from home. Brands should engage with its current customers and prospective one, through low cost media to help them tide over this crisis.
In this Covid – 19 outbreak digital platforms are witnessing a surge in subscription and user base as consumers are utilising their more time on such platforms during the lockdown period. As people spend more time indoors and in remote working, these digital players have seen an unprecedented growth across the world. Today’s hyper connected world makes it easier for digital companies across the globe to acquire users by advertising and marketing themselves on the digital platform solely, without much of a mass media outreach. Social media, Google Adwords, Youtube etc. offer a huge opportunity for digital players to reach a global audience and acquire users in this period of Covid-19. Therefore, it is no wonder that you see a slew of digital companies reaching out to new users across the world in a push for global footprint. In a matter of a few weeks they increased their user base to over hundreds of million users globally, simply by leveraging the power of Digital marketing. And with a fewer number of advertisers now hawking their products, the cost of acquisition has also dropped dramatically for most digital companies. So it is becoming cheaper and faster for digital-only players to acquire global users and ramp up their offering.

The only hitch that remains are two fold- Government regulations and Payment systems. To go global, most digital companies have to take cognisance of local Government laws and this might prove cumbersome to a lot of players. The other problem is to enable payments by users on a digital platform to suit local behaviours. For instance, in developing countries, Debit/Credit Card payments may not work. You will need to look at other innovative payment mechanisms to cater to users in these countries. So, you will see a tremendous growth in FinTech players who offer the digital companies the flexibility to accept payments from innovative methods like Wallets, Mobile payments, Voucher systems and prepaid tokens.

COVID-19IndiaCases: 145,380Deaths: 4,167Recovered: 60,491
COVID-19WorldCases: 5.31mnDeaths: 342kRecovered: 2.23mn
COVID-19USACases: 1.59mnDeaths: 96kRecovered: 379k
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