Media companies (and not only) have been through a lot of disruptions, from political changes to natural disasters, they have seen it all … we thought. The outbreak of COVID-19 has taken us all by surprise, and it has reached a global level that is affecting every aspect of our lives – personal and business.

We will not talk about how it will change our daily activities, we are bombarded with information every minute from the news on this topic, but instead, we will take a look at how this pandemic is changing digital marketing.

This large-scale disruption has the potential to transform the industry. It is forcing agencies, companies, brands to adapt and find new ways to:

  1. Avoid closing their office;
  2. Reach the audience now surrounded by warning messages.

There are solutions for not closing the doors and waiting for this crisis to pass. Many companies have considered options like letting staff work remotely, using local resources instead of ones that require crossing international boarders, and creating virtual events (now that big gatherings are to be avoided – Armani’s show for Milan’s Fashion week was audience-free and live streamed, The Carnival of Venice was cancelled, just a few examples).

The virus will affect digital marketing, the signs are beginning to show:

  • New York Times CEO Mark Thompson said the Times “is seeing a slowdown in international and domestic advertising bookings, which we associate with uncertainty and anxiety about the virus”.
  • “To better prepare for the inevitable shifts in consumer behavior, we are proactively thinking about how our approach to branded experiences may need to evolve in the short term, more specifically, how physical activations could be experienced virtually and then shared virally.” – Alana Lynch, CEO.

It is understandable, companies are facing uncertainty, their target audience is saturated with Coronavirus news, and in times like these it is hard not to take precautions and rethink the budget for advertising, or at least postpone the digital marketing strategies until the pandemic of Coronavirus is under control.

On the other hand, there are companies that see this as an opportunity. More and more people are trying to avoid contact with others, trying to protect themselves, and they spend more time on the internet. Doesn’t now seem like a good time to invest in digital marketing for your business?