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Sophie Epps - 05.05.2020

How Advertising Spend is Being Shifted During COVID-19

As we continue to live in what has become our new normal, we are seeing a significant shift in the way we do business. Brands are having to be more agile than ever while navigating around uncertainty and re-thinking how to approach marketing to current and potential customers. One of the biggest challenges brands are facing is how to best allocate budget to remain profitable and are re-thinking how advertising spend plays into their strategy.

A Shifting Landscape

Many marketers are predicting a drastic decrease in media spend due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak and we have already seen a large dip in spending over Q1. But how do you know whether to pull advertising spend, reallocate or increase it?

Some companies are having to pull back on their media spend in order to shift to other pressing initiatives. Many have had to reduce spending wherever possible, and ad spending has been at the top of that list. 

Other companies are seeing an uptick in website traffic and revenue and are looking to increase their marketing activities in an effort to meet the increasing demand. EMarketer reported that one in four companies are set to increase their marketing activities, and 41% intend to make use of the momentum to maintain or increase their presence in the media.1

Some companies (49%) find themselves in the middle and are simply pushing campaigns until later in the year in hopes that we be back to business as usual or are shifting budget across channels (48%).1 

But What About the Consumers?

We are seeing that many consumers in the US believe that brands should continue to advertise as normal or are not phased by brands continuing to advertise as normal according to a March 2020 survey by GlobalWebIndex.2This is a good sign for brands and as more and more users are taking to their devices to purchase, many brands can see a lift in revenue. 

What’s next?

We continue to monitor how these channels and consumer behavior are changing but for now, the biggest hit areas of advertising are likely to be top of funnel activities such as TV, radio, display, and video. We are likely to see spend shift to lower funnel channels such as paid search in order for brands to focus on areas where they can see a profit more quickly. 

At Sagepath we believe it is essential to always remain agile in our strategic media planning in order to best meet our client’s differentiating needs. We are working to assist our clients in pivoting wherever necessary while maintaining the best strategic approach. 

Stay tuned for more updates. 



2 https://influencermarketinghub.com/coronavirus-marketing-ad-spend-report/