The Pandemic’s Unexpected Bonus for Advertisers

In our business, marketers have reacted in expected ways. Advertising for travel and tourism, brick-and-mortar retail and restaurants has gone completely dark. Many other categories have reduced their spends or paused to wait for a more positive environment. Many have quickly shifted messaging to reflect an empathetic and supportive tone. Some have communicated sincerely about what’s transpiring but continue to march forward to keep business and the economy moving.

One trend has been the soaring numbers of consumers that are glued to computer screens and displays streaming content all day and night in place of outside activities. The collision of more access to consumers and less demand for advertising impressions has resulted in a lower cost for marketers to reach and engage with audiences. According to ezoic, the average open auction U.S. display ad CPM was  $1.34 on March 1 and fell to $0.83 on April 8. It has since bounced back to $0.91 and it looks like it may stay in that range for some time. That means budgets for digital advertising campaigns can deliver 30% to 35% more for the same investment.

Smart marketers are taking the bonus and running with it. This environment will not last very long, but while it does, it offers a powerful opportunity for companies and brands to amplify their message and move ahead. Companies that continue to market and advertise through troubling times get a long-lasting positive impact in sales and market share.

This may be the time to expand, invest and test your digital placements for better results.

  • Try new ad units that are simple to execute. Upgrade your 2D ads to 3D or include native ads.
  • Explore new placement types. Try in-read video in the heart of editorial content.
  • Expand your channels. Add the next on the list to your current social and display channels.
  • Monitor and evaluate. Disciplined measurement to provide performance insight is critical.

Many marketers will keep their heads down during the next few quarters.  When they decide it is safe to come out, they may wish they embraced the opportunity to keep building through the tough times and position themselves for the future.