by D&E Staff

May 4, 2020

Step foot in any grocery store these days and you probably noticed a dollar does not go as far as it did a few weeks ago. The wholesale price of eggs tripled during the month of March, affecting the cost of breakfasts everywhere. Even if you have never cracked a book on the topic of economic forces, most everyone inherently understands the notion of supply and demand.

But when you look at the advertising economy, those principles are upended right now. People are consuming all manner of media at all hours of the day (Nielsen has measured a 60% increase in consumer media usage—no surprise here, what else are people going to do?); it’s an advertiser’s paradise. The entire country is a captive audience and some advertisers are missing an opportunity to cement themselves for what’s next. Inventory is dirt cheap for the moment, and no one wants to—or thinks they cannot afford to—buy it.

Let’s look at what’s happening with local advertising and social media usage:

  • Social media use for Adults 18+ has increased significantly in Q2 2020:
  • At the same time, costs for advertising on social media platforms have plummeted:
  • Research conducted in March 2020 by Borrell shows that only 44% of local businesses plan to maintain or increase their ad spending during the COVID-19 crisis. Couple that with the increased media usage noted above and you wind up with a bubble as illustrated below:

Companies that can leverage this moment should, thereby positioning themselves better as we exit this turbulence. For starters, you should consider:

  • Right sizing your advertising budget. It might not be wise to pour budget into all advertising efforts, but reallocating towards channels like OTT, digital display, and social media allow for quicker reporting turnarounds and optimizations.
  • Assess your advertising message strategy. Unless your organization is directly acting to aid in COVID-19 response, it probably doesn’t make sense to hinge your messaging around the crisis. You don’t want to run the risk of sounding self-serving just for the sake of advertising.
  • Figuring out where you stand. Now is a good time to ask your agency partner questions like:
    • How is your brand stacking up in search results?
    • Does our reporting contents and cadence need adjustment?
    • What does the roadmap look like post-COVID-19?

It’s time to learn more about your audience and what media channels affect business outcomes. Right now, people are paying attention, and attention is cheap. Want to talk strategy? Drop me a line.


Looking for more COVID-19 content? Check out our COVID-19 Communications Resource Center for the latest blogs, news and resources designed to help you stay ahead of what’s next.