As the Covid-19 outbreak continues, marketers are delaying ad campaigns, reviewing budgets and pausing product launches. With many advertisers going offline at this time, the focus has shifted to digital marketing.

Says Prasad Shejale, Founder and CEO of digital marketing agency Logicserve Digital, “Although ad revenues will go down in the short term, the percentage of digital spends as an overall ad spend will go up. Though there has been an overall decline is digital spends by companies across sectors globally, one has to realise conditions are not normal. Excessive panic triggers a very different response from people and marketers should accordingly pivot,” he points out.

Taking the lead, B2B (business-to-business) marketers are making defensive and offensive moves to respond to the turbulent environment. Many have already turned to digital marketing, looking to capture traffic and conversions, given reduced competition.

Diversion in ad spends

A recent survey of 200 B2B marketers across sectors projected a significant diversion in ad spends. While 63 per cent of B2B marketers are set to increase their overall marketing budgets by up to 20 per cent this year, 74.1 per cent B2B marketers are to increase investment in all avenues of digital marketing.

Many are also finding the sweet spot between silence and storytelling, according to a B2B intelligence report by digital marketing agency FrogIdeas. The survey revealed 70 per cent of B2B enterprises are creating more content than a year ago, with 52 per cent of them planning to increase spending on content. However, measuring and proving the value of all that content continues to be a major hurdle.

More than 50 per cent marketers have tried and believe vernacular content works for their brands. Of those surveyed, 55.6 per cent said video marketing is integral in spreading brand awareness, while 37 per cent noted it also contributed to lead generation.

FrogIdeas lists brands such as Marriott, Interglobe Enterprises, Jim Beam and the Mahindra Group, amongst its various clients.

Fillip to digital advertising

For businesses everywhere it is time to change the game plan, to address the long-term implications of the pandemic. There is another reason digital advertising is bound to get a fillip.

Considering that many companies tend to allocate a large chunk of their budgets to trade shows, even a moderate change in preferences is likely to translate into higher investment in digital marketing.

Figures published by data intelligence company PredictHQ indicate that in February alone, concerns about Covid-19 led to a 500 per cent surge in cancellations and postponements of significant marketing events across the globe. Even if only a small fraction of the events’ budgets is shifted to online marketing, with more people at home in front of their screens, this would translate into a massive growth.