Navigating the shifts brought by the COVID-19 pandemic

Navigating the shifts brought by the COVID-19 pandemic

Over the past few months, we have watched COVID-19 spread rapidly across the globe forcing economies to crash and driving enforced changes in consumer behaviour. While it is important for businesses to maintain a level of presence to build brand trust and improve chances of recovery, this should be done thoughtfully.

To guide you in how to approach marketing in the current climate, our teams across the globe have pulled together some key trends we are experiencing.

? You can download full presentation deck HERE

Change in consumer behaviour is providing businesses across all industries with challenges. Social distancing, working from home, and new government lockdown policies have all increased consumer demand for digital, as the population shifts to a reliance on online services. Whilst businesses struggle, some are adjusting their models to ensure success, dynamically switching to offer home delivery or online services.

Advertising has not completely stopped, but there is caution from brands, with many reconsidering their approach to marketing from Q2 onwards. Media planning, like most things, will need to adjust as a result of the pandemic, and it is important the following is considered when looking at marketing strategies:

  1. State of the Industry – It is crucial to get a clear understanding of the pandemic’s impact on your category.
  2. Shifts in Consumer Behaviour – Monitoring consumer behaviour is critical in order to act on any changes quickly.
  3. Objectives – As the situation progresses and changes, there should be flexibility in terms of budgeting, forecasting, and KPIs. Digital media is now a consumer’s primary source of media consumption.

Below, you’ll find a summary of our findings across some main categories. For a more detailed overview, please refer to our presentation deck.


Whilst most categories are experiencing a fall in immediate demand, the entertainment sector is thriving. Globally, average weekly time spent in apps and on games has increased by 25% (App Annie). As competition increases due to higher demand for online streaming services and gaming, companies should focus on user acquisition. Consumers who have not downloaded or subscribed before are more likely to be looking for options now.


Undoubtably one of the sectors hit the hardest by the pandemic, the global Travel and Tourism market is predicted to lose 75.2 million jobs worldwide in 2020 (Statista). Getting more people to purchase travel-related products or services in the immediate term is not recommended. Customer retention must be prioritised, which can be done through providing flexibility around refund and cancellation terms.


In the UK, food delivery apps reported a decrease in order volume during the final week of March, likely to be the result of concerns over health and safety. This slow down means it is a good time to focus on building the brand. Real-time measurement and social listening are important for brands to stay afloat. Food delivery services can also turn to new contactless delivery initiatives to create trust.


With footfall dropping and retailers closing stores temporarily, there has been a huge switch to online shopping. Google trends data on Ocado shows the recent surge in demand for this sector as people look for home delivery. As consumers rely mainly on ecommerce home delivery services, brands should prioritize upper funnel objectives (i.e. awareness, recall, installs). An important aspect to take note of before increasing spends is the business’s capacity to deliver.


Strict social distancing measures imposed have negatively impacted the transportation industry. Now is the time to put more focus on brand building to gain consumer trust. Although use of ride-hailing services is dramatically lower, in several markets, there are still consumers who need them, and the supply is now higher relative to the demand. Providing assurance to their worries especially in terms of sanitation practices and CSR initiatives are important.

Discover how we can help your business navigate through the COVID-19 changes. Talk to us!