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Pandemic Marketing – Look for Silver Linings that Lead to Growth

Published: March 18, 2020

Author: Hillary Read

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked unprecedented turmoil worldwide, and growth marketers must adjust on the fly to keep their companies driving forward. In today’s installment of insights pulled from our Guide to Growth Marketing in the Coronavirus Age, we’re tackling how maintain a growth mentality to identify silver-lining opportunities as they emerge.
Uncertainty can often put a company’s opportunities in greater relief if you’re keeping a growth-oriented mindset. Companies willing and able to exercise patience may realize the difference between immediately pulling back spend and exploring the possibilities of arbitrage from competitors leaving the marketplace. Lower CPCs and CPMs and suppressed competitor activity may mean more available traffic within your performance goals if you’re willing to stay the course as long as the data supports it. (Note that as of mid-March, the fluctuation is making trends hard to identify; a comparison of pre-Coronavirus and post-Coronavirus data for two major B2B clients, for instance, showed volume down and efficiency up for one and the inverse for the other.)
Because the picture is murky, make sure to use all the data at your disposal to recognize and react to trends:

  • Pull Auction Insights often to see where competitors are reining in spend (or increasing spend, given that event cancellations have diverted a higher proportion of funds to digital media)
  • Use MTA tools to see which channels (if any) are rising or falling, and redirect spend as needed
  • Because potential customers may be hesitant to buy or commit in a time of uncertainty, keep a close eye on your funnel distribution, and be prepared to increase investment in the top of the funnel to offset a longer consideration phase

In addition to the above, make a plan to ask media partners about deal or discounts – and keep asking at least daily, since the picture is changing at warp speed.
“In 2001, after the first dot-com bubble burst, I negotiated a year-long deal with Microsoft that got guaranteed placement at the top of MSN for the word ‘lawyer’ for .25 a click,” 3Q CEO David Rodnitzky said. “Obviously the landscape is not the same, but it’s generally true that an environment with lots of change brings lots of opportunity.”
Silver linings, of course, only emerge when you’re well enough to look for them. Your friends at 3Q wish you and your loved ones continued health and safety.

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