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How is Covid-19 Affecting Marketers? What Does It Mean?

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

Effects on Corona on Marketing

Coronavirus is spreading fast and affecting people across the globe.

There are roughly 13,000 new cases every day and the number is only growing.

Covid-19 pandemic has affected businesses and caused global markets to crash.

What Does This Mean For You?

Before that, as a marketer, you need to know what you should not do.

Avoid exploiting fear: A pandemic causes fear among and it is not good to exploit the situation. As the supplies (masks, hand sanitizers, toilet paper, etc) are running low across the world, many marketers are seen buying them and reselling.

The supplies are sold on eBay or through ads for 10-50x the price. This strategy is neither entrepreneurship nor marketing. Avoid misusing the situation to earn a quick buck. Apart from being wrong, This marketing strategy will help you only for a short time.

So, here’s what marketers can expect

1. Businesses Will Struggle For Some Time

The numbers have dropped in China and the virus may slow down. However, most businesses will take longer to recover and make up for their losses.

In China, the virus caused retail sales to drop by 20.5% which caused the unemployment rate to jump to 6.2 in February.

Virgin Atlantic has asked its staff to take an 8-week unpaid leave. The virus is expected to cause the travel industry to lose about 820 billion dollars.

Giant company Apple shut down their stores to help reduce the spread of the virus. Although they will be able to pay their employees during the temporary shutdown, not all companies can afford to do the same.

The ports are empty and have already started their first rounds of layoffs.

In total, COVID-19 is estimated to cost the global economy a whopping $2.7 trillion.

To make matters worse, people are losing traffic, conversions and their money.

2. A Drop In Organic Traffic

In the past week, there have been huge drops in organic traffic (from an SEO standpoint) for most industries.

As can be seen, the news and finance industry saw huge traffic while the travel industry saw a steep drop in traffic.

E-commerce did not look great either. The traffic was either high or low depending on what the sites sold. For instance, sites selling baby products saw a surge in their traffic while sites that sold luxury goods like big-screen televisions saw a dip in traffic.

3. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Data

Cost-per-click (PPC) has also not shown big shifts even for the travel industry.

For instance, there was a dip in a number of people searching for flights and hotels and though there wasn’t a drastic drop in CPC, there was a huge increase in cost per acquisition (CPA).

In other words, you can still pay the same amount per click but the Cost-Per-Click (CPC) has been increasing for many industries.

So What Does Corona Mean For Marketers?

It is evident that people will be cutting back as the economy is predicted to be hit by 2.7 trillion dollars and experts believe that we will be going into a recession.

Famous billionaire investor Carl Icahn also believes that the market condition will deteriorate further and the sell-off phase will remain for long.

However, you may notice that a recession is the best time to make most of when others are not. There is less competition, which means it is easier and faster to get results. Interestingly, you may be able to get good deals such as a reduction in pay-per-click advertising.

Let us assume that of all the publicly traded companies in the US if the market keeps going down, most of the companies will struggle to pay off their debt. Some companies will either go bankrupt, be bought or get bailed out by the government.

All this means, there is less competition for you.

If you have enough cash during the recession, you can buy out other companies. The best ones you can buy are media companies.


As far as marketing is concerned, this is probably the best time for you to grow. Don’t let the fear get better of you as others are also afraid.

That said, let’s hope the coronavirus has minimal impact on lives and passes soon. As of now, try social distance, practice good hygiene and avoid crowded places.

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