Forge ahead? How the advertising and marketing world adapts

Every day this week has been heavy with developments and news surrounding the coronavirus crisis and its wide-ranging impact across nearly every industry.

Much of the retail sector, along with many a popular food chain, has shut down stores and operations due to control the spread of the coronavirus. Nobody knows how long this restrictive period will last, but the mere uncertainty of the pandemic’s duration calls into question just how well companies are equipped to manage a long-term disruption to their business. Taking it on the chin for the next quarter is one thing, but business may well be severely disrupted into the quarter after that—or longer. In order to survive, brands may need to pivot to ecommerce and alternative marketing solutions in the coming months. These are short-term responses to a crisis and, experts agree, they are wise and necessary ones. They will also cost a great deal of money, not just because of lost foot traffic, but also because of the outward rush of money from corporate coffers as many brands continue to make payroll for workers who are not presently working.


When the shockwaves of the coronavirus pandemic first hit the ad world, ad-tech firms said they hadn’t yet felt a drastic impact to their businesses. But a lot can change in just two weeks. As marketers reevaluate their budgets and the work-from-home life upends typical sales protocols, ad-tech companies have to find new ways to get deals done. It’s in these uncertain times when the art of the sale comes into play.


Media is a people business built on relationships. Pressing the flesh wins deals in ways that spray-and-pray pitches don’t. But when the industry works from home, where meetings are done via Zoom and relationships are strained because we’re all being socially distant, ad sales teams have to quickly reinvent their processes, if not their whole way of operating. For a lot of sales folks, it’s like losing a superpower—if that power is the gift of gab.  Everything in the media business comes down to trust. it’s making sure that people—both staff and clients—are safe, then figuring out, day-by-day, how to operate. 


According to two reports—one from location technology platform Foursquare and the other from foot traffic analytics platform—the answer is a little of both. Foot traffic in those cities remained fairly stable from Feb. 24 through March 8 before starting to slide again around March 11, suggesting that a further drop is inevitable. Channeling your advertising during lockdown might not seem the brightest idea, however letting your customers know that your businesses is running amid the outbreak. Cashing a few bucks on advertising might earn you a big income in the  foreseeable future. People are creatures of habit, and the current environment has disrupted that.

It’s not just brands that are facing uncertainty. While agency employees, many of whom are working from home for the foreseeable future, are no doubt feeling the impact. Distressed retailers, already struggling to attract shoppers and service debt, may find it difficult to remain solvent due to the coronavirus. 


The emerging plan: swallow the losses, salvage and recycle what we can, and try to figure out when they can gain back the impressions they were counting on. It’s no small task—and the more difficult challenge is looking for ways to make up lost media impressions.

You can always give us a call or email and learn some tips on how we are tackling it and you establish strategies to reach increasingly fragmented audiences. For more information on OOH and DOOH advertising, contact us today at 210-610-5012 or email


Related Posts