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Will Digital Channels Prevail Post-Pandemic?

By: Mackenzie Baker | Jul 22, 2020

As the Coronavirus pandemic impacted spending priorities, many businesses readjusted their traditional budgets to save money. But as challenging times continue, how can marketers adapt to an uncertain future?

Digital marketing has become the go-to destination for brands looking to promote relevant content amidst the ongoing pandemic. In fact, many marketers have redirected the majority of their budgets to digital channels in a bid to reach homebound consumers. As such, digital channels will account for 80% of marketing budgets this year. When compared to agencies and in-house labor, marketing technolgoy represents the largest proportions of a brand’s budget, with many marketers predicting budgets will continue to increase within the next year. By developing a financial focus on digital channels—where consumers have been spending more time as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic—brands could build long-term, virtual plans that concentrate on retention and audience engagement.

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Maintaining up-to-date digital channels aided many marketers in the early days of the pandemic as consumers migrated in droves to digital platforms for information, connection, and entertainment. The reliance on everything digital, from websites to social media, magnified the need for brands to budget across channels. Many marketers believe the mass shift to digital and social media will extend into 2021, with nearly two-thirds of brands predicted to increase their digital channel budgets in the next year according to Gartner’s 2020 CMO Spend Survey. Many of the areas that will see an increase in spending make sense as they represent the virtual spaces consumers have flocked to during the pandemic. For example, more than 70% of brands plan to boost spending for digital advertising, social media marketing, and mobile marketing. Opposite this, 30% of brands plan to decrease spending in sectors no longer as relevant, such as offline advertising budgets.

Marketers have continually adapted their strategies this year as consumers shifted online during the Coronavirus pandemic. The move presented a prime opportunity for brands to grow a digital audience—one they must now continue attending to as they move from the “respond” to “recover” phase of the crisis. With a high percentage of marketers increasing their digital spending in the next year, the time to strengthen an online presence and increase consumer loyalty is now.

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