Digital marketing during COVID-19 times: Data-driven insights | Digital Agency Canberra
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30-second summary:

  • More than 4500 digital marketing professionals from the USA and Europe participated in the anonymous survey. We asked them about the impact of COVID-19 on their business and the working routine.
  • 63% of participants reallocate budgets to activities that bring results in the short term.
  • Most entrepreneurs in the internet marketing believe that it is necessary to adapt as much as possible to new conditions not to lose current customers and quickly return to pre-quarantined indicators.
  • Some respondents talk about increasing the volume of work and improving business indicators: 18% of respondents noted an increase in sales, 27% reported an increase in traffic, and 12% received new customers.

We can see and feel the impact of COVID-19 on a company of any size. By now, many have refactored their business logic by cutting expenses as much as practical, offering contactless delivery options or curbside pickup, etc. Internet marketing transformation is another key point in the list of business alterations.

In this article, we’ll share the results of Serpstat’s research on the effects of quarantine on digital marketing. Read on to keep your businesses ahead of the curve and adapt your strategic planning.

About the study

More than 4,500 respondents from the USA, Germany, Spain, and other European states participated in the anonymous survey. They were Serpstat platform users, which includes, digital marketing professionals that work for or run small or medium-sized businesses, agencies, or teams. Niche freelancers were also among the respondents.

The strategic aim of the Serpstat research was to use a numbers-driven approach and highlight insights that go beyond subjectivity.

Survey highlights reel

 Here are the key results of the research:

  • In 60% of companies, no employees were dismissed from their positions. What is more, there were no such plans in the roadmap. Meanwhile, 24% of the survey participants confirmed that they or their colleagues were laid-off for COVID-19 related reasons.
  • 64% said they started working remotely.
  • 63% of companies opted for diverting SEO budgets to PPC.
  • 46% of businesses lost essential customers for the last several months, while 12% claimed they enjoyed a surge in new ones.
  •  40% of respondents confirmed their salaries were cut, while 9% of businesses had plans to turn such changes to reality.
  • 28% observed a decrease in traffic compared to 27% that experienced the opposite.
  • Anti-crisis plans were developed and brought to life by 19% of companies.

Survey participants

Precisely 4,511 respondents opted for the survey. The USA, Germany, and Spain are the countries where most participants are based.

The majority of respondents were aged between 22 and 35, and more men participated in the study. For more details about the gender and age distribution of the respondents, please refer to the charts below: 

SEO and PPC specialists, digital marketing specialists, social media, content, and email marketers were among the participants. Their professional experiences ranged from one year to more than 10 years in the field. 

What are the changes?

SEO budget redistribution

To avoid losses in online sales, 63% of respondents confirm their SEO budgets were redistributed. Thus, contextual advertising gains maximum attention.

This goes to prove that businesses rethink their long and short-term objectives. The shift to short-term goals signifies that companies intend to minimize the influence of quarantine on their key business performance indicators. 

Work from home

Now, as this article gets typed out, many of us stay at home and work remotely. It didn’t take much time for the many to adjust their businesses and tweak the internal processes quickly. This has helped many business owners to keep their businesses running while staying safe.

digital marketing survey - work from home stats

Thus, 64% of respondents confirmed they worked from home, while as few as 6% of Marketing Managers kept working in offices. Additionally, some employers allowed their employees to choose where they wanted to work.

Changes in customer churn

46% of respondents said that they didn’t have the luck to keep several of their customers. These discouraging numbers have led many businesses to focus on improving their products and services, thus doing their best to retain a loyal customer.

Meanwhile, 12% of the survey participants said they had managed to attract new customers during the quarantine.

customer churn stats

Fluctuations in sales

An insignificant drop in sales was recorded by 27% of respondents, while 26% claimed a dramatic decline in sales.

There are also some comforting numbers as the effects of the pandemic are different depending on a business niche. 18% of the survey participants mentioned a sales uplift.

For as many as 13%, there was no change in the number of sales. No news is good news. Well, it might be so during these tough times for many entrepreneurs.

Shifts in online traffic volumes

According to the survey results, online projects enjoy a traffic boost in 27% of cases. 15%  of respondents shared data about a dramatic decline in their online projects, while 28% suffered a slight sales dip.online traffic volume stats

What actions have companies taken to adopt?

Changes are inevitable. Practically 70% of businesses agree with that. Today, customer retention is having the upper hand. We all know that it’s easier to retain a customer than to acquire, and businesses start paying more attention to their loyal customer bases.

As a result, we can see them:

  • Offer discounts (23%)
  • Provide anti-crisis deals (19%)
  • Make specific products or services free (18%)
  • Adapt products/services costs to local currencies (8%)

customer retention efforts of digital marketing companies

Factually, customer-business relationships become more omnichannel and personalized. More than ever before, entrepreneurs need to acknowledge their customers’ needs and make data-driven decisions at every step of interaction with the clients.

Bottom line

Many companies are concerned about the new reality we live in and the new conditions of running a business. Most marketing professionals are convinced that changes in how we do marketing must be made, which also implies an increase in the work volumes. This will allow taking down the harmful effects of the coronavirus pandemic, stabilizing sales, and quickly returning to pre-quarantine business performance indicators.

Eugene Lata is the VP of Marketing and Board Member at Serpstat, an all-in-one SEO platform. His expertise includes marketing, lead generation, SEO, and building smart, innovative marketing teams.