With many businesses navigating unclear waters during this time, companies are being forced to reconsider their marketing and advertising strategies for the duration of 2020 and into 2021. With event cancellations and postponements, the closing of non-essential businesses and schools, travel restrictions, prohibited social gatherings and mandated social distancing, brands are surrounded by question marks in terms of when, where and how to remain profitable during this time. Business closures have segued into layoffs across restaurants, hair salons, hotels, stores, movie theaters and sports arenas as well as insurance providers, law firms and marketing companies, and by March 22, more than five million jobs were lost, according to USA Today and Bisnow Media. As a result, the most financially sound choice for companies nationwide and across the globe has been to cut back on ad spending. 

Recently, Econsultancy and Marketing Week conducted a survey of 500 marketing professionals working for brands exceeding $59 million in revenues annually to identify how the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted marketing, and found that 51 percent of companies in North America and 53 percent of companies in the UK had delayed or were revaluating their marketing spend. Further, more than half of all respondents (53 percent), including 61 percent of North American companies and 45 percent of companies in the UK, said that hiring was also delayed or being revaluated.

However, when this survey was conducted, coronavirus updates were near-constant and businesses in the UK were only beginning to close, leaving even more uncertainty. 

Despite the setback, some brands are seeing success from social media marketing, specifically those providing services like cleaning, videoconferencing, TV streaming and food delivery, according to Ad Age. The publication also reported the top brands winning on social media are Dial Soap, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, InstaCart, Uber Eats and Quibi, a mobile streaming service that launched on April 6. And perhaps the most unexpected contender to be on this list? Southwest Airlines. Other companies that were also seeing growth in the time period, particularly in hiring, were Walmart, which plans to hire 150,000 new employees by late May, and Amazon, which plans to hire 100,000, according to Bisnow Media.


Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.