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Three Ways Digital Marketers Can Counter the Impact of COVID-19

  • Vihan Sharma
  • 3 min read

It’s been three months since much of the world went into quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, galvanizing businesses to drastically reduce spend. The $50 billion decrease in ad spend due to coronavirus concerns significantly impacted brands, some of which have shut their doors permanently. As ever, publishers struggle to do more with less at a time when content consumption is at an all-time high.

To succeed during this time, marketers are going to have to radically rethink their strategies and quickly learn to navigate this new landscape. Here are three ideas for how to weather the current conditions and come out stronger:

Create new data partnerships

The good news for brands and publishers is that increased visits to websites is something both parties can capitalize on. Publishers can establish a unique value exchange with readers and build their database of authenticated first-party data. Advertisers can build stronger direct relationships with publishers and work together on crafting advertising that is welcomed by users. 

First-party data has already proven itself to be a resource to identify customers, but it has to be connected to other data sets to prove value. By making use of privacy-first data connectivity platforms, brands can enter into trusted data partnerships with publishers to gather new insights about their customer base. Through this collaboration, brands can leverage these advanced insights to provide better customer experiences, while simultaneously honing their strategies and budgets at this challenging time.

Double down on outcome-based measurement

With every advertising dollar under greater scrutiny, spend should be focused on measurable outcomes. As a result of the virus, however, the path to those outcomes looks different than before. Many of the usual customer journeys and experiences don’t exist. Now is the time for brands and publishers to innovate and test new customer engagement models underpinned by transparent advertising identity infrastructure.

This collaboration is particularly timely, given the post-CCPA and GDPR world we work in. Few brands or publishers have succeeded in creating brand-building experiences that are privacy-first. Those that do will not only gain conversions and loyalty, but also bring trust back into the digital ecosystem

The power of data connectivity

CCPA, GDPR, and other privacy laws were enacted due to public distrust in customer data use. Yet the coronavirus reinforces the benefits of connected data, both for consumers and marketers. New customer engagement models built by brands and publishers will only be stronger with permissioned access to relevant data and accurate insights into buying habits. 

The relationship between customer and brand is perhaps nowhere more pressing than for brick-and-mortar retailers. The recent bankruptcies of large retailers and others speaks to the fragile state these once stalwart companies were in, even before lockdown. For the retailers that remain, innovation is imperative to survival. 

Consumer habits and expectations continue to significantly change and evolve. To address those expectations, marketers need to remain nimble and agile to new developments, yet laser-focused on strategies that will serve them well during and after the pandemic: exploring data partnerships, proactively engaging publishers, focusing on outcome-based measurement, and securing and connecting their data foundations. 

COVID-19 has taught us the power of looking out for one another and contributing to a greater good. Let’s harness this energy to rebuild our industry together with new trusted partnerships, better customer experiences based on fair value exchange, and privacy-first technology. 

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