Despite the budget cuts and economic hardship that has come as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, marketing has never been as important as it is today.
That’s according to the global technology company powering the world’s marketers with trusted and impactful advertising, Criteo, which has released the COVID-19 Impact on Marketing Survey.
The report – which surveyed 1,000 senior marketing executives globally, including 125 from Australia – found that 40 per cent of respondents believe that marketing is now more important to their business than it was prior to the pandemic.
This is due to a greater need to retain and acquire customers, as well as to drive sales.
The growing importance of marketing has been supported by an improvement in supply chain efficiencies. When asked to list positive business outcomes that have occurred during COVID-19, increased efficiency (30 per cent), improved supply chain (30 per cent) and increased productivity (28 per cent) topped the list.
Revenues down, but digital marketing budgets remain buoyant
It is no secret COVID-19 has ravaged economies around the globe, and the economic impact of the pandemic has been felt by the marketers surveyed by Criteo.
In Australia, 60 per cent of marketers revealed that they have seen a drop in revenue in 2020 compared with the year prior, due to COVID-19.
However, this has not necessarily resulted in budget cuts for marketers. Seven out of 10 respondents revealed that the share of digital marketing spend at their company has increased due to COVID-19.
Additionally, 73 per cent revealed performance marketing channels will attract more ad spend in their organisation in 2021, while 50 per cent revealed that digital marketing campaigns are going ahead as planned.
concerns around Brand safety and measuring ROI remain
Although the marketing industry is moving at a rapid pace, brand safety and measuring the ROI of campaigns are still major concerns for marketers, according to Criteo.
When asked about what issues they face when executing digital marketing campaigns, 30 per cent of marketers revealed they had concerns around brand safety, while 30 per cent suggested it is difficult to measure the ROI of a campaign.
The dominance of tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon has also contibuted to these concerns, with 28 per cent of marketers revealing they believe digital marketing campaigns are too dependent on these platforms.
“Digital marketing budgets have increased, but poor targeting, brand safety, and high dependency on Facebook, Google, and Amazon are key concerns,” Criteo says in the report.
Claiming back lost revenue
As businesses continue to emerge from the pandemic, Criteo has provided three tips on how to improve ROI during periods of uncertainty.
Firstly, it suggests marketers look at targeting customers that have shown interest in the business. This might involve looking at recent website visitors, helping recent buyers discover new products, or re-engaging with lapsed customers.
Secondly, Criteo calls on marketers to embrace the online revolution that has come as a result of the pandemic. With online sales skyrocketing and home delivery at an all-time high, marketers should launch retail media campaigns to target online audiences that are actively browsing retailer websites.
Finally, marketers that create well-placed ads with relevant content will be the most likely to succeed in 2021. Using real-time data can help campaigns reach audiences when they’re in the mood to shop.
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