Majority of marketers delaying campaigns as coronavirus fears escalate – Marketing Week

SOURCE: Charlotte Rogers | Marketing Week 

 

More than half of marketers (55%) are delaying campaigns or have put them under review as fears escalate over the global coronavirus outbreak.

An exclusive survey of based on 234 responses from UK brand marketers with revenues of £50m plus, conducted by Marketing Week and its sister title Econsultancy, reveals that 62% of marketers have delayed or are reviewing their budget commitments in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. A further 55% have paused product or service launches.

This sense of caution over the release of new campaigns and product launches is spreading to other parts of the business. Some 43% of marketers have delayed or are reviewing planned technology or infrastructure spending in light of the crisis, while a further 45% have put the breaks on any planned new hires.

More than a third of marketers (35%) say their company has already experienced lowered demand for its services, while more than half (56%) expect to see this lowering of demand continue over the next two quarters.

Of the 56%, 32% expect a drop of more than 20% in demand, while 15% predict they will see a decrease of between 16% to 20%. Some 18% of respondents say they have no ability to gauge.

 

The impact on consumer behaviour

Beyond the effects being felt within their own organisations, marketers are expecting to see significant changes in behaviour among both consumers and business clients.

Some 76% of respondents predict that consumers will delay major spending decisions, while 70% expect business customers to delay spending decisions.

A further 55% of marketers are readying themselves for their business customers to pause any forthcoming product or service launches and 91% say clients are reluctant to schedule in-person meetings.

Marketers in general feel that the changes in behaviour sparked by the Covid-19 outbreak will be wide-ranging and could change the way we consume media. Some 91% predict an increase in consumers’ use of online services, while 77% expect to see a rise in social media activity and 71% predict an increase in ecommerce usage.

This shift to greater use of online services is being experienced internally as brands attempt to transition their workforce to remote working until the outbreak subsides. While 32% of UK marketers say that remote working has been somewhat rare or rare until recently, 92% say it will become somewhat or very common over the next two quarters.