Marketing Budgets During COVID-19


Determine how marketing budgets have shifted and are shifting in light of the COVID-19 outbreak to inform an understanding of the field. Include any information on whether marketing budgets have increased or decreased, channel prioritization, and whether new or existing strategies are being implemented.

Early Findings

Marketing Budget Shifts and Related Findings

  • Six areas of marketing spending are anticipated to increase as a result of COVID-19 based on a survey of 100 enterprise-level companies:
    • Virtual events will see an increase in spending for 78 percent of companies.
    • Web content will see an increase in spending for 72 percent of companies.
    • Webinars will be increased by 67 percent of companies.
    • Social media spending will increase at 66 percent of companies.
    • Content spending such as blogs will be increased at 57 percent of companies.
    • Video production is anticipated to increase at 50 percent of companies.
  • The top challenge identified by marketers is managing shifting priorities (indicated by 56 percent of respondents).
  • 73 percent of advertisers have held back a marketing campaign as a result of COVID-19.
  • 52 percent of advertisers are expected to resume or increase their spending in summer of 2020.

Email Advertising is a Key Focus

  • The rate of emails being opened has increased significantly over previous years, according to a report from Campaign Monitor.
  • Emails were 23.3 percent more likely to be opened in March 2020 than March 2019.
  • Emails were 20.5 percent more likely to be opened in April 2020 than April 2019.
  • Click-through rates increased as well with an increase of 0.24 points from March 2019 to March 2020 and an increase of 0.63 points from April 2019 to April 2020.

Empathy is a Key Strategy

  • 81 percent of consumers feel that brands have shown empathy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 80 percent of consumers express that the best way for brands to show empathy is to change the tone of their advertising and communications.
  • A significant portion of consumers (41 percent) are now ready to see advertising that is not related to COVID-19 to help distract them from it.
  • Finding the balance between demonstrating COVID-19 empathy and not addressing COVID-19 to appease both types of consumers will be an ongoing challenge for marketers.

In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over one million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals.

Summary of Early Findings in Relation to Goals

The first hour of research involved outlining the project to determine if the requested information is available. The impact of COVID-19 on marketing budgets appears to be significant, ongoing, and to have major impact on future marketing strategies. More than half of companies are adjusting their priorities and a much higher percentage is adjusting their spending as a result of the outbreak.

Based on our findings, we recommend the following next steps to provide a deeper dive into insights on how marketing budgets are changing and what strategies companies are adopting.

Research proposal:

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