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How Marketing Has Changed in Response to the Pandemic



As new norms, situations, and innovations arise — marketing changes with it. Just like any industry, the world of marketing has had to cut costs and adjust the way they reach their target audiences, most of which are stuck at home. This has led to massive changes in the way the world’s leading social media influencers do business. In a Business Insider report on how modern marketing is adapting to the changes, the current crisis has been a double-edged sword for the influencer-creator industry. On one hand, sponsorship for paid content has faded as brands buckle down and cut their losses. On the other hand, advertisers and brands are recognizing that the DIY ad content filmed at home by influencers is more viable today compared to full-scale commercial ad productions. Apart from the near-term economic effects of the current crisis, this also underscores the rapid and ongoing digitization of the ad industry. Digital marketing has been huge even before 2020 – this year, it can only get bigger.

Macbook Air on desk with Facebook open in Safari

This is why marketing today and in the future will be focused more on the digital realm, as it will arguably be the best strategy to reach a bigger audience. Unfortunately, digital marketing will be a challenge for startups and small businesses alike, with Ayima Kickstart pointing out how establishing a presence online is no easy feat. That’s because Google’s algorithms are more likely to reward bigger brands and established businesses that have already accumulated what’s called link equity, or a collection of “valuable” links that push a brand’s content up Google’s rankings and drive lots of traffic into its own website. Even startups with great content can be saddled with technical problems that can oftentimes be resolved only at a sizable cost.

Fortunately for startups, as well as small- to medium-sized businesses, there are viable solutions for them to launch effective digital marketing campaigns that can create the much-needed buzz that their brand needs. Content in this case will prove pivotal, with Forbes contributor John Hall explaining the importance of the right messaging during-pandemic and after-pandemic marketing strategies. In particular, brands should start focusing more on content espousing solidarity, or we’re-all-in-this-together messaging because it is the kind of mindset that will likely influence today’s consumers.

It’s exactly the kind of messaging Nike delivers in its Play Inside, Play for the World campaign, which asks consumers to continue training while staying home using the Nike Training Club app (whose fees were waived by Nike). Nike’s snappy slogan is both a tacit acknowledgment of stay-at-home protocols implemented in countries around the world and a call to action — to continue training and caring for your own physical health even amidst this worldwide health crisis.

“They’re [Nike] still inspiring people to move, which is true to their brand,” explains BAM Communications’ Neha Singh of Nike’s pandemic-focused marketing ploy. “But they’re doing it in a way that embraces that sense of community [of people staying at home to stay safe] that’s needed right now.”

Additionally, Business2Community’s Slye Serrano says that context will take on a greater role in content creation, lest companies run online marketing campaigns that’ll make them appear tone-deaf or non-empathetic. Put simply, content creators will need to be more mindful of local context when creating content for online advertisements and campaigns. In other words, content creation from now on will be guided by this question: Is this campaign right, given what’s happening in the community?

In fact, this approach is what led us at Acquire Digital to provide a range of new solutions aimed at enhancing safety in public spaces for our clients. At the core of every marketing strategy are insights geared towards addressing the most pressing concerns of clients and customers alike. Today, recognizing these insights means not ignoring the viral elephant in the room, and taking actual steps to either allay people’s fears or help them cope with the ongoing global crisis.

Submitted by Alisha Wilson

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