#COVID19 Forces Advertisers to Focus on Digital Economy

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

It is no surprise that the coronavirus is by far the most significant theme to affect the technology industry in 2020. “It will put incredible strain on the world economy, which will be effectively halted for three months or more. Many companies will not survive this initial phase. Almost all others will suffer significant drop in revenues” says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData has just published a fully revised report, ‘Tech, Media & Telecom Trends 2020’, to reflect the impact of #COVID19 on 17 separate TMT sectors and it discusses the short- and long-term impacts on each sector, and ranks on a company-by-company basis the individual impact of #COVID19 alongside nine other themes. All sectors will be negatively impacted.

Oliver Lockett, Thematic Analyst at GlobalData was quoted as saying that “The most affected sub-sectors of advertising will be out-of-home and events advertising, as people go into isolation and large public gatherings are cancelled worldwide. Advertising can play a significant role in the global response to COVID-19, with companies able to build brand value through socially-conscious advertising and PR. Those that take this proactive approach will fare better both during and after the crisis”.

We’d argue however that the impact of #COVID19 is changing so rapidly that it’s far too early to understand the short and long term effects on business. With regard to out of home advertising, we know that the OAAA is collecting data and formulating a proper industry perspective.

The OAAA’s Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Freitas told us that they would have much more to say in the coming weeks but for now he went on record to say “The fundamentals of the out of home sector are strong. We have just came off of our most successful year ever, an industry with record revenue growth across every one of our core formats: billboards – both static and digital, street furniture, transit, and place-based”.

He continued “It looks like this trajectory will continue through the first quarter of 2020. While it’s too early to tell exactly what the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be on ad spend in our sector, we are checking in with our members and monitoring the situation on behalf of the OOH industry.  With data-driven metrics and proven ROI, OOH makes other media more effective. In fact, OOH is proven to drive online activation and when it comes to driving consumers to cash registers, OOH generates increased store traffic”.

For these reasons, among many others, I think we all agree that the OOH industry is well-positioned to thrive as our industry associations work alongside the communities our industry serves as we all aim to get through this crisis together!

Leave a Reply