Research: 15-Plus Data Points on the Impact of COVID-19 on Marketers

The situation with COVID-19 is so unpredictable, that many marketers can’t foresee what’s going to happen in a few weeks, let alone a few months. But a number of reports that have recently emerged are helping shape the predominant headlines on the pandemic’s impact for marketers and the industry at large. Let’s dig in.

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To get a sense of how the industry is responding to the business disruption caused by the pandemic, PCMA conducted a survey of event industry pros. A total of 1,776 people responded to the survey—69 percent (1,230 people) identified as business event professionals, while 31 percent (546) identified as suppliers serving event professionals. The topline results:

♦ 57% of respondents said their employment has been unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic, while 12% said that their salary has been reduced and 6% have had to lay off team members
♦ 63% of respondents said they are using this time to cultivate other skills, with a majority focusing on developing virtual event strategies
♦ 87% of respondents said they have canceled—and 66% have postponed—events as a result of COVID-19
♦ 61% reported they were in the midst of deciding whether to cancel or postpone an upcoming event; a majority said they will be making that decision in April
♦ Seven out of 10 respondents have moved their face-to-face events partially or fully to a virtual platform, and many don’t see that as a short-term fix




In March, influencer marketing platform Find Your Influence surveyed 380 tastemakers across the U.S. to determine how they’ve been affected by the pandemic, and how their brand partnerships have been impacted. The key findings:

♦ 74% of influencers surveyed have posted organic content (unpaid) around their perspective on the coronavirus
♦ 64% of influencers have lost opportunities with brands as a result of the pandemic
♦ 36% have adjusted tones and messaging for brand campaigns
♦ 88% of those surveyed indicated they’re concerned about the pandemic impacting their earning potential as an influencer in 2020




Publisher Aggregage, Inc. on April 9 announced the results of a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on 2020 b-to-b marketing. More than 450 b-to-b marketing professionals responded and provided details about how they expect to adjust their marketing plans in the wake of the pandemic. The survey was conducted in late March by B2B Marketing Zone, a platform and newsletter for b-to-b marketers, and Webbiquity LLC, a digital marketing consultancy. The key findings:

♦ 72% of respondents project overall 2020 b-to-b marketing budgets will increase, stay the same, or only be cut moderately (by less than 20%)
♦ 70% will cancel all or some live events for the next 60 days, and nearly 25% plan to cancel some or all live events for the next six months
♦ 65% plan to reallocate some or most of their live event budgets to online events, such as webinars
♦ Top spending categories for those planning to reallocate live event budgets are: content creation, hosted and sponsored webinars, social media marketing, search engine optimization and industry vertical lead generation programs
♦ Software and healthcare marketers appear best positioned to maintain marketing spending and activity, while those in manufacturing and business services are experiencing the greatest impact



It’s no secret that with most event professionals under stay-at-home orders, the industry is sorely missing live experiences. A new study by APCO Insight, which surveyed 1,000 American adults, suggests that U.S. workers—particularly those who attended physical meetings and conventions before the pandemic hit—are eager to return to those events when COVID-19 is contained and social distancing is no longer needed. A few insights:

♦ 83% of Americans currently required to work from home say they miss attending in-person meetings and conventions
♦ 78% say they plan to attend as many or more live events when the threat of COVID-19 passes and it is safe to do so
♦ When asked if convention centers and event venues should be eligible for federal support and funding, 49% of Americans agreed; only 14% disagreed
Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor, digital content. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music.
View all articles by Kait Shea →

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