Monthly Brandtech Blend – April – Covid-19 special

Home Blends & Trends 7 April 2020

At fifty-five, a great part of our work is about educating our clients and explaining the latest changes and trends that are shaping the digital marketing industry.

As such, we would like to help you leverage this unusual hiatus to reflect on the stakes and goals of our jobs, deepen your digital knowledge, and continue to develop your tech expertise.

Advertising, e-commerce, fake news, brand purpose, impacts on podcasts and thoughts on what comes next… This month, we decipher the various impacts of the Covid-19 crisis on the digital ecosystem, and are featuring a selection of articles that we hope will enlighten, inform, or inspire you during this challenging time.

Data storytelling 101: Understanding how the virus got out, with an infographic

This fascinating infographic by The New York Times shows how strict travel restrictions and lockdown measures did not work to stop the virus from spreading around the globe. The infographic analyzes the movement of hundreds of millions of people from the end of December in Wuhan through today…. All over the world. Chronicle of an epidemic foretold.

Discover the infographic in The New York Times.

Ad revenue suffers, but traffic does not

Traffic numbers are jumping, but advertising investments are not following – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Global ad spending is forecasted to significantly decrease across all advertising types, because increased media consumption online is not a good enough reason for advertisers to invest. Much business has come to a standstill due to the lockdown, and contextually the time is not great to advertise anyway. Publishers are thus having a hard time monetizing the higher number of website visitors regardless of the explosion of content consumption on TVs and online.

Read more in AdWeek, or in eMarketer.

Winners and losers in the e-commerce industry

The agency Within is monitoring the effects of Covid-19 on e-commerce revenue, trends, and ad spend by comparing client data samples with pre-Covid-19 benchmarks. The study displays interactive data sets on omnichannel, pure players, fashion, essentials and luxury industries. Overall, fashion and pure play e-commerce are the most impacted sectors with respective conversion rate drops of 18 and 28%. Although these numbers are constantly and drastically evolving due to how unsettled the situation remains, it is likely that the e-commerce market will experience one of the biggest falls of all industries during the crisis.

Read more on Within’s website, and to dig deeper, download the agency’s whitepaper “Digital strategies to get your brand through Coronavirus” here.

It’s also an infodemic: how social media is combating fake news

The coronavirus is now a worldwide pandemic which has ushered in a flood of false information about potential cures and conspiracy theories being shared all over the internet. Social media is the biggest culprit, as controlling fake news is an incredibly difficult task because anyone can start or spread a rumor. Although social media giants including Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok have been taking strong measures to monitor and systematically remove fake news since its explosion during the 2016 US presidential election, fact checkers and algorithms are not sufficient to fully prevent fake news from circulating across platforms. This challenging time could turn out to be either rewarding or ominous for platforms. 

Read more in the South China Morning Post.

Marketing advice for brands during a global crisis

The coronavirus outbreak is impacting the way that consumers shop and interact with brands. Media plans are being entirely rethought, and although brands are thinking more about how they want to be perceived after the crisis rather than focusing on how they want to leverage the current situation, media investments have to be adapted as quickly as possible. The need for brands to hold communities together is stronger than ever – and the best way to do this right now is through solidarity and creativity initiatives modeled by LVMH, General Motors, or Ford, who are producing essentials such as hand sanitizer and medical equipment.

An anonymised conversation with a brand’s media buyer on Digiday explains how both top-of-funnel awareness campaigns and retargeting campaigns are being halted, but every channel investment must be thoroughly considered in order to make the right decisions. Demand and conversion are dropping and will likely continue to drop throughout the crisis – but being informative, supportive, and helpful appears to be more important than advertising in such a context, especially as it is a shared experience for almost every industry.

Read more in Adexchanger, or in this Think With Google article.

Providing the world with resources and information: tech giants do their part to fight the coronavirus

The tech industry’s biggest companies are joining forces to combat the spread of the virus. Facebook, Apple, and Google are actively setting up measures to prevent the circulation of fake news, especially about unverified cures for the illness caused by the virus. Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon have shared their companies’ ongoing contributions such as donations and software projects to help track and analyze the global spread. The main goal is to ensure that everyone has access to accurate information to encourage the mobilization of as many resources as possible to limit the growth of the pandemic – and the infodemic. 

Find all the initiatives set up by tech giants in The Next Web, and in TechCrunch.

Podcasts and webinars see growth amidst the epidemic

Publishers have been increasing products and channels to talk about the growing pandemic, podcasts have stood out as a very efficient communication medium. A month ago, CNN launched “Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction”, a daily ten-minute podcast which hit 1 million downloads in its first week. Moreover, since January 22, there have been 650 podcasts containing “corona” or “covid” in their titles across podcast network Acast alone. What’s more, brand safety rules with podcasts are not the same as other media, and advertisers are not as reluctant to appear in news content when it’s a podcast, which points out their increasing trust and interest in this new advertising channel. Webinar initiatives are also flourishing in almost every industry and for various purposes. As a result, the video conference software Zoom has seen its downloads grow by 183% in March

Read more in Digiday.

What comes next: global empowerment or the end of Privacy?

Going beyond digital marketing considerations, Yuval Noah Harari – “Sapiens: a brief history of humankind” author – tells the story about how humanity might be facing a double-choice: between privacy and health on the one hand, and disunity or global solidarity on the other. As technology today makes it possible to monitor almost everything, Harari stresses how well-informed and self-motivated populations are critical – rather than overly controlled and ignorant ones – as the solution to enjoy both health and privacy. Harari also raises the question of global citizenship empowerment as a key to a more responsible world.

Discover this must-read article in The Financial Times.

Would you like another cup of tea?