How COVID-19 Changed Marketing and Consumer Behavior

As coronavirus continues it’s impact across the world, some industries are flourishing while others are hanging on by a thread. It has forced businesses to evolve, innovate and make serious changes to their business models in order to survive. COVID-19 has changed marketing and consumer behavior in ways no one saw coming. 

Tracking data by Media post shows that U.S. ad spending has hit a new bottom and it’s finally beginning to see signs of recovery as the end of Q3 looms around the corner. Marketing firms and professionals alike have proven to be innovative and savvy in unprecedented times of uncertainty. They have fought to restructure and refocus their brands to provide value and confidence to consumers as instability continues to rise throughout the marketing world. 

COVID-19 has forced marketing professionals to take a humble step back and redefine how they want to connect to their most precious resource, the consumer. Going forward marketers have big operational and business changes that will redefine how they conduct business.

Let’s take a look at the different ways COVID-19 is changing marketing and consumer behavior.

Future is Remote

Covid-19 has changed the way we work in 2020

COVID-19 has made more marketing companies realize that their day-to-day operations can fully run remote and excel. This is even more the case with digital marketing agencies who rely primarily on software to create and run their advertising and marketing campaigns. 

Digital communications companies like Zoom are leading the remote culture. With their long suite of products such as their cutting edge video conferencing, phone systems, video webinars and so much more. 

Zoom has experienced some serious growth during COVID-19 and are the leading provider for companies who are transitioning to remote. Zoom’s stock price has more than quadrupled in price since the start of the pandemic and is showing no signs of slowing down.

ZOOM (ZM) stock price during COVID-19

Zoom stock price going up during pandemic

Companies like Facebook and Twitter have also jumped on the remote bandwagon. They will allow employees from certain departments to continue working from home for the near future. More and more companies are following that lead as they realize that working from home does not cause communication or productivity issues amongst their employees. Some companies have even reported that working from home during COVID-19 has had an overall positive effect on their workers’ productivity.

Some of the reason for this include:

  • Saved time from not having to commute
  • Less distractions from other coworkers 
  • Less in person meetings

This leads us to discuss some of the advantages of working remote home along with the disadvantages.

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Advantages of Working Remote

You often hear how awesome it is to work from home and now many people are getting to experience it for the first time in their careers they are hooked. Some of the advantages of working from home include:

  1. No longer having to commute to the office. It’s estimated that the average commute for most working American’s is about 27 minutes one way. That is roughly an hour per day just spent on commuting to work. This adds up to approximately 5 hours of driving per week if you work 5 days per week. This adds up to 20 hours of driving per month and 240 hours of driving for the year. You essentially gain 10 extra days per year not having to commute to work. This is extra time that people are gaining to be with their family and friends and take on difficult tasks. This is a big selling point for people  
  2. Commuting Costs Are Cut. An added benefit of not having to commute is the fact that you don’t have to spend money on gas. This can add up to thousands of dollars in savings which you can save or invest as you see fit.  
  3. Less Money Spent on Eating Out for Lunch. Most people who work in an office setting tend to get lunch or coffee at least once or twice a week. Some do it even more frequently. Working from home forces you to make coffee and lunch at home which can add to further savings.
  4. Reduced Stress From Not Commuting. According to, more than 30 minutes of daily one-way commuting is associated with increased levels of stress and anxiety. This can include health issues such as higher cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, increased risk of depression.
  5. Positive Environmental Impact. The people who were forced to work from home during the pandemic have helped contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Disadvantages of Working Remote

While working from home for some is ideal it can be quite problematic for others. Some believe that having employees in the office creates less distractions and makes them more productive. Some of the disadvantages of working from home include: 

  1. More distractions. While some people argue against this, some believe that working from home can be very distracting and cause you to be less productive. This can be due to a higher likelihood to not hold yourself accountable.  
  2. Isolation decreases social interactions. Working alone all day can make people feel isolated and as a result can make it difficult to feel more connected to other people at the company and the work they are doing.  
  3. Less employee visibility. Some managers may feel that not working in an office puts them in a position of not being able to properly monitor the productivity of their employees. 

Innovative Paradigm Shift

how covid 19 changed marketing

COVID-19 has disrupted many industries across the globe and as a result has forced them to make some serious underlying changes to their business models in order to survive. Marketing companies are finding themselves clinging to important sales and marketing tools in order to help run their businesses more effectively. 

Although COVID-19 has resulted in economic shock, higher unemployment and business shutdowns there have been many innovative solutions created by businesses in order to keep their operations running as smoothly and as efficiently as possible. One way COVID-19 has impacted consumer behavior is by the rise of food delivery services.

The Rise of Food Delivery Services

With people stuck at home during the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the demand of food delivery services has skyrocketed. Grocery delivery services such as Shipt, Instacart and Amazon Prime Now have seen massive growth and demand during COVID-19. 

Many restaurants and bars have been forced to shut down their dine-in operations during COVID-19 but have been allowed to offer food pick up options. This at least allows their operations to continue providing services to their customers and even gives smaller operations the ability to remain in business all together.

This has increased the need for food delivery services such as UberEats and Doordash and provides a way for consumers to still enjoy the foods they are used to having. It has also provided more opportunities for food delivery workers and a further ability for them to make more money during these uncertain times.

Reorganization of Supply Chains

One massive impact that has been caused by COVID-19 is the shortage of certain goods and services. The impact can often be seen at your local groceries toilet paper aisle. More people are flocking to grocery stores to prepare for uncertainty and as a result there have been massive shortages in certain food and supply essentials such as:

  • Toilet paper
  • Eggs
  • Hand-sanitizers
  • Masks
  • Water
  • Meat and Poultry 

Suppliers are having trouble keeping up with the rise in demand for essential goods. As a result they are having to seriously restructure their supply chain operations and how they provide these goods and services to their customers during times of unprecedented demand.

Companies are learning now more than ever of the importance of having proper risk procedures in place and inventory management systems to help them adapt to a rapid rise in consumer demand. 

Ad Spend Tracking Is More Paramount Than Even

how covid 19 changed marketing

With shrinking advertising budgets in the majority of marketing and advertising firms, it’s extremely important that companies effectively track and manage ad spend in every area of their business. The increased need for ad tracking has spawned a rise in need for tracking and advertising automation. 

Software Tools such as Voluum allow you to accurately track, optimize and automate components of your advertising at scale. They allow countless integrations with other technologies which allow marketers to ensure their ad dollars are bringing in maximum revenue. 

COVID-19 has woken up many marketers and caused them to carefully access their advertising channels and realign their focus in order to ensure they aren’t wasting money in places where they aren’t seeing positive conversions. 

It’s making them more conscious of their spending decisions and has realigned their focus back to providing value to the consumer.

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Consumers Are Becoming More Cost Conscious

how covid 19 changed marketing

The economic impact of COVID-19 has evolved the modern day consumer into a cost-conscious, value driven persona. Marketing companies around the world are seriously restrategizing how they offer their products and services to their consumers relative to their competitors. 

COVID-19 has also skyrocketed e-commerce sales and it’s more than obvious that Amazon is leading the race. Other e-commerce giants such as Alibaba, Walmart and eBay are also changing their value driven marketing in order to accommodate the shopping shifts caused by COVID. 

Changes In Consumer Behavior

COVID-19 has caused consumers to consider other alternatives that offer more value for their money. With the unemployment rate hovering around 10% throughout COVID, many families have no choice but to look for cheaper alternatives and products and services that offer larger discounts. 

People have to make their dollars stretch further than ever before and once government stimulus is exhausted some consumers will have to get even more crafty with the way they spend money. 

Changes in Marketing Caused by Changes in Consumer Behavior

Some people argue that COVID-19 has caused a massive change in the exclusivity or products. Products which previously held allure, popularity and inclusivity are beginning to see struggles in performance.

One industry which has been especially impacted by COVID-19 is the car industry. As consumer spending has dramatically dropped during the pandemic people are not shopping for new vehicles like they used to. 

This has caused a major shift in the financing and marketing tactics used by car dealerships. In order to adequately compete for business, car dealerships are offering wild incentives in order to get people in the door. Thing such as:

  • Near 0% financing
  • Slashing car prices nearly 20%
  • Waving first month payments
  • Extended warranties at a reduced premium

COVID has caused the marketing landscape to shift in order to value the consumer more than ever before. There is no telling how marketing will continue to change as COVID continues it’s spread going into the future.