Business organizations around the world are getting ready to re-start their
business activities after the subsequent lockdown(s) followed by the
pandemic. The economy is on the revival mode. Industry experts believe it is
the right time to have a new beginning to your business
We are currently facing the second wave of the Covid 19 pandemic while the threat of a third wave
still looms large in the atmosphere. The end of the lockdown will not spell a return to the old
“normal”, nor will it be universal. The opening is in a planned phase at different regions, and
different business sectors opening up in different ways and at differing speeds.
How can business organizations navigate this difficult environment, especially in the next few weeks,
as the restrictions are loosened? The eagerness to restart and rebuild must be utilised in a way that
it helps the business to flourish again. The financial health—and state of mind—of suppliers and
consumers is really important in this context. Employees need to be motivated to return to work and
assured about their safety. Companies will need to take a holistic approach to not just restarting but
The best approach is to have a detailed relaunch map—segment by segment, customer by customer,
and product by product—in order to prioritise recovery opportunities. You are not reopening, but
you are relaunching. Get ready to relaunch. You are not re-opening or re-starting a business. This is a
grand opening. This is a launch. Do your marketing, branding activities and promotion as if it is a
grand relaunch all by yourself. You have to hold back to your resources so that you have them to
properly re launch in a grand opening mode. You should move according to these in the areas of
production, supply chain, and marketing and sales efforts, and help determine a recovery timeline
for each site. It will also enable business leaders to get a head start on reassessing investments and
prospects for changing the geography of their value chains, for example through relocation of assets.
It may be appropriate to freeze some planned or ongoing projects until the company has the
capacity to reassess them. You can accomplish several things with slight changes and individual
adjustments to your business. Create the energy and dynamics surrounding the grand opening.
Remember the old customers are not going to be the one’s driving your success. It’s the new
customers you get who will drive you to success.
We should also be prepared for a Plan B in case of a third wave of the pandemic. The restart plan
will need to be tested against such difficult scenarios and include options for a fluid reallocation of
resources if necessary. The pace of vaccination program for Covid 19 is something that might help us
to keep our hopes afloat.
According to industry experts, digital media ad spend will continue to grow at a greater rate than
traditional media accounting for over 50% of ad spend. In 2021, out-of-home advertising is expected
to have strong support from marketers compared to other traditional media. Tokyo Olympics will
also bolster ad spend. Looking globally, the ad marketplace in China proved to be among the most
resilient in 2020 among major markets.
In 2020 prominent Ad Agency Magna projects global ad spend to be $569 billion, a year-over-year
decline of 4.2%. Globally, the ad spend for traditional media (linear TV, linear radio, print and out-of-
home) was estimated to be $233 billion, a drop-off of 18% from 2019. Digital media was far more
robust as ad spend grew by 8% in 2020 reaching $336 billion. Magna estimates in 2020 digital media
will account for 59% of all global ad spend.
The ad global marketplace is to rebound as the Tokyo Olympics will take place. The agency forecasts
the global ad spend to increase by 7.6% to $612 billion. Linear media will grow by 3.5% and digital
will be +10.4%. Every key market will see a rebound in ad spend, led by India at +26.9%. Despite the
year-over-year growth, in 2021, the ad spend for linear media will be $42 billion lower than it was in
In 2021, Zenith, another prominent global Ad Agency forecasts the global ad marketplace, driven by
the postponed Tokyo Olympics and UEFA Euro tournament to grow by 5.6% to an estimated $620
billion. Looking ahead to 2022, global ad spend is projected to grow by another 5.2% reaching $652
In 2020 Zenith reports every global region recorded a decline in ad spend when compared to the
previous year. The Middle East & North Africa had the sharpest drop-off at -20.0%, followed by Latin
America -13.8% and Western Europe -12.3%. The North America market will fall by 5.3%, the least of
any region Zenith measured. In 2021, Zenith forecasts year-over-year ad spend growth across all
regions led by Middle East & North Africa (+11.0) and Latin America (+10.0%). With an off year
politically, the North America region is forecast to have a more modest growth of 3.3%, the lowest of
any region. Globally, Zenith expects the ad spend market to not surpass the 2019 level until 2022. In
addition, in 2021, Zenith expects the Asia Pacific and Central & Eastern Europe regions with their
successful containment of COVID-19 and not as advanced ad economies to bounce back quickly.
Led by search and social media, the pandemic had forced marketers to rely more on ecommerce to
build and maintain consumer relationships. By 2023 Zenith expects digital ads to account for 58% of
all global ad spend. In their report Zenith notes that digital transformation is rapidly shifting budgets
to digital advertising, “The pandemic has permanently changed consumers’ shopping habits, and for
many, ecommerce has become the norm,” said Lauren Hanrahan, Chief Executive Officer, Zenith
USA. “Retailer media offers brands the opportunity to connect with consumers at the most crucial
point of customer journey, when the final purchase decision is made.”
In 2021 GroupM projects the global ad marketplace to grow by 10.2% reaching $651.1 billion. The ad
spend growth will be across all five regions led by Latin America (+24.4%) and followed by Asia
Pacific (+14.1%). Globally, year-over-year digital media ad spend is forecast to increase by 14.1%,
totaling $396.8 billion. In 2021, the share of digital media in global ad spend is forecast to be 60.9%,
up from 58.9% that was projected in 2020.
Advertising and Marketing to flourish
A relaunch undoubtedly requires more branding activities, advertising, OOH spends and retail
branding. Brands now have learned about consumer media consumption and spending during March
and April and adjust their advertising and marketing strategies accordingly. There are opportunities
to connect with audiences, to provide real value and depending on their product or service to drive
consumer spend- even amid the pandemic.
Around the globe, Covid 19 is driving media consumption and technology adoption. This creates a
unique chance to increase e-commerce spending and connect with new customers. Most consumers
don’t want brands to halt advertising.
According to a recent study by GlobalWebIndex, 73% of consumers surveyed agree brands should
advertise as normal during the Covid 19, or feel neutral about that statement. Global results were on
par. According to Kantar’s COVID-19 barometer, also in March, only 8% of people surveyed believe
companies should stop advertising because of the pandemic. It is possible even more consumers
would agree now that it’s clear the virus is here to stay for a while.
Marketers have the tools to adjust their spending based on lessons learned from the spring, as well
as based on data about campaign performance and the virus’s spread. Should COVID-19 cases
continue to surge, most marketers will make data-backed adjustments to their strategy, rather than
halt their spending.
Regional targeting is effective in such scenarios. It could also help you to target another set of
audience and potential customers. Opportunities are for those who take risks. Some companies
might concentrate on geographic areas that aren’t hard hit by the virus. Others, such as health and
wellness solutions, gaming apps, streaming services or grocery stores and pharmacies, might actually
focus on places where stay-at-home orders are in effect.
Marketers may even see this as a time to try new things. This may sound counterintuitive, but
business leaders know boldness is rewarded. You might have heard of the new low-cost airline
‘Akasa’ in India and how they are planning to start flying by next year. Many doubted the time
chosen by the airline to enter into the industry. But there is a business opportunity in it despite all
the odds. The leasing rate for an aircraft has fallen down drastically and is likely to remain lower in
the coming months. Even pilots and crew desperately trying to find new work are willing to take pay
cuts. If they are able to put long-term arrangements with all of them, it could help ‘Akasa’ to soar
Find ways to stand out your brand and drive revenue. For many brands, this means adopting new
messaging and testing new distribution tactics. Many brands have shaped their new ad campaigns
paying tribute and respect to the Covid 19 warriors including doctors, nurses, cleaning staff, police,
delivery people etc. Such ad campaigns leave a lasting impression among the audience and the
customers. It helps in easy connect. As pandemic life continues, it’s likely more brands will take stabs
at similar approaches, creating emotional and empathetic ads that resonate with audiences.
Advertiser willingness to advertise in these uncertain times could be rewarded with competitive
deals. In the out-of-home space, many advertisers have pulled back because they assume people are
indoors. Traffic patterns have certainly changed, but cars are still on the road and people are still out
and about, hopefully in masks.
A potential drop in demand could create CPM decreases for buyers and a powerful and memorable
way to connect with customers. OOH, like all marketing, is increasingly a data-driven business; so
buyers should look for audience-based buying options in which OOH providers use data to inform
their targeting and measurement approaches.
One thing is for certain: doing nothing is no longer an option — for marketers, or for businesses. It is
important for the brands to be in the sight of its target audience. A small snooze period could create
serious misimpression among the customers. Fortunately, advertising is a data-driven practice, and
marketers are resilient.
The changes in media consumption, consumers spending more time online and the pandemic’s
spread, are all threat to the traditional advertising media. But the same time they also provide
opportunities. Earlier there were several billboards and now the clutter of billboards is less in prime
locations. At half the amount, brands can now get access to billboards in prime locations. Although
the restrictions are still not fully lifted following the pandemic there are travellers and vehicles on
the road. It means opportunities to reach more people.
Led by search and social media, the pandemic had forced marketers to rely more on ecommerce to
build and maintain consumer relationships
OOH, like all marketing, is increasingly a data-driven business; so buyers should look for audience-
based buying options in which OOH providers use data to inform their targeting and measurement