You’ll hardly find a company that hasn’t faced some kind of disruption due to COVID-19, especially when it comes to marketing operations.
With uncertainty in the markets, organizations minimizing costs, and intent purchase decreasing, marketers have to figure out ways to manage during these uncertain times. They are adjusting budgets and channels, experimenting with messaging, switching from live to digital-conferences and webinars, social and more.
This survey had 62 respondents, across sizes and verticals:
By size: B2B – 36; B2SMB – 9; B2C – 11; Marketplaces – 2.
By vertical: 1-50 employees – 16; 50-100 employees – 12; 150-500 employees – 11; 500+ employees – 11.
In general, marketing budgets are being cut across the board, with companies shifting budgets mainly to increase the top of their funnel and playing with messaging, while some of the B2C companies are seeing greater intent with people at home and online.
Let’s dive further into the data.
Did you make any changes to the marketing budget (by company size)?
Marketing budgets are being cut across the board, from small to medium size companies. Only ~25% of companies didn’t change their budget. For all the rest, there was between a 15-50% change. The exception here is very large enterprises (>500 employees), which are maintaining stable budgets, probably due to the fact that they have strong financial backing and therefore are not pressed to take immediate cost-cutting action. But we believe they will be making adjustments in the near future as well.
If we view the data as “binary” – it’s evident that as the company size increases, so does its willingness to cut marketing budgets (with the exception of the large enterprises, as mentioned before).
Did you make any changes to the marketing budget (by vertical)?
When we examine budget cuts by vertical, it’s evident that B2B companies suffer more, with 71% of companies saying they are cutting budget in some scope, vs. only 45% of B2C companies. The reason for this discrepancy is that for B2C companies, marketing is directly correlated with immediate revenue, which is not the same for B2B companies.
Where are you shifting your budgets nowadays?
Most companies these days are more focused than ever on increasing the top of the funnel, with larger companies also putting resources into expansions to create new bookings.
With events and conferences being cancelled where did you move your budgets?
There are three main avenues for new marketing spend: content, webinars/virtual conferences, and social networks. With the abundance of new content surrounding the COVID-19 crisis, content now more than ever needs to be unique and value-add. Otherwise, it is likely to go to waste.
Did you make any pivots/experiment with new messaging?
No doubt difficult times requires different messaging – the majority of both B2B and B2C companies are experimenting with new messaging amid the crisis, to get above the noise and even to maintain relationships with (current and prospective) customers, or in their CS efforts. Messaging is always tricky during a time of crisis, as companies need to delicately balance the need to sell while being aware that overly-aggressive tactics can hurt the brand image.
Are you seeing any price changes in the cost of media?
This is of course very vertical oriented, but most B2C companies are seeing a decrease in the cost of media (partially due to the increase in ADU), not only in social but also on traditional mediums such as TV commercials.
Do you see any change in purchasing intent?
As businesses freezing budgets, B2B companies find it more difficult to close deals; on the consumer side, with more people at home and online, there is a great opportunity on the table for consumer-facing companies.
Did you cut any of your team members (by vertical)?
With the current work environment unstable, we already see some companies cutting their workforce and we expect to see more as the situation evolves.
Did you cut any of your team members (by company size)?
All companies are cutting, or are intending to cut, headcount in marketing departments in accordance with the general headcount cuts we see in other organizational functions. This is true even for large companies that until now haven’t made any changes.