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  • Writer's pictureKaren Gittins

Great Change is afoot in the World of Marketing Strategy

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

Marketing Strategy is changing fast. Perhaps unsurprisingly, multinational marketing budgets across sectors look like they have been deferred. According to the WFA, 89% of multinational businesses had placed their advertising campaigns on hold during March. The intent is that these budgets will remain on hold for the next 6 months. The WFA research also projects that large multinational companies are more likely to cut marketing budgets than their smaller counterparts.

As the situation stands, pay per click advertising has also been placed on hold as consumer responses to ads have changed. According to The Advertising Association’s expenditure report (which includes all major media and ad formats), the UK’s ad-spend is projected to fall by 16.7% overall.

While there are a number of contributing factors arising from Covid, the main consideration for marketers, perhaps, has been consumer responses to pre-Covid advertising. It has taken a little while for marketers to accumulate enough data to realise that consumers are not responding well to ads which they interpret as ‘taking advantage of the situation’ or do not represent the need to social distance.

According to a March study by Pattern89, imagery of human interaction in ads is down by 27.4%.

In March, only 7% of UK brands were investing in marketing as a strategic approach during the pandemic.

What can we do to adapt?

At a time when our virtual interactions are higher than ever, especially with many working from home, putting the brakes on marketing might not be the best move. Writing in Forbes magazine, Bernard Marr – business strategist and advisor to governments and companies – suggests that a solid digital marketing strategy will be the deciding factor between those companies who make it and those who don’t.

He suggests recouping costs as far as possible and reassigning those to digital marketing budgets.

General adaptions

This view is supported by the former CEO of GlobalVision International, Nabil Freij. He asserts that digital marketing will now dominate the landscape that was formally filled by ‘brick and mortar events.’

For those who are yet to fully develop their digital marketing platforms, you can view Nabil Freij’s recommendations in his blog.

Specific adaptions

If you have reallocated your marketing budget towards digital, White Shark Media has written an informative article with recommendations as to how to adjust your strategy to work with the times. These include looking at your pay per click bidding strategies, reviewing search terms (keywords), monitoring your device strategy – although Amdas would recommend keeping a close eye on your target market behaviour here as, while some return to offices, many others will still be working from home – ad copy extensions, quality score and remarketing.


As an agency, we’ve seen some great work from our clients. Conferencing, in particular, has managed to respond very quickly with smooth transitions to digital marketing and the set up of virtual events. It may be the case that companies switch back when Covid subsides but, as things stand, digital is the way forward for now.


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