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How A Second Wave of COVID-19 Is Going To Impact The Marketing Function?

With COVID-19 rapidly changing the customer behaviour and realigning the marketing strategies, what more can a second wave do to marketing?
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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is impacting almost every part of our lives, from the places we can go to the way in which we spend our time, to the priorities we have, and the way in which we spend our money.

Of course, this has wide-ranging ramifications for marketing, eCommerce, and advertising as well as a number of other sectors such as entertainment, travel, and FMCG.

Digital marketing expenditures have significantly raised over the years. Despite the decrease in marketing budgets because of the spread of COVID-19, digital marketing channels have dominated and will continue to dominate. As per the data from CBRE U.S. retail sales fell by 8.1% in Q2 of 2020, the quarter which is still the most affected quarter by COVID-19, till now.

A second wave of coronavirus in Beijing and a spike in infections across a swathe of the United States has dented sentiment of marketers and sent stocks to their reopening plans. Moreover, the repeated warning by WHO that worst is yet to come has further made businesses and marketers worried. So here we have listed 3 ways in which the second wave of COVID-19 can have an impact on marketing functions.

Returning to work won’t be a U-turn

The first wave of COVID-19 has shot the unemployment rate up to 17.1% and 40 million American jobs, this is already having a lag effect, slowing down the effect.

The second wave will surely make the situation worse, so we have to accept that the return to work won’t be a straight U-turn, we will have to plan out things as per the situation of the market keeping the second wave of COVID-19 in mind. According to the Economist, New York City which was a COVID epicenter during the first wave of coronavirus might take 5 to 10 years to recover. So instead of planning to re-open offices or setting up personal client visits, marketers will have to maximize the use of digital channels and try to target the audience keeping unemployment and other conditions in mind to tackle the second wave.

Changing customer behavior

COVID-19 has majorly impacted the behavior of customers, which has forced a change in customer behavior. Marketers will have to adjust their strategies as per the changing behavior of their target audience, as this will help them survive the second wave of COVID-19. In-home media usage, TV viewership, and digital media consumption have increased significantly, so marketers should shift their strategies accordingly for maximum gain.

Brick and Mortar will struggle

As we all know brick and mortar businesses such as retails, traditional marketing and advertising institutions, etc. are the ones that are most impacted because of this pandemic. Offices and stores have been opened in the United States and many other countries but the experience is not the same. As per a survey, 40% of those who have returned to UK shops find the in-store experience ‘less enjoyable’. Online sales saw a significant boost amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Stay at home orders and social distancing safety norms have acted as a booster in this growth of online sales.

According to reports, online sales in the United States grew by 76% in June. So, to tackle the second wave of the pandemic marketers will have to enhance their digital presence and also concentrate on optimizing their online sales.


We are in one of the toughest times mankind has seen, but if WHO is to be believed this time might get even tougher, but one thing is for sure that this won’t last forever. So, to tackle the situation efficiently and survive these tough times it is important to be proactive and make strategies as per the lessons learned from the first wave of the pandemic. Digital channels have played a key role in surviving the first wave of COVID-19 and most of the experts believe that they will be the most important methods to survive the second wave too.

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    Chandrima Samanta
    Content-Editor at MartechCube
    Chandrima is a Content management executive with a flair for creating high quality content irrespective of genre. She believes in crafting stories irrespective of genre and bringing them to a creative form. Prior to working for MartechCube she was a Business Analyst with Capgemini.

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