The word “corona” is on everyone’s mind right now. The sad reality is that the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) has kept spreading, and at an increasing rate since the beginning of this year.
More than 20,000 people are infected daily all around the globe today. And that’s only from the people who are getting tested. Health care systems cannot test everyone. There is a larger dark number of infected, that we can only speculate on.
We are now reaching towards the end of March, and it seems that this will be our new norm (for a while). Many countries have implemented new containment strategies that aim towards slowing down the spread of the virus, like closing down borders, restricting movement, and halting businesses and educational institutions. Air travel is almost diminished, except for goods and resources. The global stock market is crashing creating economic and social uncertainty.
At Miklagard, we can already see the effect across several industries and businesses, being a digital marketing agency, our clients are from all walks of life. Here we will share with you the patterns that we can already see, and what does all this mean for you.
Exploiting Coronavirus Fears
Now is not the time to exploit people’s fears to make a quick win. Ever since the news of the outbreak spread, so did scammers, fraudsters and exploiters. They are offering bogus treatments at excessive prices or re-selling masks and sanitizers with a ridiculous mark-up.
Read more here:
- Online scammers target vulnerable Internet users during coronavirus outbreak
- Coronavirus Scam Alert: Watch Out For These Risky COVID-19 Websites And Emails
Always ensure that your sources for information are reliable, there is no shortage of official websites dedicated to informing the public of the outbreak and it’s latest updates. Here are a few links:
- World Health Organisation
- John Hopkins University
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
- Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
For people working in marketing, it is important not to get tempted to exploit this situation for your clients, it is wrong, unethical and short-sighted. You are far better off making a long term investment that will have a win-win effect, rather than exploiting people’s fears.
Businesses will keep struggling
Corona started spreading in China, where today the number of infected has started to drop significantly. Yet, business in China will take a while to recover all the losses. Elsewhere the effects of the virus are still increasing. Italy has overhauled China in the number of deceased, and both the EU and US are generally on lock-down. Businesses and institutions across are temporarily closed to limit the pandemic and giving the health sector a fighting chance.
Although some large companies will still be able to pay their employees during these times, there are many others which are at risk of going out of business, leaving thousands jobless.
Here some quick numbers from around the world of the Coronavirus effect:’
- 183 Countries and Territories around the world have been infected
- A total of 341,722 confirmed cases
- A total death toll of 14,764 deaths
- Coronavirus could cost the global economy $1.1tn in lost income
- 25 million jobs could be lost globally due to the coronavirus
Countries in the European Union like Denmark (link), Sweden (link), Norway (link), and Germany (link), have already approved billions worth of support packages to save their local companies and workforce. All these are signs of the dragging economic slump and the slow recovery of businesses.
If your business has been affected by the corona outbreak, please check with your local authorities which type of compensation you might be entitled to, here are some links of some local and international authorities:
Organic Traffic Drops
We looked at Organic Traffic across 10 of the major industries and noticed a drop in most of them. The data we have chosen is just to give us an idea of what is going on internationally. While our data is bound to have an error, it can give a clear indication of what is going on.
Four industries have witnessed some peaks since the Coronavirus outbreak, these include finance, food, healthcare, and media. Food and healthcare are obvious ones, people are either searching about the disease or trying to stock up on food. Media has seen a boost, people are more online looking for entertainment today, due to all the restrictions and confinements.
In fact, Youtube and Netflix have already announced to lower the quality of their streaming services in parts of the world including Europe to prevent traffic overload. However, the increase in organic traffic doesn’t always translate to an increase in conversions, just like we will see with the finance industry.
Conversions Rate Drops
Conversions are not the same as traffic. It’s the ones that actually make a purchase or the desired action. Conversions across most industries have dropped, including the financial sector. People aren’t investing as they used to, with many trying to hold on to their assets and savings.
The only sectors that had an increase in conversions are the food, healthcare and media industries. While people are more actively purchasing food and healthcare items online, they are also purchasing media. Not only streaming services but also several news outlets only allow you to read a couple of articles before having to buy a subscription.
Here you have it, in a pandemic people cut costs on all the “nice-to-haves” and focus on the “must-haves”. The focus of the general public is healthcare, food, and media both news and entertainment.
Double down when others don’t
So, what does all this mean for you? Well at Miklagard, our experience tells us that this is the best time to double down. We can already see business cutting down expecting the economy to get hit by more than a trillion US dollars, while economists are describing it as a recession. You will realize that during this time you will have less to no competition maybe. This creates an opportunity for you to get faster results and possibly even close deals. A deal could be as simple as decreasing your cost per click on your Ads due to fewer bids.
But on a larger scale, not all companies can make it through a recession, true, governments will help some, but other companies will go bankrupt or be bought out. If you are in an ideal situation, now would be the time to buy out interesting companies. This is your perfect opportunity to gain market share, and as the economy recovers, you will see your revenue increasing and your ROI soaring.
If on the other hand, you are like the majority just trying to make ends meet without having a pile of cash to fall back on, make sure you do not give up. Putting in extra hours, and doing whatever it takes now, might turn out to be the best investment you have done. While many in your branch will slow down, and cut back, they will create a vacuum for you and maybe even a niche.
Do you remember the rapid technological advances in how we used to play recorded music, from vinyl records, CDs to streaming? Well, imagine when all vinyl production companies in Europe and were closing down due to their records being obsolete, one man decided to keep going even if he was the last man standing.
“But I decided then that we would keep production running even though we were producing only a small number of records so that we would be the last vinyl company in Europe.”Zdeněk Pelc
Today Zdeněk Pelc is considered the King of Vinyl and is the owner of GZ Media the world’s largest vinyl record producer. Since, GZ Media has been featured in the BBC, Bloomberg, and Newyork times and Zdeněk Pelc was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year 2015.
Hopefully, together we will be able to spread the effect of corona and avoid a worst-case scenario so that our health resources can keep up. Literally, it feels that it is in our hands this time, how we socially behave. The only way of protecting ourselves and others is by not getting infected nor infecting. While it’s a tough choice to make, not making it is far more dangerous.
As for businesses, and digital marketing, well, as we mentioned now is the time to double down, and utilize the time effectively and efficiently.
At Miklagard, we are available, talk to us about your marketing concerns, how has the coronavirus affected your traffic, your conversions, and your business. We would usually opt for taking this over a cup of coffee, but under the current circumstances, a virtual coffee would do.