How To Advertise During COVID-19: What CMOs Say They're Doing Now

CMOs worldwide have changed their focus on advertising and marketing, but not one said “shut down” or “give up” in a study released today of 250 brand leaders.

Singular’s report — CMOs on coronavirus: 250 marketing leaders on what to do now — analyzes responses on how these marketing executives lead their company’s brands during the pandemic. While remaining empathetic and respectful, CMOs were asked to give their opinion on how to market and advertise in a world where millions have become ill or died.

Four major themes surfaced, but one dominated: don’t stop, but do adjust.

Some 73% of marketers suggested doing more marketing. About 28% said they would double down on advertising. Some mentioned that ads are less expensive now. The majority said it’s OK to advertise, but to remain respectful.

Tom Murray, CMO at Tempur Sealy, believe companies should place their focus on research and science, hygiene and safety, and reach customers where they are spending most of their time at home, with their TVs and phones.



When asked how marketers should proceed, 64% of marketers suggest adjusting offers, strategies, and tactics, and 54% favor focusing on retention and services.

Some 45% said they are building capability now for the future, while 43% plan to focus on new strategies and update product offerings and 21% plan plan to offer discounts.

About 16% of marketers suggest a focus on improving marketing efficiency via attribution, optimization, and other means, while 15% plan to focus on organic growth rather than paid marketing. Marketers, at 12%, are focusing on social media.

About 15%, are spending time building systems, processes, and capability in their marketing teams, which they hope will pay off after the crisis. And 14% are doubling down on digital transformation projects around the company to be better aligned to serve customers via mobile and web.

Tricia Gellman, Drift CMO, said “don’t kill events, rethink them.” The company is planning invite-only events where people can learn from each other.

Singular, the creator of the report, is making its platform free to small and medium-sized business for 180 days for SMBs, to include those that spend $250,000 monthly for advertising. Clients also include LinkedIn, Rovio (Angry Birds), Twitter, Doordash, and Wish.

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