Preparing for the Recovery of Ad Spend After COVID-19

When the pandemic hit, marketers across industries pulled back on ad spend to assess their financial situations and advertising strategies. Many projected huge losses and by the end of the year. Zenith estimated global ad spend saw a year-over-year loss of 7.5% and eMarketer reported that Canada specifically saw similar losses at 7.2% from 2019.

As 2021 progresses and the world is slowly opening up again, advertisers are regaining their budgets and looking to spend to make up for losses in 2020. The ad spend projection this year expects to grow and surpass the 2019 numbers. Canadian ad spend is expected to increase 11.3% YoY, fueled mostly by digital channels.

What should marketers be doing?

With an expected rebound from industries across the board, marketers should be acting fast and smart on their own strategies.

For many marketers, the audience and framework for addressing their consumers have changed in the last year, as has the way in which campaigns collect data on these individuals. This means there may be less clarity in the ad campaigns created this year, but a great opportunity for long-term growth.

Consumers that are excited to get out and spend again will be looking to trail new products and services. Marketers should be paying close attention to the habits of these individuals – particularly online – and adjusting their strategies to fit shifting desires.

Creating a strategy

The rebound in ad spend will be mainly fueled in digital spaces and marketers should keep a close eye on the new media channels their customers have taken to in the last year. Collecting data will be the key for marketers in 2021 and into 2022, keeping up with the habitual changes they make as the world rights itself again.

Rather than sticking to the media that has worked in the past, creating multi-channel campaigns that work together may be the key to understanding the changing consumer.

Though digital may drive the rebound in ad spend in 2021, traditional mediums like TV are still driving results, and finding ways to integrate digital – whether through Connected TV or cross-channel ads – will boost the ROI for the ads you do place.

Understanding the new ways in which data is collected and used in campaigns and testing in online spaces is an important first step in understanding audience changes. Marketers that properly understand how to read and use the data available to them will be ahead of the game on creating advertisements that feel personalized for the modern consumer.