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Spending Your Media Budget During A Pandemic

June 12, 2020

As digital media buyers, it’s second nature to shift quickly and reevaluate projects based on real-time data in order to best spend our budgets as efficiently and effectively as possible on behalf of our clients.  When the world experienced the impact of COVID-19, pivoting and reevaluating was the name of the game. The paid media space was no exception. We as marketers needed to rethink and repurpose budgets to keep brands relevant by continuing their connection with their consumers. But most importantly, we also had to reach them in new avenues we may not have found them consuming prior to the pandemic. 

While we may not be back to normal anytime soon, this time has allowed us to explore new mediums for our clients to keep brand top of mind as well as push important, relevant messaging that will help consumers navigate and receive information during this pandemic. 

Connected TV

It’s no surprise that people staying at home equates to increased viewership across TV and streaming content alike. With CTV already making waves in 2019, it’s taken center stage with major advertisers during the first half of 2020, showing a 20% increase in advertising spend. This high reach channel provides advertisers the opportunity to run non-skippable ads to an already captivated audience. Currently, The Martin Group capitalized on this media channel, running spots for cornerstone clients Kaleida Health and Erie County Medical Center. 

Streaming Audio

2020 reports have shown an uptick in digital audio and podcast consumption for good reason. With people sheltering in place, many tend to stream music on a more frequent basis whether it be working from home or walking around their neighborhood. Recipe 21 (a LiDestri Food brand) switched gears during the pandemic, utilizing their alcohol to produce much needed hand sanitizer and donated part of the proceeds to local charities in the Upstate New York region. We capitalized on the uptick of listenership to promote this effort across New York State. 

Mobile Gaming 

Because the majority of major league sports have been postponed or canceled for 2020, people are turning to online sports gaming to fill that void. According to the Sensor Tower Q1 2020 Data Digest, the first three months of this year marked the largest quarter for mobile game downloads ever, with more than 13 billion installs across the App Store and Google Play. While this medium has been on the rise for the past few years, the rapid uptick of eyeballs makes this a very enticing medium for paid advertisers to spend money with. 

Social Media

As if we didn’t mindlessly scroll through our Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook feeds prior to the pandemic, this extra downtime led to increased social media consumption. According to Forbes, Between March 14th and 24th, Facebook’s apps  (WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook) saw a 40% increase in usage from 18–34 year olds in the U.S. TikTok is also coming out on top with an 18% week over week increase in downloads in the U.S. in early March and has been noted as the 2nd most downloaded non gaming app worldwide in April (after Zoom). Whether clients want to continue conversations through content marketing or provide solutions for COVID related pain points, social media is a strong medium to keep that conversation going.

As we continue to move through these unprecedented times, I’m confident we will continue to see media consumptions shift. My advice? Always keep active by having conversations with your clients, understand how people are learning to navigate these new times, and never be fearful to explore new opportunities. Growth and success live outside your comfort zone. 


Anna Hofer

Digital Media Supervisor

Looking for support with your media needs? I can help.

Looking for support with your media needs? I can help.

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