Market leaders need to speed up their digital marketing initiatives in order to keep up and running in the new normal.

The widespread pandemic has already pushed businesses to go digital to keep their operations alive. In its essence, ‘now’ is the right time for CMOs to re-evaluate their digital marketing initiatives, suggests Gartner. Amidst the economic downswing, most marketers have been planning to augment investments in their digital and social media marketing strategies. It has also been noticed that bigger brands have been pulling back spend in some other areas, such as indirect ad buys, paid search, to name a few.

Read More: CMOs to Prioritize Digital Marketing Spend on Organic Search

A vast majority of the consumers do not click through to websites from conventional ad formats. As a result, marketing decision-makers are adjusting their messaging of ad creatives for improving the advertising effectiveness. The leading brands are thus setting up new standards. More such organizations are depending primarily on cost-effective alternatives, which include organic and direct search traffic. Besides, many brands are utilizing the linking strategies to steer traffic from the frequently visited sites.

According to Lili Meng, Principal at Gartner Marketing practice, as mentioned in the company blog post, “Due to suppressed consumer demand – a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic – a wide range of industries experienced declines in total desktop traffic in the first quarter.” Thus, while re-evaluating the digital marketing mixes, Gartner recommends that market leaders should consider certain approaches.

  • Capitalizing on Organic Search Discovery –Businesses need to monitor performance on the search keywords, backing off from paid search where the organic search is a significant driver of the website traffic. To fuel enhanced Organic Search visibility and to reduce dependence on search ads, brands could optimize web pages for search queries to augment the content relevancy – including adjusting the Meta tags.
  • Adjusting Ad Spend and Messaging –Revisiting the advertising creative messaging before making any new changes to the advertising spend allocation is crucial. Businesses can then try on different ad formats spanning channels to identify where it is worthy of investing the additional spend.
  • Maximizing Digital Video –Capitalizing on video viewership momentum by spending more into ad placements on video-first sites where they are most likely to see high traction. Brands should thus be maximizing the ROI of video ad placements by designing creative with differentiated messaging. For instance, highlighting the relevant services or offerings in the ongoing situation versus expressing concerns.

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  • Leveraging Partner Websites –Diversifying the marketing mix to augment cost-efficiency – by pivoting to channels, which can offer access to people on sites are seeing momentum in the traffic activity. This includes referral domains as well as social networks.

In the current crisis, to optimize the right short-term objectives and develop long-term efficiencies, marketers need to focus on ‘what’ versus ‘where’ to put spend behind. Once brands decide what is required to communicate to their target audience, they should move their digital marketing plans to scale messaging better.