How The Pandemic Impacted Marketing

The Covid-19 pandemic impacted just about every industry, and marketing is no exception.

Some industries were hit hard. Travel is an obvious example of this. Ecommerce exploded, but with more of a focus on essential items. Luxury Ecommerce items took a backseat in such a time of uncertainty.

The marketing industry survived, but it did change. Below are come of the ways the pandemic affected marketing.

3 Ways Marketing Changed During the Pandemic

  1. Digital marketing was essential
  2. Ecommerce exploded
  3. Advertising messages changed

1. Digital marketing was essential

man on laptop

At the onset of the pandemic, everyone retreated into their homes. People packed up their offices to work from home and even school transitioned to remote learning.

As a result, internet usage surged at the beginning of the pandemic. It increased about 38%.

Cooped up with nothing to do outside of home, people started spending more time on social media and news sites. Video streaming saw popularity as well, with live streams where people could purchase products. This shift to a digital world caused digital marketing to be even more important. A powerful digital marketing strategy was more essential than ever.

2. Ecommerce exploded

cardboard boxes

With everyone staying inside, much of the Ecommerce industry exploded. Many people did not want to risk heading out to get groceries or run errands.

Ecommerce companies like Amazon saw tremendous growth. Since they stock essential products, people were keen to use delivery to stock up on paper towels and cleaning supplies.

On the other hand, Ecommerce brands focused on luxury did not see growth. In such an unpredictable situation, people weren’t compelled to make high end purchases.

Even with the pandemic winding down, up to 29% of US customers plan to never return to in person shopping again.

With this in mind, Ecommerce marketing will continue to be important.

3. Advertising messages changed

masked woman with camera

In such a chaotic time, it became even more important for marketers to connect with their audience.

It also became important to include a relevant message to match the context. For example, it no longer made sense to have advertisements involving people in large crowds. Such ads would no longer make sense in the new pandemic reality we were living in.

Marketers began to tackle the issue head on and included empathetic messages in their advertisements. The key to these was to sound genuine.

On the other hand, people did begin to tire of hearing the same generic messages repeated over and over again. “In these unprecedented times” was run into the ground so much that it no longer held value.

With the pandemic past its peak, successful marketers will be able to adjust to any situation that arises.


It’s hard to say exactly what the rest of 2021 hold for marketing, but adaptability is key. Successful marketers were flexible when the pandemic disrupted just about everything. Those able to adapt will thrive.