UK Pandemic Effects

Mindful Marketing in a More Digital Post-Pandemic Landscape

Executive Summary

The pandemic has thrown the UK ad industry into turmoil. Digital platforms have offered a direct conduit to consumers who have been pivoting heavily to digital usage. But brands should take a mindful and sincere approach to building and maintaining their digital presence.

How has the pandemic affected the advertising industry?

UK media ad spend will fall 7.5%, as the industry feels the full force of the country’s deepest recession since 2009. Digital ad spending will see a small rise (0.3%) as brands look to follow eyeballs.

In what ways have brands pivoted?

Meeting consumers’ immediate needs was vital in the early stages of the UK lockdown. Digital transformation was key, and though some firms struggled with meeting demand, brands seen as “doing the right thing” engendered positive sentiment.

How have consumer expectations changed?

The focus on brand behavior has never been higher. Consumers had a heightened awareness of brand sincerity, and companies that looked to cash in on the pandemic were viewed negatively.

What should brands do to prepare for the new normal?

Having a digital strategy is a no-brainer, but pivoting and innovating while remaining socially conscious will be very important, too. Messaging will increasingly focus on video, with such advertising becoming an ever-larger part of the strategy pie.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report looks at how the pandemic has affected the UK ad industry and what the post-pandemic environment might look like. It considers how consumer expectations have changed and ways marketers can pivot to cater to them.

KEY STAT: Most UK senior marketing decision-makers will focus on resilience post-pandemic, but digital transformation is a key consideration, too.

Here’s what’s in the full report


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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Economic and Consumer Realities: Hastening Advertisers’ Pivot to Digital
  3. Marketer Effects: Catering for Consumers but Taking Care with Cause Marketing
  1. Key Takeaways
  2. eMarketer Interviews
  3. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Maryam Banikarim
Head of Marketing
Interviewed July 1, 2020
Izabela Catiru
Product Marketing Manager
Interviewed June 10, 2020
Ameet Chandarana
Marketing Consultant
Interviewed July 2, 2020
Rachelle Denton
The Storm Collective
Co-Founder and Creative Strategy Director
Interviewed June 15, 2020
Paul Frampton Calero
Control v Exposed
President, EMEA and APAC
Interviewed June 25, 2020
James Hanscomb
GroupM Services, UK and EMEA
Head of Ecommerce
Interviewed June 16, 2020
Chris Hardiman
Product Director
Interviewed June 16, 2020
Susanne McKinley
Tetra Pak
Marketing Manager
Interviewed June 24, 2020
Gemma Spence
OMG Transact
Interviewed June 25, 2020
Jenny Stanley
Appetite Creative
Founder and CEO
Interviewed June 24, 2020

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Mark Dolliver
Principal Analyst
Angela Kim
Senior Researcher
Lucy Koch
Junior Analyst
Debra Aho Williamson
Principal Analyst