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Survey reveals how COVID-19 has affected marketers in the South West


As a personal life and death battle rages across the UK, the quickest and possibly largest mass-change of people’s behaviours in a lifetime occurred. Some businesses have found themselves unwilling beneficiaries of this situation, while others have seen their income reduced to zero. A commercial life and death battle rages.

Here in the South West, a group of agencies brought together a group of like-minded partners to discover how the Covid-19 crisis was impacting the marketing strategies and activities of the brands and suppliers based here. The Discovidery survey is the result. By discovering more they hope to understand more and play an active role in the sector’s recovery from the pandemic.

Top-line findings from the report were:

  • Around 60% of businesses surveyed had furloughed staff, across all categories. At the time of the survey, no Brand respondents had made any staff redundant, though 19% of agencies and suppliers had begun making redundancies.
  • Brands in the SW consider themselves better equipped to deal with the crisis than marketing suppliers, and were more able to plan for the long-term. Across all respondents, ‘planning for the new normal’ was the most important business planning task, suggesting that most had at least got to grips with the restrictions of the current situation.
  • Most SW businesses had updated their marketing strategy to take account of the Covid-19 crisis. The majority of brands had made large changes to their strategy and were confident in those changes, whereas marketing agencies and suppliers had made less significant changes and were less confident.
  • Social media as a discipline and as a channel has received more focus since the crisis began, with an increased emphasis on organic reach, as overall paid media budgets are cut by around half of brands.
  • Changes to messaging have so far predominantly focused on Covid-19 related messages, rather than the switch to direct sales messages seen in the last recession.

You can read the full report here.

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