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Coronavirus: April 2020 - The Impacts on Business


A month on from the initial survey into the impact of Coronavirus on the data and marketing industry, the latest results show many businesses are utilising the schemes created by the UK Government to help them through the crisis.

The data also highlights a continued reduction in revenues and concerns about how long businesses can survive in the current conditions. Many organisations are already placing staff on furlough in an attempt to avoid redundancies, while freelancers and short-term staff are simply not being retained.

“The results from our latest barometer of businesses in our community highlights the continued impact on revenues that the pandemic is having. It’s clear that many businesses have welcomed the Government support in an attempt to retain their staff through furlough,” says Chris Combemale, CEO of the DMA, “We are continuing to lobby government on a range key areas that our industry needs to both survive and then thrive post-outbreak. For example, we are calling for an extension of the job retention scheme. Even once restrictions are lifted it could take months for revenues to return to normal and it is essential businesses can plan for a phased return to work, to avoid inevitable redundancies.”

Key findings from this second phase of around 70 responses from across the DMA community, collected during the last week of April, include:

  • Over half of businesses (56%) have applied to the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme already, with a further 8% saying they definitely will over the coming months
  • Organisations’ are running at just over half ‘Business as usual’ (56.9%), while a third of businesses (36%) believe they won’t last longer than 6 months in the current conditions – with a further 20% not sure how long they might last
  • Almost half (46%) of businesses have already or will definitely not retain freelance or short-term staff, with a further 29% conceded this is likely or possible in the months to come
  • Nearly three-quarters of businesses are looking to government schemes for support (74% definitely/likely to apply or have done to at least one)
  • The Job Retention Scheme is most popular (64%) for businesses that have or definitely will use – followed by deferring VAT payments (30%) and reclaiming statutory sick pay (28%)
  • Most people surveyed in April agree they have the technology they need to easily (92%) and productively (89%) work from home
  • Staff feel organisations are putting their health and wellbeing first during the pandemic (91% agree), with confidence in their senior leadership increasing from 86% in March to 92% in April
  • However, just half of businesses (50%) are offering skills development and training opportunities during the lockdown to staff

To help those furloughed or that have been made redundant as a result of Coronavirus, the DMA and DM Trust announced the release of new funding last week. The ‘DM Trust Home Learning Fund’ will offer UK-based professionals on furlough or made redundant access to fully funded training and professional qualifications.

Combemale continues: “Skills development is a great way for people to enhance their long-term personal development during these challenging times. We’re proud to be spearheading an initiative that will add tangible value to both the individuals in the data and marketing industry and the businesses that comprise it.”

Further information about the ‘DM Trust Home Learning Fund’ and details on how to apply can be found here:

The DMA’s Coronavirus Survey will remain open over the coming months, so please continue to share how the outbreak is affecting you, your organisation and the industry:

Full results of the survey are available to download here:

Coronavirus: April 2020 – The Impacts on Business

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