COVID-19 and Impacts on Local Advertising

Navigating The Local Ad Marketplace During The Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the local media market into a situation where normal rules don’t apply, and the new playbook hasn’t been written yet.

Business leaders desperately seek insights and guidance about how to steward their brands through a disrupted marketplace. Media executives face the anomaly of rising audience levels, but suspended, decreased and cancelled ad spending.

To protect their businesses, both media buyers and sellers need to adapt quickly. This includes shifting in real-time to furloughs, layoffs, home-based work forces, business suspensions and shutdowns. New and expanded marketing channels include ramping up ecommerce, reaching customers via video chats, curbside pick-up, no contact deliveries and steep reliance on package delivery channels.

The CEOs of BIA Advisory Services, SalesFuel and C-Suite Network recently joined forces in a BIA webinar to reach out to business leaders with their decades of shared wisdom, insights and data-driven strategies for navigating the local ad market.

BIA’s Tom Buono expects the general and advertising economies to struggle through a U-shaped recovery. SalesFuel’s Lee Smith provided tactical data to inform media selling initiatives during this pandemic. And C-Suite Network’s Jeffrey Hayzlett provided leadership insights for staying calm and carrying on.

Buono noted that BIA is now estimating an overall double digit decline nationwide across all U.S. local advertising from our previous 2020 forecast. He pointed out that it’s worth noting that an advertising rebound typically trails recovery from a recession. The Q2 economic impact of the pandemic is somewhat counterbalanced by the fact that 40% of advertising occurs later in later part of year and media can expect solid political advertising spending.

The impact of the coronavirus will vary regionally and by local market economies, such as those known as travel destinations, energy markets, or political battleground markets. BIA offers a complimentary sales-oriented report, 2020 Home Improvement Vertical Insights for Sellers to provide analytics and insights into how to find and prioritize opportunities.

Smith advised the we remember that the first objective of sales professionals is to help your clients, and they need your help now more than ever. So it is critical that you stay focused and productive during these trying times. 

As you build your new pandemic playbook, here’s what Smith recommends: (1) Protect What You Have, (2) Become Easier to Do Business With, (3) Diversify Your Account List, and (4) Be Ready for the Recovery. A bonus tip is to Mind Your Mindset. SalesFuel offers a free download of its report, Selling Media During the Pandemic.

Hayzlett, who is a best-selling author and runs one of the world’s most trusted networks of C-suite leaders recommended that the keys to leading through turmoil include (1) Keep Your Customers Engaged,  (2) Keep Your Focus, (3) Keep Cash Flowing, (3) Keep Continuity, and (4) Keep Your Spirits.

As a special deal, Hayzlett offers complimentary registration for his company’s upcoming Battleship Forum, designed to help executives become stronger, more effective leaders in a four-day online forum in a series of keynotes, interviews, and workshops.

Even while managing through trying times of stress and juggling competing priorities, this can be a good time to take a pause to refresh and learn. “Mind your mindset” as Lee recommended.

Watch and listen to battle-tested military and expert business leaders provide the keys to a thriving operation. View the webinar on-demand and download the deck.

Then, let us know how we can be of most help to you at this time. Email us your questions or concerns around local advertising, and we’ll be happy to help.

For more on how Covid-19 may impact local advertising, check out BIA’s other Covid-19 blog posts here.

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