At Kantar we’ve spent much of the last few weeks thinking about the here and now, supporting our clients on immediate marketing strategies and planning for the next few months. But it’s now more important than ever to look further ahead; and for media and advertising, to imagine what scenarios the future might hold.  by Jane Ostler - Global Head of Media, Insights / Kantar

As 2019 was a great year for media sales, many sales managers were expecting similar revenue growth in 2020, not including political ad estimates. And then coronavirus arrived. Over the past two months, revenue has dramatic hit. Many sales managers are expecting to see up to a 50% drop in revenue.  In this COVID-19 Special Report media sales managers share their thought about the current state of media sales. And it’s not all doom and gloom! Many are optimistic about the economic recovery awaiting the country in coming months.

Consumer spending tumbled a record 16.4% in April as #COVID19 continues to impact the U.S. economy. KPMG Senior Economist Ken Kim breaks down today’s record decline and whether there are signs that perhaps April be the trough in consumer spending.

The latest insights from Comscore show that while certain retail categories saw significant decreases in visitation and consumer spending, overall spending and visitation to online retail increased across desktop and mobile in March 2020 compared to March 2019.

Dealing with the coronavirus crisis and its aftermath could be the imperative of our times. Indeed, we have argued that it augurs the “imminent restructuring of the global economic order.”

What trends and best practices should shared services and functional leaders be considering as they think about the evolution of their operating model? What role might global business services constructs play in enabling digital transformation across the enterprise?

What’s next? That is the question everyone is asking. The future is not what we thought it would be only a few short months ago.

Spring is here in DC.  Still some cool days, but progressively it is looking and feeling like summer.  People are anxious—they are increasingly going out, but still are fearful of the external COVID-19 world.  And America is, well, America—completely disorganized and decentralized politically.

With the recent demand fluctuations caused by the Great Lockdown many brands have focused on driving short-term volume but to grow market share in the longer-term, brands must gain more than their fair share of category entrants. The latter growth mechanism is facilitated by making sure new category entrants are predisposed to choose your brand, and do not just do so because it is easily available.  by Nigel Hollis

Marketers are pretty intimate with content marketing metrics, data, and analytics these days—and if you’re not, you’d best get learning.  By Lauren McMenemy

As more states loosen their stay-at-home orders, a study released by the Network of Executive Women (NEW) and Hispanic marketing platform Latinarrific prompts interesting questions regarding whether the COVID-19 pandemic will ultimately reverse or accelerate corporate America's Latina leadership crisis.

A large majority (75 percent) of ANA members have strategic plans in place to hire suppliers with diverse backgrounds for their overall organizations, but only 40 percent have such strategies specifically for marketing and advertising services.  Those are two of the key findings in a new ANA study, “The Power of Supplier Diversity,” which also revealed that among those with a supplier diversity strategy, the top segments targeted are women-owned (98 percent), ethnic/minority-owned (95 percent), veteran-owned (90 percent), LGBTQ-owned (88 percent), and disability-owned (80 percent).

Unprecedented times like these bring massive challenges. Yet even during a crisis like the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, businesses need to consider strategic plans and continue to invest in their brands. While sales may be down, it’s important to maintain—or increase—your share of the market. Continuing to invest in advertising will help set your company up for success when life eventually settles into a new normal.

BOTTOM LINE: Following the onset of Covid-19, it has not been surprising to see the strength in eCommerce, but what has caught us by greater surprise has been the boon lower priced media – particularly on FB – has been toward that acceleration. We have spoken to several agencies that are focused on the DTC-native eCommerce segment. Their advertisers indicated that beginning early/mid April, they were seeing multiple successive days of record spend at prices down 30-40% post-Covid vs pre-Covid. Beyond the benefits of lower eCPMs, this has been accompanied by higher conversion rates as well – driving record ROAS for this cohort of advertisers. We have not touched base with any gaming advertisers, but based on FB’s comments on their 1Q20 eps call, suspect this is likely driving a further boom. Notably, we have heard about pricing increases though early May on FB in the HSD/LDD range, though pacing still well below pre-Covid 19 levels. Our interpretation is this is more a reflection of firming up of the auction at FB, though it is having a slight negative impact on this cohorts’ ROAS.

In just a week’s time, the Coronavirus pandemic has completely upended the globe. It has had substantial effects on people’s lives and livelihoods, and it has entirely transformed the way companies do business. In the advertising industry, we’ve all felt the immediate effects: Cancelled events, meetings and business trips. Work-from-home mandates that include hunkering down inside our houses and apartments alongside our entire families. And yes, even paused and pulled advertising campaigns.

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