Virus Outbreak Cause a Shift from B2B to Digital Marketing

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Due to the Corona Virus Outbreak, many have expressed their disappointment in the cancellation of Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020. Companies, from small to large have invested a disproportionate amount of their budget to the canceled congress only to end up withdrawing from the Congress due to the virus outbreak.

This shift calls for attention, if the virus outbreak lasts longer than what we expected, lots of B2B Businesses would collapse if they don’t adapt to the new system.


This is not 2008
The financial crisis in 2008 triggered most business-to-business (B2B) companies to play it safe and cut their marketing budgets.

Most companies nowadays relocate their funds to trade shows, and since the virus is viral globally most companies minimize face-to-face meetings that could potentially inflict them with the virus.
Due to the sudden situational condition, companies have to change their digital marketing strategy to adapt in order to survive. According to the 2018 Marketing Spend Decision Report, which is based on a survey of 424 exhibitors who had participated in a B2B exhibition within the 2 years prior to the survey. These exhibitors estimated allocating roughly half of their marketing budgets to exhibitions.

Considering that companies allocate the largest chunk of their budgets to trade shows, the possibility of a moderate change in preferences highly likely resulted in higher investment in web marketing.


Billions of Dollars Lost

Lots of businessmen and businesswomen lost their investment in Mobile World Congress 2020. Corona Virus surge causes major cancellation and postponement in other events, not limited to MWC.

The GSM Association (GSMA), the company that organizes the show stated that more than 225 events ranked high impact were canceled last month and the number of events canceled in March is expected to be significantly higher. The total cost of cancelations is estimated at billions of dollars.

According to a research conducted in 2018 by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research indicated that B2B marketers who participate in industry events allocated nearly 40 percent of their budgets to exhibitions and industry shows, almost five times more than the 8% spent on online marketing.
Even if only a small fraction of the events’ budgets are shifted to online marketing, it would translate into a massive growth in web marketing.
Online marketing to benefit
The major advantage of digital marketing, besides the fact that it does not require face-to-face interaction, is that it is measurable. Marketers can quite easily obtain a good picture of their spending return on investment (ROI), and of which activities generate the highest number of quality leads and at what expense.
Assuming that many marketers will have some extra free time, especially those who will have to go into home isolation, they are advised to use it to review their online marketing strategy and redefine their marketing messages.


Review your marketing strategy
Marketing executives often complain that they have no time to update their websites because of their overload of work. Well, this is exactly the time to revisit the corporate site and make sure that your company is well presented.
This is also the time to reset goals for your marketing campaigns and take an in-depth look into the performance of past efforts. A close look will for a sure indication that there is a real need to refresh much of the marketing materials produced in the past.
This is a great opportunity to fine-tune the following features of your company’s visibility and promotion strategy:

  • Website content – Ensuring that it contains the right marketing messages with the right call for action.
  • SEO – Checking your current website organic search rankings and optimizing them for search engines to improve the quality and quantity of your web traffic
  • Content marketing – Using this opportunity to generate ideas for new blog posts and to start writing the next newsletter for your customers
  • Press releases and articles – Thinking of topics you can inform the media and your clients about and writing professional articles
  • Marketing materials – Preparing presentations, brochures, and other marketing materials
    Social media engagement – Strategizing how you can improve social media engagement and writing new case studies, white papers and professional articles. Increasing the number of webinars you hold
  • Video – Drafting the storyline for your next video
    Strengthening your focus on web marketing will enable you to maintain normality in these crazy days and will give you a competitive edge over competitors who are slow to react.


Hopefully, the whole crisis will end soon, but no matter how long it takes, strengthening your online marketing is a must to minimize the risk and improve your overall position.



Digital Marketing has helped businesses to run in the amidst of Corona Virus. Digital Marketing has been used since 2008 because of the raging financial crisis at that time.

Luckily, with the advanced technology and existence of digital marketing, this might be the time for us to review and reset our goals if it’s necessary to adapt to a new situation.

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