Impact of Coronavirus on Digital Marketing in India
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This article reflects our perspective on March 9, 2020.
The new coronavirus aka COVID-19 — has now spread to more than 88 countries, and killed more than 3,000 globally.
India’s tryst with the virus started with 3 cases & as of date, there are 43 confirmed coronavirus cases in India, the latest being in Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Three cases have been reported in Ladakh and Tamilnadu. Italians touring in India have been tested positive for Covid-19 coronavirus. They have been quarantined at the Chawla Camp in New Delhi.
The first three Indians tested positive for coronavirus are from Kerala and have been discharged, but home-quarantined. Kerala reported five more coronavirus cases on 08 March.
Since it’s a new strain, there is no specific vaccine that can treat it. However, according to the WHO, “many of the symptoms can be treated & therefore treatment is based on the patient’s clinical condition”
BUT LET’S START FROM THE BASICS!
The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes, but the virus that has killed people in China and elsewhere is a novel strain and not seen before. Common symptoms of the novel coronavirus strain include respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, according to the WHO. The WHO has declared the coronavirus epidemic as a global health emergency.
CORONAVIRUS DISRUPTING GLOBAL INDUSTRIES
As fresh cases of the COVID-19 raise fears of a global pandemic, the impact of the shutdown across China has started to hit Indian businesses, some very severely.
It’s far too early to see the impact the coronavirus has had on the global ad market as there are only a small number of territories where the outbreak has had a significant impact. But looking at the economic history of advertising the situation doesn’t bode well.
We all know that this virus is disrupting the industry as major conferences & events of companies like Apple, Facebook, Google & Uber are being canceled. It’s being predicted that revenues will likely take a hit because of supply chain issues or declining consumer demand.
Some online publishers have also indicated that COVID-19 is starting to impact ad revenues. In particular, the NY Times made a filing in which it said that ad revenue would be down about 10% this quarter. Analysts said they expect to see Facebook’s ad business take a hit in the near-term (it would follow Google ads as well).
IMPACT OF THE VIRUS ON INDIAN DIGITAL MARKETING INDUSTRY
Several Indian industries have a significant direct dependence on supplies from China. Some of these products such as antibiotics activated pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and fertilizers are critical commodities and any disruption in the supply over the long-term could have far-reaching economic consequences for India.
Textiles and automobiles could also face supply disruptions for critical raw materials.
All this together could further worsen the recovery in industrial production over the near to medium term.
At the moment, there are mixed opinions about the kind of ripple effects, this global health crisis is going to have on the digital marketing industry.
With the word of caution being spread around, people these days prefer staying indoors. Employees are being encouraged to work from home, mass meetings, traveling, attending social functions are being avoided by a majority chunk. With people spending more time at home, brands have responded by shifting spend from offline media to online which is honestly going to be a very profitable move. Be it online shopping, ordering in, working from home, increase in Netflix/Amazon viewers, all seem to be seismic shifts that have started emerging around e-commerce and emerging platforms for the distribution of products and services.
But keeping in mind that this situation is first a humanitarian issue, helping customers & thinking about the public interest should be the first priority of brands. Driving sales should come at a later stage.
On that note we bring this article to an end, we hope this was informative for you & helped open new perspectives towards the pandemic COVID- 19 & its impacts on the digital marketing industry of India.