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Two-Thirds of Ad Buyers Significantly Impacted by COVID-19

(Image credit: Comcast)

NEW YORK—Comcast Advertising has released findings of a new study focusing on how COVID-19 has impacted agency media strategies. Nearly all respondents have felt at least some impact from the pandemic, while a good many are also adding advanced TV options as part of their strategies.

According to the Comcast Advertising survey, 65% of ad buyers have experienced a “large impact” from COVID-19 on their 2020 plans, while 29% said it has had at least some impact. Still, 93% believe it is important to keep advertising, though they acknowledged that it is reliant on the money available to do so.

Local and regional buyers are now showing more interest in advanced media options for advertising. Per Comcast, 80% of buyers said they intend to carry some part of their business via programmatic buying, while more than 91% plan to put some of their video budget toward Advanced TV channels, like video-on-demand, OTT, addressable or advanced linear. As recently as October 2019, agencies interested in Advanced TV was at 79%.

Buyers also identified where their priorities were during the pandemic, with nearly 50% saying flexibility was most important, 30% saying price and 20% saying more efficient use of data and targeting.

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“The events of the past few months have posed a challenge to many agency buyers, especially those who buy on behalf of local and regional businesses,” said Maria Weaver, chief marketing officer, Comcast Advertising. “Our study revealed that these buyers are impacted, but they’re not sitting still. In many cases, they are finding ways to be more efficient with their dollars through the use of data, targeting and automation.”

As far as how things look for 2021, 60% of local and regional ad buyers said it was too early to tell, while 33% were certain impacts would continue. In how they might change in the next year, 30% said they are looking at advertising efficiencies, 25% are expecting to explore new channels, 20% will look into new ways of using data and 16% expect to change their targeting approach.

All participants in this survey are users of Comcast’s FreeWheel Strata platform.

The full Comcast Advertising survey is available online.