Leading Agency
in South East Asia












Curb the Pandemic Impact on Your Business by 3 Aspects of Marketing

SEOSocial Outreach



Curb the Pandemic Impact on Your Business by 3 Aspects of Marketing

Reduce the Impact of Pandemic on Business by Owned Media

Owned Media – The Fundamentals

Owned media are the first to build for any brand, with digital examples including website, blog, email, social media posts, YouTube channel, and mobile application. Since these are your assets, you have absolute control over its manifestation in the present and the future. Therefore it takes less time to make changes on these channels

impact of pandemic on business

Impact of pandemic on business

Owned Media – The Situation

Owned media are the backbone of any business during and especially after social distancing.
In crises, businesses can alter the content or message on their owned channels in no time and with virtually no limit to adapt to sudden changes. Also, as owned media are the official communication channel of a brand, its importance is highlighted even more in chaotic situations.

Owned Media – The Recommendations

Messaging: If you decide to change your messaging strategy, make sure it’s consistent across all channels, brings real value to the audience and goes hand in hand with your actions.

Transparency: Don’t try to hide your inventory status and delivery delays due to disruptions in the supply chain. Customers may not be so happy to hear about this news, but overpromising and under-delivering is just the worst combo in this time.
Promotion: There’s no restriction on putting up promotions and sales campaigns during a pandemic. Just make it meaningful and avoid hot buttons such as promotional content that evokes fear of the pandemic. The social backlash is well beyond your control and imagination.
Events: Think of how to bring scheduled offline events on the net, especially if they have acquired some reputation for a while. Webinars, podcasts, live streaming… you have all the tools within your reach to keep brand promotion going and growing.

effect of pandemic in business

Effect of pandemic in business hide-mobile

Reduce the Impact of Pandemic on Business by Paid Media

Paid Media – The Fundamentals

Paid media are ads or sponsorships posted outside owned media, such as PPC, paid social, etc. The main purpose is to drive traffic to owned media or directly to the brand’s POS.
Unlike owned media’s high level of control, paid media wins in the field of exposure. Its effectiveness though depends on which channels you choose to place ads.

social distancing business

Social distancing business

Paid Media – The Situation

As stated in the article about Digital Marketing in Pandemic, worldwide digital ad spending has increased by over 12% after an initial drop at the pandemic outbreak.

In general, many companies have chosen to double down on paid media to increase exposure across channels, especially if their business can sell well despite the effect of the pandemic.

However, when the pandemic persists, the overall ad spending is expected to slide down as most ads can’t break even, let alone increase the bottom line. Companies then must be more selective in their paid marketing strategy.

Paid Media – The Recommendations

Know where your customers are, now. The crisis has made your customers different, and those tested and tried methods may not work as well as before. Research your customers and customer segments again to know how to best approach them.

Advertise with moderation. In the article of Doing Business during the Pandemic, we have learned that customers don’t ask brands to stop advertising, as long as their messages are positive, caring and helpful.
However, it doesn’t mean “virtue signaling” is a good choice as it can make the buyers feel like “maybe this brand is really desperate”. And many companies have promised a lot since the onset of the pandemic. Your joining in doesn’t help.
Update paid platform policies. New rules about anti-exploitation of the pandemic have been added, such as Facebook/Instagram’s Controversial Content policy. Be careful in your choice of words as even “virus” or “protection” can be in the list of banned content.

paid marketing

Paid marketing hide-mobile

Reduce the Impact of Pandemic on Business by Earned Media

Earned Media – The Fundamentals

Earned media are born from the word-of-mouth. Some typical examples are social mentions, recommendations, reviews, and user-generated content such as unboxing video, etc.

Audiences put the highest trust in earned media because it is not intended to promote a brand, and it doesn’t look “salesy”.

Earned media is the hardest to get and results from consistent, effective marketing efforts over a period of time.

Earned Media – The Situation

Earned media is on the rise, simply because people believe more in “people’s talk” than “brands’ talk”. The social media surge in pandemic also fuels this.

earned marketing

Earned marketing

Earned Media – The Recommendations

Content: As always, valuable and shareable content is the best. Don’t overuse catchy and pandemic-related titles on every piece of content.
Network: It’s great if you can earn shares and mentions from influencers or KOLs. And don’t forget to utilize the power of online communities. If you don’t have one, consider building it as the benefit outweighs the cost.
(Potential) customer experience: It’s not easy to provide high quality customer experience in a pandemic. That’s why those who can make it shine the brightest.
If it’s made impossible by social distancing, you don’t need to follow traditional examples such as a video interviewing real users. Try creative methods to focus on polishing your brand image rather than product quality, especially if you can’t deliver your goods during this time.

Reduce the Impact of the Pandemic on Business: The Right Mix

If you have invested effectively in digital marketing for a while before the crisis, you should have a right mix of the three media types. During the pandemic, it’s normal to feel an urge of tipping the balance to adapt to the situation. But this is not a must. Don’t follow everything others are doing. Stay alert, objective and forward-looking.
In case your company hadn’t have a chance to fully develop your owned, paid and earned marketing before the pandemic hit, reach for help from an expert digital marketing agency. This helps you save a lot of resources in the time of crisis.
If you decide to change your marketing mix after contemplating, follow these advices:

Read the example of Do and Don’t when changing a digital marketing strategy in the article about the Overview of Digital Marketing during a Pandemic. Focus on keeping consistency across all 3 types of channels to maintain trust.

Think long term. Will you keep the new ratio after the pandemic? Will you revert? Remember three keys to connect during a pandemic: in-person experience, community and content. Whether you apply advanced technologies or not, customer experiences are based on these 3 determining factors.
Don’t treat owned, paid and earned marketing as separate media types. Try to combine them for compound effect. For example, shareable content is the combination between owned and earned media; or promoted brand content is the mix of paid and owned marketing.
Insights from Google suggest re-assessment of all touchpoints of owned and paid channels. It is to closely follow local changes and reactions to adapt your messages and capture opportunities.
Combine with eCommerce to increase revenue, acquisition efficiency and reduce costs.

According to McKinsey, companies that integrate eCommerce into their marketing strategy “see five-times-faster revenue growth”.

digital marketing during pandemic

Digital marketing during pandemic

Read more: How to revive your business growth after the pandemic.


The 3-legged marketing model of paid, owned and earned media has long existed and is here to stay during crises. The focus may shift from one to another due to changing priorities, but none should be disregarded.
Digitalization has made it much easier to do marketing effectively during a pandemic. Leverage this power to keep your business afloat, growing and bouncing back stronger after the pandemic ends.

As digital marketing has many disciplines and each requires a certain skill set, consider outsourcing as this is the most economical and effective way in the long-term. Let On Digitals help you embark on the journey to lead your business to sustainable success.

Back to list

Read more

    NEED HELP with digital growth?
    Tell us about your business challenge and let's discuss together