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How Will the COVID-19 Recession Compare to 2008?

The last global recession lasted from roughly December 2007 until June 2009 and affected every level of the international economy. Advertising spending declined steadily during that period. We are now in the second global recession in less than fifteen years, this time caused by the sudden, rapid spread of COVID-19. Will the drastically different circumstances of this downturn lead to different outcomes? Should digital advertising agencies expect a similar spending decline? eMarketer recently identified key differences between this recession and the last that offer reasons for hope and concern.

The first and most important difference is that digital advertising now plays a much larger role in most advertising strategies. Brands are spending significantly less on television advertising, out-of-home advertising, and print advertising than they were in 2008. Combined with the second major difference – altered media consumption habits, including more time spent with digital media – this shift may mean that advertisers can continue to market effectively. At GrowthEngine Media, we have encouraged advertisers to stay top of mind during this crisis by delivering meaningful, relevant, and optimistic messaging.

Another key difference between this recession and 2008 was the runway granted to advertisers. The Great Recession was expected – savvy economists had been predicting it for months, giving businesses time to prepare themselves and develop strategies. This recession has come more or less out of nowhere, and many businesses are finding it hard to cope as the economy grinds to a halt.

As a Google Premier Partner digital advertising agency with valuable insights on Google’s best practices, GrowthEngine Media is prepared to help you weather the storm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team is available to discuss your paid search, SEO, and social media strategies and provide guidance through this difficult time. Feel free to contact us today with questions, concerns, or ideas.


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