COVID-19 has been a whirlwind, to say the least, for the entire world. Economies are tanking, unemployment is increasing, and with that – a decline in consumer spending. As a marketing agency, the majority of requests we’ve seen in the last week have been to update website hours and notify clients of changes to schedules. Tourism and service industries have taken a big hit. Gym memberships are being canceled, and most membership-based services are seeing declines as consumers search for ways to lean out their budgets.

So who’s still making money? We’ve done our research, and gathered a list of industries that seem to be safe for now (3/23/20).

Industries that are safe (so far) during COVID-19

  • SaaS (Software as a Service)

Many are replacing in-person connections with digital. Communications software has boomed as schools move to e-learning. Entertainment software and digital gaming is providing an outlet for those self-quarantined.

  • Big E-Commerce

Large online retailers like Amazon, Jet, and Walmart continue to do extremely well. Smaller e-commerce stores that cannot match demand with speedy delivery times, are not performing as well.

  • Delivery Services and Transportation

GrubHub, Postmates, Uber Eats – all of the food delivery giants have worked tirelessly to profit off of the move to curbside. Most restaurants nationwide are no longer allowed to have dine-in customers. However, adding a restaurant to any of these platforms requires a sign-up process and setup on their end. Smaller delivery providers and courier services who are willing to perform hands-free pickup and drop off for food and other staples, are able to continue run a successful business.

  • Pet Services

The health, hygiene, and nutrition of pets is still very much valued. The socially isolated community is still spending time with their furry friends, and being able to provide for them remains important.

  • B2B Health and Pharmaceuticals

Manufacturers of medical equipment, medicines, nutraceuticals, and pharmaceuticals are all still very much needed. Connecting these businesses to the people who need them is a critical job that entails both marketing and operations.

That said, the general consensus among marketers and consumers right now is that marketing and ads are a huge faux-pas. The nation’s collective panic button has been pushed, and people are protective over their pocket books. Our recommendations are as follows.


How to be Tactful about Your Marketing during a Pandemic

  • No Facebook/Instagram ads. These show up, whether you’ve searched for them or not. This is not the time to shove brand messages in people’s faces.
  • Reduce emails to only critical announcements, and even then, only to customers that you’re certain will find the information relevant.
  • Google Ads is still safe. Here, you only spend when people are clicking – and you’re only showing up in search when people are actually looking for something relevant to you.
  • Keep your hours updated on your website, and social media. Make sure it’s easy to find your hygiene and sick policies. Make sure you’ve changed your procedures to be as customer-friendly as possible – it should be easy to interact safely with you.
  • Keep social posts sensitive to the times. If you’re a restaurant, this isn’t the time to share photos of your customers enjoying happy hour. Instead, share a photo of your curbside pickup setting, with gloved hands and a face mask on your employee. Or, share tips on how to make something at home (i.e. “we know you love our zesty ranch, here’s how you can make a copycat version until we see you again!”).

If your business can afford to take some time off from marketing in the present-day, an even better strategy is to take this time to plan for future promotions. Create strategies and messages that you’d like to send for end of summer, and the fall/winter holidays. Identify influencers you may like to work with and begin those conversations now.

Remember, the comeback is always greater than the setback. Allowing your business to drop expenses and go into hibernation for a few months doesn’t have to coincide with giving up on it.  We know these are hard times, and individuals/businesses alike are walking on eggshells. It’s difficult to know what is the right message, versus a potential PR mess.

Has your industry been successful during a time of crisis? Have you taken an economic hit? We want to hear about what you’re doing to overcome, share in the comments!