The COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses across all industries to rethink marketing. Many changed how they connect with consumers and allocations of their media ad budgets. Some companies stopped advertising altogether, creating challenges for broadcast sales teams. COVID-19 advertising may reshape the landscape for some time. However, there is hope, and many businesses are still investing in digital and broadcast advertising.


Some Industries Are Still Advertising, and Consumers Are More Engaged, Too

Despite a dip in confidence, advertisers in five industries demonstrate a willingness to spend money on advertising.

Marketron analyzed digital insertion orders submitted between March 16 and May 1, 2020, and found a recurring theme. The pattern demonstrated that some industries weren’t putting on the breaks.

Further, there’s good news about how consumers are consuming media. According to Statista, 18% of U.S. consumers listened to the radio more in 2020, while 79% did so at the same levels.

Additionally, global online content consumption doubled in 2020, going from 3 hours and 17 minutes to 6 hours and 59 minutes.

These statistics, combined with our own findings, illustrate the new trends of COVID-19 advertising. Next, we’ll share the top industries still investing and the digital advertising tactics you can pitch to them. Keep in mind that these digital tactics should be paired with broadcast advertising to amplify the message.


Advertisers in These Industries Are Actively Engaged in Broadcast and Digital Advertising

These five industries represent opportunities for COVID-19 advertising.

Construction/Home Improvement

For many, more time at home means more time to notice areas of the house that need a little TLC. Home improvement stores are essential businesses in most areas, so as the number of DIY projects sees an uptick, home improvement outlets keep their business in front of consumers.

Digital advertising tactics include video and over-the-top (OTT) advertising. Online video consumption is on the rise nationwide, as people are spending more time at home. Ads that visually demonstrate how easy it can be to take on home improvement projects without hiring professionals can entice people to purchase.

Health Care Services

As a result of COVID-19, health care providers and pharmacies altered the way they provide services. These changes created a need to inform the public about new protocols. Now that the vaccine is here, these same organizations will have all kinds of new messaging.

Digital advertising tactics include targeted display and search engine marketing (SEM). You can reach a local audience with targeted display ads highlighting how the advertiser can supply goods or services despite current restrictions.

For example, local pharmacies are doing a lot to ensure accessibility for patients. They also want to provide any vaccine information. So, they likely want to highlight drive-thru, delivery and curbside pick-up. Another example is urgent care facilities that need to let patients know about hours and any restrictions. SEM ads are great for this because most consumers start with a search.


COVID-19 severely impacted the education system, and many schools are still virtual. Others reopened completely or have a hybrid model. Because of job losses, millions of Americans are also considering new careers and education courses to help them get there.

Digital advertising tactics include video, OTT and geofencing. As mentioned, online video consumption is growing at a consistent rate, making it easier to connect with people while they seek entertainment at home. As a sales professional, consider calling on community colleges and trade schools in your area to help them reach new prospective students. Use OTT and video to let audiences know they can improve their resume and expand future job prospects with online courses.

Equally in demand right now are education alternatives for parents who have children at home during the day instead of at school. Advertisers that supply educational materials should use geofencing ads to target neighborhoods where many families live and promote ways parents can teach kids at home.

Financial Services

Financial organizations are still advertising; they just have a different message. People are banking differently. During the pandemic, 44% of 18- to 34-year-olds enrolled in mobile banking for the first time. Older customers also adapted, as 77% of seniors made a digital financial transaction. With branches closed or open only for short periods or by appointment, banks may want to promote their apps.

Additionally, interest rates are extremely low. That’s causing a lot of movement in the housing market, with more first-time buyers and current homeowners looking to refinance. It’s a great opportunity for lenders to get in front of borrowers.

Investors are also experiencing lots of disruptions and may be looking for counsel on where to move next with stocks, mutual funds or other securities.

Digital advertising tactics include targeted display and geofencing. Advertisers in the financial service industry can position themselves as a resource during these uncertain times. Try calling on institutions that can offer relief to consumers and businesses with loans, lower interest rates, and money management. Incorporating demographics like age and income level into targeted display campaigns can be a smart approach, as well.

Geofencing targets customers who live near a financial outlet’s location or, even more specifically, in traditionally high-earning ZIP codes, where residents may be looking for tips to stabilize their investments.


Despite lower sales numbers at many dealerships, many are still spending on ads. To meet the challenges consumers are facing, both socially and economically, dealers and service centers are advising of how they can help. The auto industry is a major source of revenue for many broadcasters. You should continue to connect with them. Now may be the perfect time to offer ad package deals to local dealerships as they seek to trim costs.

Digital advertising tactics include video, OTT and geofencing. Auto dealers are offering 0% financing and the option to complete the buying process from home. Service centers are advertising no-contact drop-offs for service, too.

Local dealers and mechanics can demonstrate this with video and OTT advertising. This can also be an effective way for dealerships to showcase great-looking, new vehicles ready for delivery, with no payments due for several months. OTT can target by geographic area, and video is pairable with geofencing to reach people who live near the dealerships and service centers.

More Industries to Consider

Other industries actively engaged in broadcast and digital advertising include:

  • Government and utilities: Unemployment assistance and questions about utility payment plans are just a few issues to address.
  • Legal services: An uptick in divorce cases is impacting the need for a good lawyer.
  • Recruitment: Employment is rebounding, and many industries are recruiting.
  • Real estate: With lower mortgage rates and a still-hot market in many cities, agents need both buyers and sellers in the current climate.

We’re Here to Help Sales Teams

COVID-19 advertising has both challenges and opportunities. If you have questions, we’d love to be of assistance. Contact us at