We believe that this is a time to be looking forward, so we are asking industry leaders for their thoughts on what lies ahead. Today, Kathy Bryan, chief marketing officer at Digital Media Solutions:

It’s hard to know yet what the COVID-19 pandemic means for the performance marketing industry. There are many people predicting worse case scenarios. Conversely, there are some industries – like meal kits and online pharmacies – that are suddenly experiencing exponential sales growth. What we know is that the economic results of this pandemic are likely to be long lasting and significant.

In the short term, if the coronavirus crisis extends for as long as some are predicting, we are likely to see a situation where the most responsible, most transparent, most financially stable companies thrive. This will happen because advertisers, especially those who may have to reduce budgets, will want to work with their most trusted partners.

The long term is much harder to predict, because there is so much uncertainty in what is ahead. Across the U.S., what I’m witnessing is that Americans don’t have a desire to retreat or slow their spending, but they are following the orders of the government as they practice social distancing. Simultaneously, a lot of people are taking action and setting the stage for us to all get up and running quickly on the flip side. Assuming the stimulus deal passes, there will be $2 trillion directed at keeping industries, small businesses and the American people afloat. Many businesses are also taking action to support their customers during this time of need. What I hope to see happen is that actions we take in the short term make us stronger and focus the performance marketing industry on best practices, and as a result, the long term benefits from the short-term hardships.

Whether brands or networks, technology providers or publishers, the companies that will fare well throughout the pandemic will be the ones that keep themselves nimble enough to adjust to what’s ahead.