At a time where so much is in flux, we’re incredibly fortunate to be in an industry that not only has the ability to continue to operate seamlessly, but has the chance to really soar. Though it’s impossible to anticipate every possible change and outcome that could occur in the coming months, we see the environment created by COVID-19 as one of great opportunity for performance marketing. Our industry has a unique business model that allows us to flex and pivot with the changing consumer needs of this new stay-at-home economy in a “just-in-time’ manner. This agility makes the performance marketing budget the last to be cut because brands pay only for real customers, and that creates definitive ROI.

Since the crisis began, we’ve seen a boost in the finance, healthcare, and entertainment verticals. This boost is creating a huge opportunity for vertical marketers to capitalize on the increasing need for digital access to essential goods and services, entertainment, and education – and performance marketing is the most accountable and adaptable marketing method to reach those consumers. As many businesses in these verticals, like food delivery and online streaming services, are experiencing a surge, their marketers are finding that performance marketing, as mentioned before, is the best way to react quickly and with definitive ROI. While at the same time many brands and businesses are scaling back overall marketing spend in order to manage expenses, they continue to invest in performance marketing because it is one of the few marketing methods that produces truly quantifiable, incremental growth by allowing marketers to only pay for the real customers they acquire.

It’s challenging to know what the long-term impact will be, but if things progress as they have thus far, we may find that brands continue to expand their online offerings. As consumers become more comfortable with and accustomed to online offerings and purchasing, it could permanently change their shopping preferences after the Coronavirus crisis has passed. Marketers in the aforementioned in-demand verticals, who may not have previously used performance marketing before the crisis, but now understand the value, may shift their marketing mixes to allocate budget to ongoing performance methods that cater to these changes in consumer habits. Performance marketing could then increasingly be a focus for risk-averse marketers who are looking to effectively acquire customers through an online model at a controlled rate.

In times like these, it is our role as the network to continue being a trusted partner, and to provide the insights into the market and opportunities. We will continue to be with our marketers and partners every step of the way as together we navigate through the uncertainty we are all experiencing now, as well as the long term residual implications that occur.