The World of Daman Beatty

The Effects of COVID-19 on Mobile Marketing


The coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by surprise and has had enormous repercussions for every aspect of our lives. From places, we go to, to how we work, spend our time and money, browse the internet, etc. Businesses worldwide have felt the pandemic’s effect and the pause it has put on the business scene. Mobile marketing is no exception, so let’s see how the pandemic has impacted this sector.

The marketing industry relies on continuity and non-stop co-dependency among production, advertising, sales, and all the other facets of marketing. However, the pandemic has put a hiatus on business worldwide. Hence, the mobile marketing industry and marketing, in general, were slowed down due to the lack of ease of operations typically associated with the industry. So how exactly is COVID-19 affecting mobile marketing?

For starters, the mobile advertising market is very dependent on the supply and use of smartphones. There is no mobile marketing without a booming mobile market, and statistics show that the smartphone market is suffering the worst market contraction in history. The drop in demand and supply of smartphones globally has never been lower, with as much as a 13% drop in shipment worldwide and a 27% drop in China—the world’s number one smartphone manufacturer.

The pandemic has gravely affected marketing and advertising in general. Prior to the outbreak, the total global investment in advertising for 2020 was expected to grow by about 7.1%. However, with the pandemic changing everything from customer behavior to marketing strategies and budgets, reports now predict that advertising investments will drop by at least 8.1%. OOH advertisement is also set to drop by 21.7% compared to the 5.9% growth initially forecast. Other media such as magazines, TV, and radio are also set to lose at least 19.5% in ad spending.

As stated earlier, the marketing industry works pretty much in sync, and the decline of advertising and marketing performance have somewhat benefitted mobile marketing and social media marketing in particular. Social media marketing is one of the rare marketing forms that hasn’t seen a decline in 2020. The global ad spending is set to increase by 9.8% from 2019. Still, before COVID-19, it was expected to increase by 20%. However, that increase is largely due to the decline in other forms of advertisement and frequent use of social media platforms worldwide.

Marketing departments everywhere have taken advantage of the extra mobile screen time that customers spend on their devices during the pandemic. Although mobile marketing has been negatively affected by the pandemic in general, the more severe struggles of other marketing platforms have provided something of a silver lining for mobile marketers.

Of course, mobile marketing has become increasingly important for business owners during the pandemic, as it’s currently the easiest way to reach customers. Businesses are now turning to their marketing departments to help retain customers and maintain brand loyalty during the pandemic.

Considering that mobile marketing and social media marketing, in particular, are the quickest and most convenient ways to reach customers during the pandemic, it explains why social media and mobile marketing are doing relatively well in comparison to their traditional marketing counterparts. According to a CMO survey, spending on marketing as a percentage of a US company’s budget rose to 12.6% in May 2020—the highest figure in the 10 years of a survey.

Despite this silver lining, research still shows that the situation is far from ideal for many digital and mobile marketing agencies. A survey from Uplers shows that approximately 57% of digital agencies have experienced a drop of at least 30% in revenue due to coronavirus.


COVID-19 has had a severe impact on just about every aspect of businesses worldwide. The pandemic has forced companies to reevaluate their marketing strategies, and mobile marketing has been thrust into the spotlight. The underperformance of other marketing forms has shown that even though mobile marketing has taken a hit in predicted ad revenues for the year, it has still seen healthy growth. Studies and surveys show that businesses’ and consumers’ reliance on mobile marketing during the pandemic is set to be of huge benefit to mobile marketers worldwide after the pandemic is over.