Returning to Normal – Thoughts from Asia


With markets in Europe and the Americas starting to re-open after lockdowns, we turned to our Asia-based team to learn how they started their post-COVID-19 marketing to better understand what to expect.

So what can we expect in Europe and the Americas? Here are some thoughts from Creative Clicks VP APAC Tian Bai who is based on Beijing:

As the first markets to be impacted by COVID-19, we were also the first markets to begin opening up and returning to traditional digital marketing.

Welcome back

The verticals coming back first include gaming (which was pretty strong during COVID-19), video streaming, and social media.

Throughout January, February, and March, we stayed in contact with all of our clients regardless of their advertising plans. Why? For us, it was more about maintaining the relationship and less about money, because we’re all people and most of us know someone who knows someone who was impacted by the virus.

Because we maintained close ties with our clients, we knew when each was ready to return to advertising, and at what level. Therefore, given how competitive digital marketing is, we monitored each client’s competitors to ensure that every client could make an educated decision regarding when and how to return to marketing.

We’re people first…

Though we’re a business unit focused on generating revenue from our clients’ advertising, with COVID-19 and the return to marketing, our focus was exclusively on supporting our clients. Therefore, the only time we’d mention advertising budgets is when we saw a major competitor advertising and knew that our client had an available budget.

In our data-driven world, every client knows the true value of a user, and how much they’re willing to pay for each user today.

Furthermore, not every company will survive COVID-19. Therefore, there will be opportunities in the coming months to gain users from apps that didn’t survive.

As marketers increase their budgets, they’re still proceeding cautiously. Though China has moved beyond COVID-19, we’re all part of a global economy and therefore impacted by what’s happening in the rest of the world.

Europe and North America

For marketers in Europe and the Americas, my advice is to focus on support and service first. The budgets will come back, but not to the sales reps who keep asking for budgets. Now is the time to think, feel, and act as a client and provide support the way you’d want someone to support you. Business is coming back, even strongly with some clients/verticals, but there is an amount of cautiousness, which is to be expected.

Now is the time to be supportive and understanding of clients’ cautiousness.

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