Impact of COVID-19 on marketing and advertising sector

Sekhar Chettri
Marketing & Advertising Consultants, V-Chitra

How has this current lockdown affected your work? 

Feels like playing “statue” eagerly waiting for someone to play the music soon. If the lockdown continues for another month, we will get into the off-season with Monsoon and then Dashain. Being a service industry, HR cost is almost 85% per cent of our operating expense. Looks like it will be difficult to hold the fort until and unless we get lucky with a great project to rescue us.

With physical distancing, when you have a much higher consumer attention span – have clients not taken this opportunity to advertise more?

Digitalization has provided a platform as an opportunity to maintain their brand relevancy, but only select clients invested in it. So work-wise WFH (work from home) also becomes very limited and we are more deprived of internet speed from the ISPs, none of them is giving reliable internet service. Therefore, whatever little work we had we are not being able to do properly.

Have businesses benefited from the high use of social media and TV time? What about print media?

The Social Media Generic content was so huge, local communication is not being felt. On the other hand, print media failed majorly to maintain their readership due to hygienic reasons.

Newer delivery and essential supplies are advertising on social media – are these legal operators or just temporary?

SuperStore attempted to go online without proper homework or backend support and now they are not able to keep up with the number of demands. They should have collaborated and made the service more effective.  Moreover, the service was not launched in a proper way as using the service of key opinion leaders (KOL) will not help to establish unless the public maintains the same speed.

This lockdown has definitely given all of us a good learning ground in terms of BCP (business continuity planning) in the future and maybe with proper communication logistic support, we can opt for WFH as a permanent solution where every individual team members become an SBU (strategic business unit). We can save the cost of maintaining a physical office.


The above Expert Speak article is based on the conversation with Sekhar Chettri. He is a Marketing & Advertising Consultant at V-Chitra Advertising.