This article is contributed by Unmarketd, a curated marketplace for elite performance marketing and data & analytics experts. You can read their growth series on TLD.


Summary: if you are pausing your customer acquisition activities during COVID-19 epidemic you were not doing it right anyways

Now, don’t get me wrong if you are in travel, transportation or any other industry which came to a halt, were forced to shut down by law enforcement and not servicing customers in any form of course you have to pause all marketing.


Universal law of sustainable marketing:

In other words, you should be making out of your marketing activities more than you are spending on them. How much more? Depends on your business objective, do the math. Example, if your ecommerce company target is to be operationally profitable.

So, if you Gross Margins are 30% and Fulfillment is 20% you will end up with something like

Now, assume post product-market-fit ratio of 60% of organic (free) customers and 40% acquired via paid marketing, and we reduce Customer Lifetime to something quite short – tough times demand, we will see the above transforms into

This is the KPI for your marketing manager. Are they there yet? If yes, why then pausing what was giving you sustainable results? If not, well…as they say in Russia don’t blame the mirror if you have an ugly face…

Now, I understand if you are running a VC backed startups the sustainability gotta be sacrificed for growth. Which make sense during peace times and this is a different story…


Let’s look at different industries and what can be done in each

The winners:

FMCG, Health & Pharmacies, Remote Work, Shipping, Beauty and Personal Care, Gifts and Flowers

Some winners as Pharmacies and Deliveries are obvious


Of course, strategy should be is to capitalize in the increased Conversion Rates and reduced CPC costs as other advertisers are pulling out and reducing the budgets.

Troubles in paradise:

Online Groceries

As people in many countries are confined to their homes online groceries are on the roll. In MENA for example, online groceries see multi-fold increase in business

However, are they using the current situation to their best advantage?

There’s a worldwide surge in search volume for online groceries

However, this doesn’t seem to reflect in increased conversion rates and actually there’s an increase in Cart Abandonment YoY

This is largely caused by suboptimal onsite user experience, lack of targeted advertising, and operational issues caused by traffic spikes from IT infrastructure to stock management.

Would also be interesting to see what the repurchase cohorts of online grocery users acquired during COVID-19 epidemic.

So, from online strategy point of view CRO and funnel optimization still remains the King and the Queen.

The mixed feelings

Interesting example is Retail, although consumers shifting online due to the closure of malls and shopping centers in many places they are also not as likely to spend during this uncertain period.

What every independent business should take advantage of however, is that big retailers are also reducing their marketing spent leading to lower CPCs and thus potential for higher ROAS.

So, the focus should again be not reducing marketing spent where possible but using it more effectively and rationally.


The losers

Apart from obvious Travel& Tourism, Dine-in venues, Construction, Fitness & Recreation, Small Businesses are among the most affected as most of them operated offline with some rudimentary online presence. The advice to those is to battle train to sell online – we built some DIY guide for small businesses to give some help ad guidance 👉

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].