The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses across all industries to rethink how they connect with consumers and whether adjustments need to be made to the allocations of their media ad budgets. Some businesses have stopped advertising altogether, leaving broadcast sales teams challenged to keep existing dollars on the books and find new advertising dollars to fill in the gaps.

Certain Industries Are Continuing to Invest in Digital Advertising

Despite a dip in confidence, advertisers in five industries are demonstrating a willingness to spend money on advertising.

Marketron analyzed digital insertion orders submitted between March 16 and May 1, 2020 and found a recurring theme; the pattern being that the industries listed below showed up most often on a weekly basis when looking at orders submitted during this timeframe.

Recent data shows that people are being reached by radio just as often as before the crisis. According to Inside Radio, 94% of respondents to a recent poll said they have listened to local radio since the COVID-19 outbreak. People are also watching more broadcast television since the outbreak began, up 42% during one recent stretch, according to Statista.

For each of these industries, there are digital ad tactics that may be more effective when trying to reach target audiences. Keep in mind these digital tactics should be paired with broadcast advertising to amplify the message.

Advertisers in These Industries Are Actively Engaged in Broadcast and Digital Advertising

Construction/Home Improvement

For some people, more time at home means more time to notice areas of the house that need a little TLC. Home improvement stores are considered to be an essential business in most areas, so as the number of do-it-yourself projects see an uptick, home improvement outlets are keeping their business in front of consumers.

Digital advertising tactics to consider include video and over-the-top (OTT) advertising. Online video consumption is on the rise nationwide as people are spending a majority of their time at home. Ads that demonstrate in a visual way how easy it can be to take on home improvement projects without having to hire a professional can entice people to pick up needed materials.

Health Care Services

As a result of COVID-19, health care providers and pharmacies have altered the way they provide services, creating a need to let the public know about these changes.

Digital advertising tactics to consider include targeted display and search engine marketing (SEM). Reach a local audience with targeted display ads that highlight how the advertiser can supply goods or services despite current restrictions. For example, the local pharmacy may be closed to foot traffic, but they should remind people that they have a drive-through and have added door-to-door prescription delivery. Perhaps one of the health care centers in town is accepting walk-in patients for non-essential care during certain hours – let people know about accessible medical care when they search online with SEM ads.


COVID-19 has severely impacted the education system, as schools have shut down across the country. In addition, the unemployment rate continues to rise, leading adults to look into continuing education courses.

Digital ad tactics to consider include video, OTT and geofencing. As mentioned, online video consumption is growing at a consistent rate, making it easier to connect with people while they seek entertainment at home. As a sales professional, consider calling on community colleges and trade schools in your area to help reach new prospective students. Use OTT and video to let audiences know that they can improve their resume and expand future job prospects with online courses.

Equally in demand right now are education alternatives for parents who have children at home during the day instead of at school. Advertisers that supplies educational materials should use geofencing ads to target neighborhoods where large numbers of families live and promote ways parents can teach kids at home.

Financial Services

The economic impacts of COVID-19 are affecting individuals and businesses in every corner of the country. The stock market has taken investors on a roller coaster ride since the middle of February, creating a need for sound advice from financial professionals. Businesses may need a loan to stay afloat until the climate stabilizes again. On the flip side, interest rates have been cut, opening the door to first-time home buyers and people interested in refinancing their home.

Digital advertising tactics to consider include targeted display and geofencing. Advertisers in the financial service industry can position themselves as a resource during these uncertain times. Consider calling on institutions, such as banks and investment firms, that can offer relief to consumers and businesses in the way of loans, lower interest rates and money management. Incorporating demographics, such as age and income level into targeted display campaigns can be a smart approach for businesses seeking to connect with people who may need help with their financial portfolio.

In addition to targeted display, geofencing can be used to find customers who live near a financial outlets’ location, or even more specifically, in traditionally wealthy zip codes and where residents might be on the lookout for some tips to stabilize their investments.


Despite lower sales numbers at many dealerships, there is still ad money being spent by businesses in the automotive industry. In order to meet the challenges that consumers are facing, both socially and economically, dealers and service centers are letting people know how they can help. The auto industry is a major source of revenue for many broadcasters across the country and should continue to be called on by sales professionals. Now may be the perfect time to offer ad package deals to local dealerships as they look to trim costs.

Digital advertising tactics to consider include video, OTT and geofencing. Auto dealers are offering 0% financing and the option to complete the entire buying process from home. Service centers are showcasing their ability to provide mechanical assistance to customers by picking up and dropping off vehicles with minimal personal contact involved.

Local dealers and mechanics can show people how this is done with video and OTT advertising. This can also be an effective way for dealerships to show people those great looking, new vehicles that are ready to be delivered with no payments due for several months. OTT can be targeted by geographic area and video can be coupled with geofencing to reach people who live near the dealerships and service centers.

Other industries that are actively engaged in broadcast and digital advertising, and therefore could be valuable options for sales professionals to call on include:

  • Government and Utilities: Unemployment assistance and questions about utility payment plans are just a couple of the issues that people need help with
  • Legal Services: An uptick in divorce cases is impacting the need for a good lawyer
  • Recruitment: The national unemployment rate is nearing 20%, but there are industries that are hiring
  • Real Estate: With lower mortgage rates, as well as people being forced to sell, agents are needed for both buyers and sellers in the current climate

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