COVID-19: In the pandemic’s economic wake, search offers a rock-steady source of truth

Ashley Fletcher Posted by Ashley Fletcher

businesses need to find a new way to operate with people locked in their homes

In an economic environment turned upside-down, there is no business as usual. But for marketers there is business to be done if you look in the right places and are willing to shift your mindset to the current reality. The challenge is to find alternate strategies, discover unmet needs, and focus on opportunities as they arise. It can be done, and I’m seeing it happen among Adthena’s clients and partner community.

Even on the High Street and in verticals where business has been decimated, some businesses are adapting as best they can. Restaurants are going to takeout and delivery-only. Travel companies are pivoting toward branding efforts and focusing on the staycation. And where possible, enterprises are going all-in for digital. UK electronics retailer Dixons has shuttered its physical locations, but they are getting creative and thriving online (demand is high for laptops at the moment, after all).

In the digital marketspace, we are in a privileged position to at least tread water in the current crisis. Consumers holed up at home are looking to non-contact resources for everything from entertainment to provisions to educational resources for kids home from school. And from our living rooms and kitchen tables, there is business to be done. Yet every day I speak with CMOs and VPs in the digital sector who feel paralyzed by the uncertainty in the market and in everyday life. For these leaders, normally manageable decisions like how much to spend, who to consider a threat, and what messages or tactics to execute have become frighteningly consequential, because everything is changing by the minute, and the unknowns are simply unprecedented.

Here’s the thing: in this low-visibility environment with so much dust kicked up that it’s choking our marketing resolve, the search landscape and, specifically, search intelligence offer not only remarkable clarity, but also a real-time lens into market movements, trends and opportunities across verticals and in close to real time. PPC is a stable, transparent refuge every marketer needs to be leveraging right now to keep the oars in the water.

Unsure which competitors are still active or ducking out and their likelihood of reemerging? It’s all in the search data. Want to know how a product category or product offering (yours or theirs) is trending in performance? It’s in the data. Want to track where Amazon has bowed out in the past 24 hours because of fulfillment constraints and opportunities are opening up? It’s right there in the data. Google can’t offer that insight, but search intelligence can. In fact, in a volatile and unpredictable market, Google’s smart bidding tools can leave marketers vulnerable to red herrings and false alarms. Transparency into your search market is absolutely vital right now if you want to navigate this storm.

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Every search term, every product, bid increase, and shift ad copy provides the astute PPC professional insight into what your competition is doing, where there are gaps you can fill, and what you need to do next.

With everything from consumer demand to production planning to supply chains in turmoil, search intelligence offers here-and-now visibility into your market space, so you can respond not with paralysis, but with data-driven confidence.

As economic uncertainty prevails, PPC is now a key battleground for market share, and competitive search intelligence a vital source of truth.


If your business has been affected by Coronavirus and you’re uncertain about how to move forward with your search strategy, we’re here to help.

Speak to us today and see how Adthena can help you at this time

About the author

Ashley Fletcher
Ashley Fletcher
As VP of Marketing, Ashley is responsible for continually expanding the global audience and market for Adthena’s groundbreaking search intelligence solutions. He joined Adthena from Criteo, where he led the product marketing team launching its Predictive Search product, an automated performance solution for Google Shopping in the US and EMEA. Prior to Criteo, he headed up marketing for finance and insurance comparison products across global markets at Google. In his 5 years at Google Ashley also working for the broader Search Ads Team, including Google Shopping, and Google Express products. Ashley’s career began on the agency side at Coast Digital, and he holds an MSc in Global Marketing and attended Wharton's Mini-MBA Program for Executives.