COVID-19 Marketing Insights from studying 70,000 Recession-proof Businesses

Marketing Insights from studying 70,000 Recession-proof Businesses.

There is a common belief that a CRISIS is the best time to make progress in business or break into a new market. It’s believed that crisis provides entrepreneurs with a lot of opportunities as it kicks of old market players and directly shows how to seize markets. Is it really so?  

The crisis has already hit global business, especially SMB. But at the same time, some people just insist that now isn’t the time to complain!

Now everyone is asking the same exact questions: 

  • What exactly needs to be done to turn their business around?
  • How to adapt marketing to current conditions of COVID-19 and improve the overall business performance?

The answer to these questions can be found in the data, or rather in its analytics.

On May 7, Hubspot released a new report on changes in traffic, sales, and email marketing performance among 70,000 businesses, analyzing the period from January (before the pandemic) to the end of April. They used internal data from their software (CRM and Marketing tools) to make the conclusion.

And there are many interesting insights in this benchmark report that can lead to useful questions and conclusions. I found many insights on how to adapt marketing for my companies, as well as general business turnaround strategy to apply during the Coronovirus crisis. So, I decided to make a small squeeze for you – my business family.

So, let’s get down to business.

💸 Sales

COVID Sales Results of Recession-proof Businesses.
  • The dynamics of the number of deals closed shows that the economy is gradually recovering after COVID-19. The total decline in closed deals since the beginning of the pandemic has decreased from 30% to 16.5%.
  • Leaders in closed deals are companies from Computer Software and Construction industries. The businesses from the latter industry have an increase of 13%  in deals closed despite the pandemic. Perhaps, this is due to a significant reduction in prices in the real estate market.
  • Losers in this category are companies in the Travel niche – they experience a reduction in the number of open deals by 43% and closed deals by 29%.
  • For sites in the Entertainment category, the number of open deals fell by 10%, and closed ones by 48%.
  • Despite the significant increase in labor supply in the market triggered by the record unemployment level, companies from the HR industry are also experiencing an 18% decrease in open deals. Moreover, conversions into sales fell to 10% – a record bottom. Perhaps, the reason is the decrease in revenue, and as a result, in the free capital of most businesses.

🔸 Email Marketing and Outreach

COVID Email and Outreach results of Recession-proof Businesses.
  • After the start of the quarantine, companies began to send more Sales Emails. Unfortunately, the Open Rate for this type of email fell significantly – a 10% decrease for companies with 201+ employees. For companies with 1-25 employees, the Open Rate fell only by 1%, and for businesses having 26-200 employees the Open Rate declined by 3%. Honestly, I personally began to read newsletters and other marketing emails much more often. A possible reason for that may be that while locked up, people have more free time to read emails. They are striving to information consumption, as well as self-education.
  • Simultaneously, companies began to send more Marketing Emails – a 26% increase. It is noteworthy that on average, the Open Rate of such emails has grown to 21%, which is quite a lot. 
  • Questions to think about:
    • Does it mean that kids are able to better adapt to the crisis? Are companies with 1-25 employees more recession-proof businesses?🤔
    • Does this data show the importance of focusing on email marketing as a traffic channel today? Actually, I read the Hubspot Benchmark report in one of such marketing emails on the pas weekend 😁

⚫️ Website involvement / Chatbots (Dark Horse)

COVID-19 Website Involvement results of Recession-proof Businesses.
  • It is noteworthy that the interaction with chatbots on sites increased by 26% compared with the average in the pre-COVID period.
  • The highest rates in this direction are for companies with 1-25 employees in North America.
  • Questions to think about: 
    • Does this mean that start-up companies like ours should pay attention to this area of marketing to improve business results? 
    • Can launching sales funnels though chatbots improve the business performance of B2C companies? 
    • What if combine Marketing Email Newsletter with chatbot funnel for sales purposes? It sounds like a promising hypothesis to try. 

📈 Website Traffic

COVID-19 Website Traffic results of Recession-proof Businesses.
  • Traffic to the websites of Computer Software companies has grown the most – by 18% since the start of the pandemic. They are also leaders in deals closed. So, Computer Software companies seem to be businesses that make money during a recession.
  • Surprisingly, website traffic to the Construction websites increased by 5%. This slightly astonished me as I thought that this industry was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 the most. Anyway, it is now important for Construction companies to capitalize on the traffic increase by processing new customers as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to sell more of their non-liquid assets.
  • It is obvious that Travel category websites sank most in traffic – a decrease of 19%.
  • Questions to think about: 
    • Considering the upcoming end of global quarantine, should we hurry up with new real estate purchases if we planned them? There is a possibility that prices get back to the pre-COVID levels or even higher. Taking into account the increase in website traffic, it may be a real scenario.   
    • Getting back to the commonly spread thesis about crisis business opportunities, is it the best time to launch a new, unique travel startup? 😁
    • Or it’s better to start thinking over a b2c Computer Software business with chatbot sales funnel? Thank the data and its analysis, we can make appropriate conclusions regarding working strategies and types of businesses that do well in a recession now. 

Final words

I hope my squeeze of the business performance of 70,000 businesses will be useful to you and you will ask proper questions, as well as draw the necessary conclusions from this information.
If you have interesting ideas and suggestions for the weekly digest – I will be glad to discuss it. Contact me via [email protected].

The full HubSpot Benchmark Report can be found here.

Have a good week 🤘😎
Gleb Myrko
Managing Partner | RGray