The Pandemic’s Effect on Marketing, Why AI Will Change Agencies, and More

May 6, 2020

By Andrew Eitelbach

Marco_Piunti/Getty Images

Some of us work from home now. Some of us no longer work.

In three months, the coronavirus has forced economic changes that will affect people’s lives for the better part of the next decade, if not longer.

For marketing, the pandemic’s effects can’t fully be known for quite some time, but it’s fair to say: It will be significant.

"It's gut-check time for a lot of brands and agencies," Ted Birkhahn, co-founder and president of Hot Paper Lantern, tells ANA magazine. Business as usual is gone.

How the virus will change the industry is still taking form.

More ANA Newsstand highlights from April:

  • Keeping Email Campaigns Healthy During the Coronavirus. "Once people get used to being more selective over what they are paying attention to, it's going to be harder to revert them back to the same level of opening every trivial email,” Andrew Frank, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner, tells B2B Marketer magazine. While B2B firms are likely to ramp up their email marketing amid the coronavirus, they need to be careful not to overdo it.
  • Nonprofit Community Takes Swift Action. The coronavirus has spurred nonprofits to take action on several levels, including crafting new messages that both acknowledge the severity of the crisis and explain how it might impact the organization. "A lot of people are frightened right now financially and for their own health, and we want to be respectful of that and not be tone deaf to what's going on," Norm Bowling, chief revenue and marketing officer at the V Foundation for Cancer Research, tells Greater Good magazine. "Donors care … they will support our mission."
  • Is AI the End of Agencies As You Know Them? “Does automation and technology stifle new ideas and strategies? Does it cause tension between agencies and clients,” this ANA magazine story asks. The answer, the story says, depends on who you ask.

Also, be sure to catch up on the latest industry trends contributed by ANA partners in Forward magazine. April’s contributions include:

See highlights from March or find even more great coverage of the industry on ANA Newsstand.

Let us know your thoughts. Leave comments on articles or write me directly at

ANA Newsstand is available to nonmembers through the ANA Community Access portal. It’s part of the ANA’s efforts to keep the industry moving forward in challenging times.

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