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Coronavirus and how it impacts businesses and marketers?

Coronavirus and how it impacts businesses and marketers?

by Meghashree Das May 29, 2020
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coronavirus impact

We are living in a time when precautionary measures have topped everybody’s priority list. The very popular saying that is “ prevention is better than cure” is the antidote to prevent yourself from getting infected to the pandemic disease prevailing right now i.e. COVID-19.

With more than 6,000 deaths occurred across the world, everybody has been asked to quarantine themselves and maintain social distancing. Older people are at greater risk of coronavirus.

There are reported cases from more than 140 countries and more than 80 countries have witnessed the community transmission of the disease.  Even the number of cases in China has gone down but the cases are doubling in Itlay every single day.

Itlay has reported 793 deaths in one day due to coronavirus. Such cases are still rising.

The World Health Organisation has declared coronavirus(or COVID-19) as pandemic on March 11, 2020.

What is coronavirus?

What is coronavirus

Coronavirus comes from animals, and people who are closely living or dealing with animal slaughtering have a high chance of getting infected in the first place. Coronavirus usually causes respiratory illness. This is a contagious disease and spreads at a rapid speed. There are different kinds of coronavirus that had occurred before, they are:

  • SARS-CoV

This is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, which too originated in China in 2002. This was an epidemic disease that existed from 2002-2003 which a notable number of cases of around 8,098 and taking lives as many as 774.

  • MERS-CoV


This is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, which originated in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is an epidemic as well as pandemic disease, with an outbreak of over a large number of countries thus infecting a large number of people. The spread of MERS-Cov has been majorly around Arabian Penninsula.

Novel coronavirus(2019-nCoV)

On similar grounds with other coronaviruses, this too has come from animals. The recent virulent pneumonia outbreak took place in Wuhan, China and is now spreading to other countries.

The death caused to the high proportion of people living in mainland china and infected outside is all due to the virulence of this virus. The name given to Wuhan coronavirus is nCoV-2019(Novel Coronavirus).

The nCoV showed its presence in early December was first discovered and recognized by China’s officials and is continuing to infect the people.  This virus has mainly originated from a single infected animal and vendors or people who work and made visits to such slaughterhouses were highly prone to infections.

This virus has a high tendency for the transmission of infections from people to people. People who had made frequent visits to Wuhan or the epicenter of the outbreak(Huanan seafood wholesale market) were the first who were infected.

Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus

Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus

The virus causes pneumonia. Those who have been affected by this contagious virulent virus were either asymptomatic in the initial stage or hold some symptoms. The symptoms of novel coronavirus are:

  • Cold
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea

According to WHO(World Health Organization) the period of virus showing its symptoms from getting infected to visible (onset of) symptoms, in other words, the incubation period is from 2-10 days.

It leads to respiratory problems and its less frequent symptoms includes:

  • Running nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat

Research, Vaccines, and Treatment:

Several scientists and medical teams across the globe are doing research and preparing vaccines to treat this deadly disease.

Medical teams and researchers in China are developing a vaccine and are doing drug tests from the existing drugs. There is no vaccine available for the treatment as of now.

Preventive Measures:

Preventive Measures of Coronavirus

Since there is no treatment available at present so people are requested to take preventive measures when required to help to halt the spread of the virus to more people. Preventive measures include:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Rub, massage your hands friskily in between gaps of your fingers and thumb.
  • The best possible way to wash your hands will be using an alcohol-based solution having more than 60% concentration of alcohol.
  • Use a handkerchief or thick cloth or handtowel to cover your nose and mouth while sneezing.
  • Avoid coming in contact with an infected person.

How coronavirus turned into a pandemic?

Coronavirus has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation(WHO). Coronavirus is still prevailing in many parts of the world, infecting and killing many people around.

The government of the respective countries has now started taken stringent measures, to curb the menace of this outbreak. With infecting people toll are rising daily there is now existing a lockdown situation to prevent the further spread of disease.

Coronavirus has not only hit the human population in terms of health but has also hard hit the businesses across the globe.

Along with the health of people and public services, this pandemic is affecting the economy worldwide. It is a challenging situation for businesses.

Certain evidence to support how coronavirus would impact is mentioned henceforth.

Coronavirus’s impact on the Supply-Chain

COVID-19 outbreak drastically affecting supply chains and impacting manufacturing units all around the world which are on a constant rise. There has been a prediction that peak would be around mid-march.

This is leading to a large scale shutdown of manufacturing operations. Some are temporarily being shut down whereas some a laying off the employees as a result of unable to pay their dues or salaries.

Factories which are in China are most vulnerable as the whole country’s economy is dependent on manufacturing operations. Since most of the manufacturing part is done in China, so the companies in other countries that solely rely upon China’s manufacturing plants are the worst hit and are the most vulnerable ones.

Various companies are halting their manufacturing operations. For example, Fiat has announced to halt its production in its car factory in Siberia due to the unavailability of parts from China.

On the same note, Hyundai has declared to halt its car production in its manufacturing hubs in Korea due to the disruptive supply of gear parts from China as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Impact of coronavirus on Hitech industries

Harder challenges are being faced by the Hitech industries. On February 17, Apple tech giant announced that its quarterly earnings would be low this time than previously predicted.

Two factors are majorly responsible for this:

One, constraints on the supply of iPhones globally and two, lower demand in China’s markets. This marks a significant drop in demand in the markets at present.

There are other industries also that are hard hit. Sales in China have dropped remarkably according to one of the global consumer packaged group manufacturer giants owners. It has fallen to 50% when compared with previous sales.

Impact of Mass Quarantine

Coronavirus pandemic is leading to mass quarantine and social distance due to which factory shutters have come down temporarily. Due to these factories in China are falling short of workers leading to untimely deliverables and disrupting the supply chains.

As a result of the pandemic, demand has also fallen sharply as people are making fewer visits to malls or shops. Every expected crowded place like malls, tourist places such as monuments, beaches, etc,  are shut down as per the advisory issued by the government of the respective countries.

Malls shutting down, imposing commuting restrictions are leading to financial loss. Though the government is taking initiatives to not burden up the owners and the MNC with losses but recovering from losses later would be a real challenge.

Mobility and traveling restrictions have resulted in a major decline in consumption, thereby shrinking multinational companies in several domains such as education, infrastructure, aviation, tourism, hospitality, consumer and luxury goods, electronics.

Impact of Coronairus on streaming platforms 

According to the expert(data expert) analyst Michael Olson of Piper Sandler, predicts Netflix yearly subscriptions to rise (year on year subscriptions).  Growth in subscriptions will be now more than double in Canadian and US markets.

These online streaming services are most likely to get the benefit and withstand the impact of coronavirus as it is spreading continuously.

Since advisory has been issued by the government to stay at home, to resort to the challenge the people are spending more time on online social media platforms.

This is leading to huge traffic on these platforms. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram are witnessing large scale unprecedented traffic.

The arrival of Disney Plus is highly anticipated in the next few days in the UK. This is a coincidence that Disney Plus will be hitting the UK shores at excellent timing. As it will get benefit in such a quarantined situation with maximum viewership. Although, all its press conferences have been canceled to promote Disney Plus.

Impact of coronavirus on marketing strategies 

We are living and dealing with disruptive times, where no marketing guide can help in escaping the prevailing situation. Since most of the businesses are closed, workers are asked to stay home and socially distance themselves. Consumers are dealing with stress which cannot be highly imagined before.

According to the survey conducted by the Financial Brand, earlier actions undertaken by marketing departments used to change on a day to day basis. Now, during the survey being conducted 45 percent of the companies have stated that they have changed certain employee policies related to work, travel, and bonuses.

Some organizations have changed and some are changing their marketing strategy related to consumer and vendor policies.

Move with caution

This may not be the right time to start over a business plan. The pandemic scenario may not be advantageous to your business, and considering it as a good period may put your business on risk and may even damage the reputation of your company. And recovery would bear a lot of consequences.

According to an expert Gartner’s Augie Ray, one can start with COVID-19 themed marketing strategy on if it justifies and meets a certain set of criteria:

  • You are proclaiming something entirely different which other organizations re saying. These organizations are your competitors and you have to compete in different manners to stand out.
  • Immediate solutions are provided by your company during the prevailing pandemic situation.
  • Going beyond what your company’s brand is stating to the consumers.

Agility, scalability, and speed are required by the company to achieve the above-stated goals since the coronavirus situation is so fluid, demand has to meet up more efficiently.

Business mitigating the corona impact

Since COVID-19 is spreading at an alarming rate, companies are now adopting preventive measures to mitigate the impact of coronavirus.

Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon tech giants have advised their workers in Seattle to work from home for a few weeks since one of Amazon’s workers has contracted with coronavirus.

The companies are reacting to the situation depends on various factors which include location, the impact of the outbreak in that particular location and the industry type.

In the backdrop stock markets are continuing to get hit, the ability of employees to work remotely has become commonplace for them to work. This factor may allow some companies to reduce the slowdown effects which are being hit.

Cancelled events

coronavirus events cancelled

Marketing events across the world are getting canceled or fully postpone in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. Some of the marketing events are shifting online.

Some of the major events cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak are:

  1. Google Cloud next’s Summit
  2. Adobe’s annual Summit
  3. Facebook’s annual conference
  4. F8 – Facebook’s biggest event of the year
  5. Mobile World Congress – Biggest smartphone conference
  6. ASEAN Summit
  7. Tokyo’s world-famous cherry blossom festival
  8. Ultra Music festival in Miami
  9. World Athletics Indoor Championships
  10. Public events by Dalai Lama

Though this is not an exhaustive list of major events cancelled, but these are very impactful business, social, and sporting events that affect the global economy and global population heavily.

Impacts of coronavirus on the travelling industry

Consumers would take a good amount of time with the idea of considering their travel abroad on a non-refundable basis even if the coronavirus has died down. The timeframe certainly would be longer than a period of 9 months. Travel companies should carefully strategize their way of attracting customers in the future.  They should aim loyal customers and frequent travelers who would take risks sooner than casual vacationers.

The travel industry of the United States is expected to take a hit of about $24 billion because of the spread of COVID-19. This loss is estimated to be four times the loss due to the 2003 SARS outbreak. The travel restrictions are forecasted to experience a 10% fall in incoming visits to the United States due to the coronavirus outbreak.

As far as employees are concerned, about 825,000 jobs might be lost in the travel and tourism industry alone. The White House has floated ideas such as a potential payroll tax cut, small business loans, etc. President Donald Trump did mention working with close contact with the the airline and cruise ship industries to help provide relief.

It is a hard time for the economy

Looking into the scenario it can be very well understood that coronavirus has hard hit the businesses, tournaments are getting canceled or fully postpone, marketing events going online, employees are asked to work from home, etc.

You are surely getting irritated and fed up by listening to depressing news, but it will take time to go off completely from the roots. This pandemic coronavirus is impacting the economies and business operations dramatically.

Still, companies are finding ways to cope up with this outbreak by adopting a good number of measures. Thus, helping in sustaining the business operations.


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Meghashree Das

Digital Marketer, Writing about marketing is a passion of mine that I have been pursuing from a young age. I love to express my thoughts on paper, as well as a digital medium.

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