Short- and Long-Term Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic

James T. Berger headshot

James T. Berger
Senior Marketing Writer

Published May 15, 2020

While all the effects of the coronavirus pandemic are yet to be evaluated, one thing is sure: things will never be the same again. However, when an eventual vaccine destroys COVID-19, the short- and long-term effects of this pandemic will be hard to eradicate.

In its April 30, 2020 edition, Influencer Marketing offers a multifaceted short-term prospective of the immediate pandemic aftermath entitled “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Marketing & Ad Spend Impact Report + Statistics.” The article’s data comes from the information collected from tracking 237 brands as well as other Coronavirus-related marketing and sales statistics.

The short-term and long-term economic effects of COVID-19

Here are some of the report’s key takeaways:

69% of brands expect they will decrease ad spending in 2020. Even though the survey represented data collected before the end of March, the pending situation was obvious to respondents, according to Influencer Marketing. “Presumably, some of our respondents are from regions in lockdown who will have already stopped ad campaigns for products they cannot currently sell,” the article states. There will be no media dollars for sports events during the baseball, golf, tennis and early football seasons.

38% of respondents believe they may have to lay off workers due to Coronavirus. This prediction was also made before the full impact the pandemic was felt in our economy. “Hopefully, measures put in place by some governments can minimize the actual number of workers who lose their jobs,” the article continues. Thus far, the unemployment numbers are devastating.

Estimated effects are equally relevant for both smaller and larger companies. Influencer Marketing bases its predictions on companies with under 50 employees as well as companies with more than 1000 employees. “No business will escape the virus’s impact, and brands will have to think carefully about how they market their way through the economic shocks,” the article states.

One company out of four declared that will increase marketing activities. While some companies are hunkering down to survive, the article pointed out that one in four companies intend to increase their marketing activities and 41% intend to make use of the business downturn to maintain or increase their presence in the media. It takes courage to increase marketing spend during an economic downturn, but history shows marketers who do increase spending can also boost market shares.

E-commerce companies are taking advantage of the pandemic environment. The article reported that ad spending on e-commerce double in the U.S. between mid-February in early March. “Brands that operated both an online and physical presence have apparently moved their marketing to the web,” according to Influencer Marketing. Brick-and-mortar retailing has already been in decline and, until the vaccine comes, no real recovery is possible.

Forbes, in its April 9, 2020 issue, takes a longer-term view of the implications of COVID-19. In an article entitled “How the Corona Virus Outbreak Will Change Careers and lives for the Foreseeable Future,” author Jack Kelly, senior contributor to Forbes, offers the following key implications on the post-pandemic workplace.

Working at home is here to stay. Kelly points out that with nearly everybody working and studying at home, the online video call has become the go-to medium to stay in touch with coworkers and friends. He added that Zoom (videoconferencing software) has become a household word. “Now that companies recognize that employees can relatively easily work from home, executives are likely to encourage this behavior,” he writes. This bodes major changes in the office space portion of the corporate real estate market.

Corporate travel is in for a longer-term decline. Kelly offers that certain pre-COVID-19 standards, such as global travel to meet with customers or clients, will be questioned. “Management will calculate the cost of airfare, hotel stays, car rentals and treating clients to expensive restaurants and deem them to be unnecessary and extravagant,” he writes. “They will tell their employees to just have a video call instead, as it will save thousands of dollars.” Not only will the personal travel market be affected, but business travel may never be the same.

There is a movement towards corporate socialism. Before the dust settled, “our present administration went full-blown corporate and individual socialism.” He says the government had no alternative to printing trillions of dollars to resuscitate the economy. “The alternative was too awful, so the airlines, hotels, cruise lines and other large industries had to be rescued; otherwise they would’ve gone bankrupt. So we were forced into corporate socialism.”

The wealth gap will get even wider. Kelly points out that millions of people will  join the ranks of the long-term unemployed or endure intermittent work. He adds, “once some people get a taste of unemployment benefits, they may stay on them for a long time and try to enhance their income by taking off-the-books jobs or do a little Uber driving on the side.”

Whether long-term or short-term, the pandemic will have a lasting effect. Americans will discover it is not so easy to put the toothpaste back into the tube.

About The Author

James T. Berger headshot
James T. Berger, Senior Marketing Writer of The Wiglaf Journal, through his Northbrook-based firm, James T. Berger/Market Strategies, offers a broad range of marketing communications, research and strategic planning consulting services. In addition, he provides expert services to intellectual property attorneys in the area of trademark infringement litigation. An adjunct professor of marketing at Roosevelt University, he previously has taught at Northwestern University, DePaul University, University of Illinois at Chicago and The Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan (BA), Northwestern University (MS) and the University of Chicago (MBA). Berger is an often-published free lance business writer who has developed more than 100 published articles in the last eight years. For more information, visit or telephone him at (847) 328-9633.