Even If You’re Reopening Your Offices, You Need To Plan For A Remote-Work Future

This week, Google extended its remote-work plans for all 200,000 full-time and contract employees through summer 2021. Alphabet Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said in a company memo, “I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months.” As the pandemic rages on, companies of all sizes are creating return-to-work plans. But even if you’re planning to recall all employees to the office, some portion of your workforce will remain remote until a vaccine is widely available. Scaling technology solutions that maximize the productivity of your remote workers, meet their needs, and maintain security is paramount, but it’s not enough. You must also think through everything that it takes to foster a remote culture and address the human challenges of working from home — from loneliness to the challenges of remaining productive in the face of distractions, stress and anxiety, and competing obligations. We’ve put together a collection of resources to help you tackle this complex challenge and are here to help if you need additional guidance.

2020 US Advertising Spend Will Drop By $74B, But A Bounce-Back Is On The Horizon

This week, we published an update of our US advertising forecast to account for the impact of COVID-19. In it, we estimate that US advertising spend in 2020 will decline by $74 billion, or 29%, relative to our pre-pandemic forecast. Our outlook is cautious, but the macroeconomic environment and advertising’s historical relationship to GDP point to a sharp drop in spend. It’s not all bad news, though! We expect that the advertising recovery will be swifter than it was after the Great Recession and that digital advertising will fare much better than offline advertising. Digital advertising’s share gains will accelerate during the crisis as media time spent and retail purchases shift online. The pandemic will also amplify digital advertising’s inherent advantages over offline advertising, such as measurable ROI, precise targeting, and agility. Check out the full report for an in-depth analysis of key advertising trends and a detailed spreadsheet forecasting advertising spend across search, social, banner, video, TV, radio, print, and out-of-home.

While we’re on the topic of advertising . . .

Ad Spend On Podcasts Will Reach $1 Billion This Year

We predicted last November that podcasts would be the next $1 billion media market, and we were right. The Interactive Advertising Bureau released a report earlier this month forecasting podcast ad revenue to grow to $1 billion in 2020. This may come as a surprise considering that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic and many brands have responded by cutting ad spendBut there are a few reasons why podcast ad spend is growing so dramatically. First, podcasts offer advertisers a unique time of day in which they can reach their intended audiences. Consumers most often listen to podcasts while multitasking or commuting — times when they are looking to fill a void in the day or can’t consume other forms of media such as TV. Second, consumers have a high level of trust with podcasts and their hosts. Consumers build a connection with the hosts of their favorite podcasts and find host-read ads to be less interruptive. Third, consumers like to show support for their favorite podcasts by supporting sponsors. Because of that connection between listeners and the podcast host, many consumers are willing to visit the website of a sponsor or use the coupon code they offer to support the show. We are excited to be coming out with several pieces of research later this summer around podcasting and podcast advertising, so stay tuned!