How COVID-19 Has Changed Marketing

It has been 8 long months since COVID-19 first made its way into Canada and changed our lives forever. While some have had their entire lives rocked by this pandemic, others have experienced this strange time from a distance. Regardless of where you personally fall on this spectrum, it’s fair to say that we have all felt the effects of coronavirus in some way or another. 

Beyond personal impacts of this virus, small businesses and small business owners have been faced with a multitude of challenges and seemingly endless decisions. As a small business working with a number of small businesses we noticed the impacts of this almost instantly. Communities required fewer products and services, and others were deemed straight up “non-essential”. Some companies were forced to close their doors temporarily and many others were forced to innovate new ways to serve their customers. 

Client call after client call, we quickly realized that no two situations were the same. The specifics of business needs seemed endless and complex based on industry, staff, financial reserves, location, funding, and so much more. Yet, despite the many unique situations our clients found themselves in, marketing patterns emerged just as fast as provincial shutdowns. 

Here are some notable changes to small business marketing since COVID-19 made its way to Canada.

Back to Basics

COVID has forced lots of small businesses back to simple, straight forward marketing. As technology continues to weave its way into every fibre of our lives, the list of strategies to market a business just seems to grow longer and longer. The never ending platforms, tools, tactics, landing pages, funnels, and so on can be a recipe for business owner overwhelm. We started this business for that very reason! So, seeing business cut the fat on complicated and time-consuming strategies, and giving up on being on every. single. platform. has been such a huge sigh of relief. GCD has always believed in and created simple, straightforward, and strategic plans to get businesses where they want to go without the overwhelming to-do lists. If you are still feeling overwhelmed by all of your marketing options, please don’t hesitate to reach out and book your strategy session with one of our talented Divas!


Watching business owners emerge from behind their sharp logos, seamless brand aesthetic, and picture perfect day-to-day operation posts, has been a huge game changer. This shift has inspired countless business owners to jump on the honesty train, and inspired droves of community members to step in to show their support for their favourite local brands.  It’s not that these businesses were being dishonest necessarily, but now they are being called to be their most raw and vulnerable selves. Exposing the flaws or weaknesses in something you have dedicated your life to is not an easy task. We have been increasingly inspired by each business that has shared the impacts COVID has had on their business eloquently, honestly, and bravely. But what truly lights our fire is the communities that have rallied together to protect the businesses they know and love. 


This virus has forced countless business owners to rethink how and where they do business. Traditional business models have been forced to move online. Storefronts have adopted local and national delivery options. It has been exciting to watch and assist businesses as they make huge pivots just to stay afloat, only to realize they have a brand-new stream of income. As digital marketers, nothing makes us happier than seeing our favourite storefront companies get digital and thrive online.


Running a business is never easy. Running a business during a global pandemic is beyond what any of us could have prepared for. While this roller coaster seems far from over, we truly hope you take a moment to look back at all you have overcome and achieved during this incredibly difficult time. If you are reading this, it’s likely because you have a business to market, and that is certainly something to celebrate. It may be an uphill battle still, but you have learned so much already! And don’t forget about your friends at GCD – always here with a helping hand. 

We’re here to help.

Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones to this virus, as well as those who have suffered severe, and unrepairable financial hardships during this time. The impacts of this pandemic have left deep scars within many of us, and we sincerely hope that we, as people, can move forward with a little more compassion, kindness, and generosity for everyone we meet. 

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