Where Are They Now? Companies That Kept Their Marketing Budgets Competitive Throughout the Pandemic

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Where Are They Now? Companies That Kept Their Marketing Budgets Competitive Throughout the Pandemic

3 min read

When the coronavirus pandemic raged in 2020, many businesses  hesitated in terms of their marketing budgets. Companies were looking ahead to an unprecedented and unmeasurable decline in revenue, while their customers followed stay-at-home orders and saved (not spent) their money. 

Unfortunately, marketing was one of the first budget areas to see a cut for some businesses. 

Cutting your marketing budget during an economic crisis might seem like an easy fix, but sustaining marketing in times of uncertainty helps your business in key areas:

  • Long-term brand equity 
  • Increased market share 
  • Focus on retention  
  • Much, much more (think awareness, sustainability and presence)

Your business’s future growth and success depend on the marketing choices you make in the present, regardless of the economy’s status. 

[Related: 5 Reasons Why Content Marketing Is Important for Your Business]

As it turns out, many companies weathered the storm without shuttering marketing efforts. 

Despite an initial falloff in the beginning of 2020, digital marketing spending actually grew 12.2% in total that year, according to an Interactive Advertising Bureau report. In large part, this growth was due to a resurgence in connected television viewing, e-commerce shopping and home deliveries. 

Additionally, 38% of small businesses increased their ad spend in 2020, while only 22% reported a decrease in their budgeting. And this was a wise choice.

Here are a few more companies that chose to keep (or even increase) their marketing budgets in 2020.

Procter & Gamble

Newer companies may have balked at the staggering events of 2020, but Procter & Gamble has been around the block. It’s endured since 1837, to be exact, and is the creator of household brands like Tide and Mr. Clean. 

This big name in modern branding decided to move forward on its budget and focus on how its brands served families’ needs. Procter & Gamble increased its marketing outlay by more than $100 million in quarter three. As a result, it saw a lift of between 4% and 5% in full-year organic sales.


Because e-commerce became the main way for folks stuck at home to shop, it only makes sense that tech giant Amazon saw great success in 2020. 

Between people shopping for cleaning supplies and toiletries to those binge-watching on Amazon Prime, Amazon saw a 37% increase in revenue after upping its marketing budget by 14% in the third quarter. The site’s advertising revenue also clocked in at a 51% increase year over year. 

[Related: Why You Should Keep Your Marketing Budget During Economic Uncertainty]


Beauty brand L’Oréal went forward with all planned marketing launches in 2020, and its brand grew even stronger. Sales rose 1.6%, most likely due to its e-commerce business, its at-home beauty treatments and the country’s reopened salons and spas later in the year.


The company responsible for Dove and Hellmann’s reported a 4.4% lift in sales in the third quarter of 2020 after increasing its marketing spend. The decision blew analysts’ expectations out of the water — many had estimated the business would see only 1.3% growth, at best. 

Unilever also benefited from Western-market customers stocking up on personal care and cleaning products.


A brand responsible for beloved quarantine foods like chocolate and pizza (as well as vitamins and nutrition drinks), Nestlé also kept its marketing budget. Furthermore, it upped its stake in meal delivery start-up Freshly — a move meant to diversify its portfolio and cater to the skyrocketing e-commerce demand. 

And it certainly paid off. Nestlé’s third-quarter growth came out at 4.9%.

[Related: Top Website Development Trends to Boost Business Growth]

Your Marketing Moves Matter Today

These companies kept or increased their marketing budgets and saw great results, even during an unprecedented global crisis. Ensure your business’s growth and make smart marketing choices by connecting with Marketeering Group today.

Contact us to learn more about our marketing services and start your journey toward digital marketing success.

Featured image via Unsplash