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Alternatives Covid Pulse Survey October

5 October 2020 by Sandra Lawler

Alternatives Covid Pulse Survey October

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Sandra Lawler Reports & Surveys, News & Views, Marketing...

Alternatives Marketing at Work Covid Pulse Survey 

The second Alternatives Covid Pulse Survey was carried out between September 17th-28th 2020. It was completed by 295 people in the marketing community in Ireland, from across sector and from both small and large companies and at all career stages. 

We all know that the Covid pandemic has deeply impacted businesses and attitudes, with some sectors and businesses hit almost beyond repair. However, Ireland’s marketing community has risen to the challenges presented by Covid. They’ve worked harder than ever, despite changing roles, reduced remuneration, working and managing teams remotely and often working with smaller budgets.   

Our Pulse survey shows that some are finding positives for their businesses and for themselves personally.  See our survey key findings below.

On business impact

  • The negative impact of Covid on businesses remains significant, but the position has somewhat improved since April. 20% have even seen a positive impact of Covid on their business.
  • Brexit is a significant issue and back up the agenda again.

On jobs and salaries

  • Jobs and conditions have been impacted. 1 in 4 people have had their employment impacted. Small companies and sectors such as hotel and tourism and agencies are particularly impacted.
  • 40% of respondents have had salary cuts. 53% have had no change in salary or bonuses at this point.
  • Marketing employment opportunities are reduced, but are better than in April.
  • 74% of respondents said the focus of their marketing role has changed.
  • Marketing budgets have been cut for over half of all respondents.

On working from home

  • Working from Home is working in general for people both personally and for their role. 59% feel they are more productive working at home.
  • Overwhelmingly, irrespective of seniority or gender, they do not wish to stay working full-time from home forever and see a hybrid model, with a mix of home and workplace, as the ideal.
  • 68% of respondents will continue to work from home this quarter. Only 16% anticipate a return to the workplace by January and only 40% by spring 2021.

On personal impact

  • Covid has had a deep personal impact, although most are coping ok, rating their coping score as 6.7 out of 10.
  • But there are concerns to manage going into autumn, in particular the impact of the lack of interaction, as well as increased workload & increased personal stress.
  • There are however some positive impacts of this pandemic- especially no commuting and a better work life balance.

With both Covid and Brexit impacting heavily in the short and medium term, companies will need to embrace agility, to re-shape strategy, adapt and pivot. There’s an urgent, commercial and communication imperative and customers as well as employees must be at the centre of this rethink. This is where marketing can continue to play a critical role.

Companies must redouble efforts to engage with and effectively manage their people now. They need to help them manage their growing workload and their personal stress levels. They will also need to respond to the very strong desire of this community to work in a hybrid way in the longer term.

From Alternatives perspective, agility and great marketing talent, both core to us, have never been more important, to help business to survive, indeed thrive, in these changing times.

The full survey is available from Alternatives from 7th October 2020. Just contact us at hello@alternatives.ie to request your copy.


Alternatives is Ireland’s leading marketing talent business. Alternatives has created a flexible Panel of personally vetted, strategic, marketing and digital professionals, available on a flexible or full-time basis, with the skills businesses need now to adapt and thrive. www.alternatives.ie