Hurricane Sandy and The Mobile Marketing Aftermath

With Hurricane Sandy now behind us, the ominous task of recovering from the monster storm continues.

While thousands of lives have been irreparably impacted by the worst storm to ravage the East Coast in our lifetimes, marketing agencies and their various clients – most of whom who now have more pressing concerns than marketing their businesses and products – are waking up to a new disaster of sorts.

Rob Griffin, EVP and global director of product development at Havas Digital, tells Media Post on Friday that he anticipates the aftermath of Sandy to hurt a number of brands (and the marketers behind them) in the near future.

It’s not clear whether search query volume will rise during the quarter or whether the industry will see an impact on mobile devices. Sandy clearly impacted paid search with declines across many metrics for IgnitionOne U.S. clients, notes President Roger Barnette. “When the storm was at its worst on Tuesday, compared with the prior week, we saw impressions down 30%, clicks down 15% and spend down 10%,” he said. “These numbers are for the entire U.S. market.”

In some cases, however, business and marketing needs may pick up in the short term. Bonnie Bornstein Fertel of NJ-based heating and plumbing company Bornstein Sons says she more than doubled her online paid-search budget inside a community where 70% of residents are still without electricity. “People click on every ad we have because they have no heat. But whether they heat with gas or oil, they don’t understand their units are useless without electricity.”

Although there are bigger concerns today than Sandy’s aftermath and its impact on mobile and search-related marketing, it’s a consideration on the minds of many.

How do you believe businesses and marketers can best recover in the weeks and months ahead? Please weigh in with a thought or comment below.