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Google COVID-19 Marketing Strategy Playbook

google covid-19 marketing playbook

Google has released a COVID-19 Marketing Playbook.

It’s designed to give businesses a framework for creating a marketing strategy during the pandemic.

The strategy is based on Google’s observations on how businesses are dealing with the swiftly changing business environment.

Three Paths To Economic Recovery

According to Google, there are three paths toward economic recovery:

  1. Respond
  2. Rebuild
  3. Recover/Re-frame

This is how Google outlines those three steps:


What’s Happening?
Businesses are responding and adapting to fast-changing consumer behavior and fluctuations in demand.

What Can You Do?
Solve what matters today to get your business ready to rebuild.


What’s Happening?
Businesses are planning for the recovery and rebuilding their marketing fundamentals, with deeper insights, tools, and measurement.

What Can You Do?
Prepare to capture dynamic demand and position yourself well for the recovery.


What’s Happening?
Businesses are reframing their business models and digital marketing practices to restart or maintain growth.

What Can You Do?
Implement marketing learnings from the crisis into your long term business strategy to drive sustained growth.

Google Coronavirus Marketing Playbook

Three Stages of Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy is divided into three stages:

  1. Consumer insights to drive your approach
  2. Assess the impact on your business
  3. Take action now

Consumer Insights

The section for consumer insights is about understanding how consumer behavior has changed.

This is super important to everyone, from small businesses transitioning to digital sales to affiliate marketers pivoting out of failed niches toward more viable affiliate programs.

Search patterns and shifts in consumer behavior are data points from which insights are derived.

Three Pandemic Related Search Patterns

Google identified three search patterns:

  1. Shock
    Sudden change in behavior, unlikely to sustain
    Example: Searches related to school closings
  2. Step change
    Sudden change in behavior, may sustain …showing signs of stabilization at elevated levels
    Example: Home workout related searches
  3. Speed up
    Acceleration of existing behavior, may sustain …showing signs of continued behavior for now
    Example: Delivery related searches

Screenshot of Google Covid-19 search trends

Tools for Discovering Consumer Insights

Google recommends four tools for identifying search patterns that can help provide insights that can be applied to a marketing strategy.

Google Trends
See actual keyword search trends segmented by dates and geographic areas. It shows how searches are trending (up or down) including in comparison to other keywords.

Shopping Insights
Allows you to see shopping trends for product categories and brands.

Google Alerts 
Allows you to create a custom alert for latest results and news for your chosen keywords and topics.

Find My Audience 
A tool to help identify your YouTube audience

Google’s Marketing Response

Google uses it’s own example to illustrate how to respond to the changing search trends by using five principles to make sure their strategies continue to be relevant to users.

  • Context
    Related to localization
  • Constantly reassess
    Being flexible and responsive to changing trends
  • Creative considerations
    Evaluate if artwork, tone, words and other creatives appropriate
  • Changing priorities to navigate uncertainty
    Being helpful in away that fits the current reality
  • Contribution, at every opportunity
    Identifying ways the brand can help that are specific to the pandemic

Usefulness of Google’s Strategy Playbook

Google’s COVID-19 strategy playbook has many ideas for finding consumers and figuring out how the next move.

While there are parts that are explicitly focused on pay-per-click advertising, the playbook is useful for helping businesses identify opportunities for helping consumers and keeping a business moving forward.

Download Google’s COVID-19 Marketing Strategy Playbook here  (PDF)

Read Google’s announcement
Navigating the Road Ahead: A Guide to Help Businesses Adapt Marketing Strategies in Wake of COVID-19

Category News SEO
SEJ STAFF Roger Montti Owner - at

I have 25 years hands-on experience in SEO and have kept on  top of the evolution of search every step ...

Google COVID-19 Marketing Strategy Playbook

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