Media Buying Amid COVID-19

490 million: the number of people who joined social media in 2020.

80 million: the number of Americans who are now weekly podcast listeners.

1.1 billion: the number of online video streaming service subscriptions reached last year.


Why this Matters

To develop a successful media plan and execute effective media buying, you need to understand your audience’s media preferences.

Media buying amid COVID-19

Before diving deeper, you may be wondering what media planning and media buying actually are.

Media planningIdentify where, when, and how often your ad will run to meet your goals.

Media buyingNegotiate and purchase advertising space across traditional, digital, and emerging platforms to connect with your audience and maximize ROI.

Now let’s explore how each generation’s media consumption habits have changed and some important questions to ask as media planning and buying unfold.

Gen Z

Known as digital natives, this cohort of 6 to 24 year olds grew up hyper-connected to smartphones and social media. Logically, their digital media consumption habits increased during the pandemic.

  • Are you advertising on the social media platforms taking this generation by storm?
  • For example, do you know how to authentically connect with the 689 million monthly active users on TikTok?


Like Gen Z, podcast consumption increased for Gen Y. More notably, however, is the decrease in media consumption overall since the pandemic began. When asked which types of media they were consuming, 20.3% of millennial interviewees reported “none”.

  • What media planning strategy works best for a generation that may opt out of common media platforms, perhaps choosing literature instead?

Gen X

While the “latchkey” generation has frequently been known to watch a lot of TV (approximately 165 hours’ worth per month), broadcast TV saw a significant drop in consumption last year. That being said, surveys show that this age group believes news channels have the most trustworthy information about COVID-19.

  • How do you decide which traditional and digital media channels will be most effective in reaching this audience?


Baby Boomer is often synonymous with “newspaper reader”, “radio listener”, or “TV viewer”. While this still holds true, online video consumption has been rising among this cohort amid the pandemic. Keep in mind that many members of this generation have adopted more technology to keep in touch with loved ones.

Finger on the Pulse

What are the best channels to reach your audience in a COVID-19 environment? Marketing Doctor has the answers.  Our media planners regularly research how media consumption habits are changing and how best practices are evolving in response.

This data-driven approach informs our media buying strategy and ensures your campaign communication is effective, equitable, and accessible across digital and traditional advertising channels.

Deliver your message where your target audience will actually see it. Inspire behavior change. Maximize ROI.

Yes, you can have it all.

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