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Growth in a pandemic? One company shows that new doors can still open

The pandemic has caused widespread disruption to businesses across the globe.

McKinsey’s most recent study shows that without intervention, 1.4 million to 2.1 million small businesses in the US could close permanently as a result of the disruption from just the first four months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And according to the latest figures from the US Labor Department, the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending June 6 was 30,553,817, an increase of 1,294,309 from the previous week.

The news elsewhere in the world reflects the US position to varying degrees, but it isn’t all bad news, and some organizations have managed to grow and even open new offices, despite the challenges.

One such company is Zoomd

The marketing technology landscape has taken as much of a hit as the rest of world, with everything from out-of-home advertising (OOH) to client budgets taking a big hit. But the growth of social networks, streaming services, and other at-home technologies has allowed for some to benefit.

Zoomd is a user-acquisition and engagement platform, with clients such as Poker Stars, bWin, Skyscanner, and match.com, and successful growth campaigns that involved Google.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing for Zoomd, of course. As some of their clients were hit by the effects of the pandemic, that flowed down to the company too.

“Our advertiser mix changed,” Omri Argaman, CMO at Zoomd, told me. “For example, we hold a lot of sports gambling customers, and when all sports events were canceled these advertisers cut the budget to almost zero. But instead of them came new customers from gaming, food delivery, and a lot of e-commerce.”

And in the midst of it all, the company took on a major challenge. Zoomd opened a new subsidiary in Mexico, landing Latin American retail giant Magazine Luiza, digital banking pioneer Banco Original, and gaming company Codere as new clients.

“During the pandemic, we opened an office in Mexico and launched our activity there a month ago at the heart of the pandemic,” Argaman said. “After the launch, we had to change and adjust our marketing plan. For example, Zoomd takes part in lots of events and sponsorships, but these activities were canceled which forced us to re-focus our efforts elsewhere. Also, we are in the app advertising industry. Advertising in general got hurt by the pandemic and app usage changed as a result. Therefore, the type of advertisers/customers we targeted in Mexico changed from what we initially intended.”

So while facing a number of challenges, how did Zoomd not only ride out the storm, but actually flourish. Partly, the answer is due to its technology.

The company integrated Google UAC into its user acquisition dashboard, which enabled marketers to reach millions of additional users in their campaigns and broadened the company’s client acquisition horizons. 

In total, its dashboard now offers marketers more than 600 media channels, generating more than 500 million data points for publisher and advertiser campaigns, reaching 200 million devices daily.

Of course, as with many businesses, work practices had to change and evolve. Working from home has become the new normal. Zoom – the popular online meeting tool – reporting in an earnings report in June that it had made $328 million in revenue during its February–April quarter. That’s up 269 percent from the same period last year when it made $122 million.

“Life continues and everything can be adjusted to new situations,” Argaman said. “We learned that working from home can actually work. We used Zoom meetings, which were great, and in some cases, even better than face-to-face meetings.”

The pandemic has, of course, hit millions of businesses and individuals hard, but stories like those of Zoomd show that it isn’t all bad news, and growth is possible.

Adjusting its target market to focus on those seeing positive changes from the COVID-19 pandemic, adding features to its technology, and embracing new work norms has helped Zoomd to flourish while many have faced significant challenges.