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The U.S. government has given tax payers until July 15 to file and pay 2019 income taxes. Major Tax Marketing efforts therefore have been extended for 90 days. We asked John Sandoval, Senior Brand and Latino Marketing Manager at  TurboTax owner Intuit, (and a Portada Council System member) about how he has adapted TurboTax marketing to the new social distancing environment.

Sandoval tells Portada that TurboTax’s biggest priority is maintaining taxpayers informed on how the current landscape can impact their filing situation. “Government economic incentives like the recently passed stimulus also has had an impact on millions of Americans, who may not have all the information available to fully understand how they could benefit or what it means to them.”

John Sandoval, Senior Brand and Latino Marketing Manager at  Intuit
John Sandoval, Senior Brand and Latino Marketing Manager,  Intuit

TurboTax was recently featured in Google-Youtube ads leaderboard as one of the 12 most-watched ads that encouraged consumers to stay at home. These brands adapted their message to help flatten the curve and fight the spread of COVID-19 across the U.S. The 12 ads on the platform’s list have generated more than 32 million views.  The English-language ads were created by Wieden & Kennedy and media was planned and bought by both Camelot and Wieden and Kennedy.

Latest Tax-Marketing Initiative: Stay Home PSA Ads

Sandoval feels proud of this communication initiative and particularly about the fact that it was aired and communicated in Spanish supporting Turbo Tax multicultural marketing initiatives (see ad below).

Sandoval adds that wile he has “seen some great companies run ads addressing the current situation on English-language TV, many of them have not complemented their efforts in Spanish-language TV.” “Our efforts speak to our commitment to the Latino consumer segment. In addition, we have a robust content strategy that provides in-language relevant information to all Spanish speaking customers, so they are up to date with all recent tax changes.” “Knowing that our consumers are doing so many things for the first time at home due to the current environment, we wanted to empower the community that “doing taxes” could be one of them.”

New Approach to Day-To-Day Tax Marketing

Sandoval tells Portada that his approach to day-to-day marketing has changed over the last few months. “What we have learned during the current health crisis is that consumers expect brands to tap into their humanitarian side and give back to consumers in this unprecedented time. It has been very uplifting to see companies like Zoom donating video communication services to schools so that children can continue learning; or Gap pivoting its resources so that their factories can focus on producing surgical masks as opposed to clothes; or Anheuser-Busch making hand sanitizer alongside their beer.”

What we have learned during the current health crisis is that consumers expect brands to tap into their humanitarian side.

Messaging in Times of Social Distancing…

“Our messaging has always been connected to offering the ability to file at your convenience, while leveraging the expertise of our credentialed bilingual CPA’s and Enrolled Agents to file with confidence. During social distancing, this message has become more relevant than ever before. Many consumers will have to file their own taxes this year for the first time ever, and others will still need the support and guidance of tax experts, ” Sandoval asserts.

It has been very uplifting to see companies like Zoom donating video communication services to schools; or Gap pivoting its resources so that their factories can focus on producing surgical masks as opposed to clothes; or Anheuser-Busch making hand sanitizer alongside their beer.

with Changing Patterns in Media Consumption.

“Media consumption is also shifting given the change in consumers’ daily routines, cancellation of live events, and greater need than ever before to stay connected to one another”, Sandoval claims.At Intuit, we are constantly evaluating the different channels we use to communicate with consumers. Having real-time data allows us to be nimble and adjust our strategy and message to ensure we are being a valuable partner and a resource to all Americans, while being sensitive to the current situation we are all living. For example, with many Americans turning to linear TV news more frequently and for longer duration to stay abreast of the constant changing environment we’ve made sure our properties flex to meet our customers where they are.

With many Americans turning to linear TV news more frequently and for longer duration to stay abreast of the constant changing environment we’ve made sure our properties flex to meet our customers where they are.

Feature Image: Photo by Serpstat from Pexels

Dear Members of the Portada Community,

We hope this message finds you healthy and safe. We know that the coronavirus crisis is bringing up many until very recently unthinkable challenges for the marketing community.  We deeply appreciate the relationships we have built, and we understand this is also a difficult time for your brands and businesses. We want to tell you that we are here to help. Please, let us know if you have any inquiries or if there is anything we can do for you at this time.

Over the next weeks we will be closely monitoring the situation and are looking forward to soon continue providing you:

  • Year-round participation in 24 virtual and in-person brand decision maker workshops belonging to 6 different units of the Portada Council System.
  • More than 800 1:1 meetings with pre-screened brand marketers annually.
  • Thought-leadership opportunities on topics chosen by brand marketers based on their needs.
  • Best-in-class digital marketing solutions through Portada media.


Throughout these challenging times, we will also continue providing marketing information, insights, and industry updates you rely on to drive your business forward on our website www.portada-online.com and mercadotecnia.portada-online.com.

Stay safe! We look forward to seeing you in the near future once the coronavirus is behind us.

Your Portada Team

Short term it will likely have an impact and it may also  accelerate trends that are already under way. How will the coronavirus impact marketing? Four things to take into account.

1. Short term: Uncertainty and Risk Aversion…

The coronavirus may soon be contained and ultimately not have a major impact on economic activity levels, similarly to the 2003 SARS outbreak and the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak. In the short term, however, things are likely going to get worse before they stabilize. That’s because virus outbreaks, by definition, initially have a very high growth rate of positive cases.  Uncertainty rules.  “I think the reason we were not specific was just because I think at the moment, it’s really just unknowable,WPP CEO Mark Read, said during the company’s earnings call last Thursday February 27, when asked about the business impact of coronavirus on WPP’s China business. “It’s more unknowable today than probably it was Friday, if we had this meeting Friday of last week, we may [have] given you a different answer then we give you today.” As COVID 19 cases grow outside of China, the uncertainty is also increasing in the rest of the World, including the rest of Asia, North America and Europe (the main marketing hubs).
Not surprisingly, all major agency holding stocks have taken hits along with the broader market last week. With WPP’s shares falling 15%; IPG is down 5%; Omnicom is down nearly 4%; Dentsu Aegis fell 2.5%; and Publicis Groupe down 5.6%. In the real economy,  global tourism and retail have been hit particularly hard, as Chinese tourists provide a major source of income for many markets.

2. Coronavirus Impact on Marketing: More emphasis on Virtual – Digital Marketing

In the short term companies are starting to restrict travel and encouraging remote work (e.g. Amazon told its employees to avoid all non essential travel for now including within the U.S.) Facebook, on its part,  last week cancelled a global marketing conference in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Activations and sponsorships at live events may be impacted negatively as marketing, including event marketing will become more virtual. This is not good news in a year where analysts were expecting to see an uptick in media investments from marketers eager to capitalize on events like the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The virus may also accelerate a trend that was happening anyway. Executive meetings and virtual events over hangouts will increase. For an example check out Portada’s Council System of brand marketers, which conducts 12 brand decision maker virtual workshops a year.

3. Driver for E-Commerce…

In parts of China, major retailers like Starbucks, Uniqlo, Nike and Apple have temporarily shuttered their stores, while small and medium-size retailers are being hit particularly hard as foot traffic dwindles. This may happen in the U.S. in areas that have been particularly negatively affected by the outbreak. Reduced in-store activity will be a driver for increased e-commerce activity and e-commerce marketing. The big caveat here is if the outbreak creates serious supply chain issues (at producers, shipping and overall logistics e.g. Apple and Microsoft warning of supply chain problems last week), therefore limiting the amount of goods that can be purchased by online buyers.

…particularly Online Grocery…

Housebound consumers in China are turning to online groceries for their daily food supply. According to French retailer Carrefour, vegetable deliveries increased by 600% year over year during the Lunar New Year period. Chinese online retailer JD.com reported that its online grocery sales grew 215% year over year to 15,000 tons during a 10-day period between late January and early February. Concerns about food delivery due to possible food contamination have spurred recent innovation in contactless pickup and delivery services by companies such as McDonald’s and Starbucks. McDonald’s has implemented contactless pickup and delivery of Big Macs, fries and other menu items across China as the outbreak has unfolded. Customers order remotely – on mobile phones or by computers in store – and employees seal the meals in bags and put them in a special spot for pickup without human contact, McDonald’s says on its website.

4. Coronavirus Impact on Marketing: Boost to At-Home Entertainment, Video Streaming and Gaming

If employees are forced to stay at home more, it will also impact how consumers spend their leisure time as they may have to avoid public gathering spaces, like movie theatres, concerts and gyms, leaving more time for them to binge on home entertainment and video services. Advertising revenues of companies that heavily bet on video content and advertising ,e.g. Roku, Youtube, Netflix and others should benefit from a public that’s stuck at home.

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