Stay Competitive in the COVID-19 Climate With The Power of Data

By Kyle Hotchkiss

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses are seeking answers to the uncertainty that has become the new normal. Right now, we are all working to redefine how we do business and how we reach out to our customers and prospects in the marketing field. Some of us are thirsty for the insights and data we need to empower us to make those smart, educated decisions during this time of redefinition.  

Global Web Index, a company that collects data on consumer behaviour, has recently released a series of data sets that have been available for everyone, for free, to help us understand a little more about what is changing in the economic climate and what our prospects are doing. This data collector has been collecting data from several countries but for the sake of this information piece I will be walking you through the data collected from American sample populations.

Data was collected multiple times from sample populations ranging from 1,000 to over 2,300 people in higher and lower economic brackets, as well as from both sexes and from the four main generations (boomers, X, Y also known as millennial, and Z). They were all asked several questions revolving around their opinions on the current climate, their media usage, and their spending behaviours. 

Unsurprisingly, according to their numbers, 25% more people are buying online due to quarantine conditions and mobile usage is up 70% with Generation Z leading the pack at an 80% increase in usage. But what is interesting about these data sets is that it gives us a good idea about where these populations are hanging out online and we can use that knowledge to tailor our marketing plans and adjust our marketing strategy. 

With 25% more spending online, it is safe to say that if you are a business that provides consumer goods then you should be taking a serious look at selling online or marketing more heavily online if you haven’t already. 

More people are using the internet, which means more opportunities to put your brand in front of more people than ever before. With a 32% increase in social media usage, 43% increased usage in news media, and 39% increased usage on sites like YouTube and apps like TikTok we know exactly where potential buyers are hanging out. All we have to do is identify our customer profiles, determine where they are hanging out online, and then market our products or services there. 

What is surprising though, according to one data set, is that 76% of these users expect to continue this level of usage even after the COVID-19 pandemic passes. This means that if we, as marketers and business owners, get a foothold on the market now we will be ahead of the curve once life returns to normalcy. 

We can secure that foothold by delivering what the people are already asking for, and what is it they are asking for? These data sets answered this question too and revealed that 83% of people are looking for flexible payment plans for high priced purchases that they are otherwise putting off during the pandemic. In addition, 81% of their sample group reported they were looking for free services. I know what you are thinking: “someone always wants something for free!”

To this I suggest looking into supplementing existing services with “free perks” or adding more value to services that are already offered. If one service has one free consultation, then make it two. If one oil change cost X amount of dollars, offer a discount or limited promotion. If you are a restaurant or coffee shop that doesn’t provide a customer loyalty program for free items after purchasing 10, this might be the time to start doing that. You don’t have to go out of your way to offer things for free when your prices are already competitive but you can certainly meet your audience half way and that relationship you build with them during the pandemic will carry itself through when it ends. 

This is the perfect time to start building and strengthening our relationships with our customers and now we have the empirical data to help support and drive the decisions that will help us do that. 

If you’re looking for assistance or marketing solutions during this trying time, please feel free to call us at (760) 723-7319 or contact us at social@reedermedia.com. We would love to help you and your business “Bridge The Gap” between you and your customers.