Stay competitive in the COVID-19 climate with the power of data

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

Global Web Index, a company that collects data on consumer behavior, has recently released a series of data sets that have been available for everyone, for free, to help business owners understand a little more about what is changing in the economic climate and what their prospects are doing. This data collector has been collecting data from several countries, but I will focus on 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 – baby boomers, Generation X, millennials and Generation Z. They were all asked several questions revolving around their opinions on the current climate, their media usage and their spending behaviors.

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 business owners a good idea about where these populations are hanging out online and they can use that knowledge to tailor marketing plans and adjust marketing strategy.

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

More people are using the internet, which means more opportunities to put their 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, business owners know exactly where potential buyers are hanging out. All they have to do is identify their customer profiles, determine where they are hanging out online and then market 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. It means that if marketers and business owners get a foothold on the market now, they will be ahead of the curve once life returns to normalcy.

They 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, revealing 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 people are thinking: “someone always wants something for free.”

To this comment, 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 costs some amount of money, offer a discount or a limited promotion. If the business is a restaurant or coffee shop that doesn’t provide a customer loyalty program for free items after purchasing 10 items, it might be the time to start one. Businesses don’t have to go out of their way to offer things for free when their prices are already competitive, but they can certainly meet their audience half way. The relationship that is build with customers during the pandemic will carry itself through when it ends.

It is the perfect time to start building and strengthening relationships with customers and now business owners have the empirical data to help support and drive their decisions.

If you’re looking for assistance or marketing solutions during this trying time, 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.

Kyle Hotchkiss can be reached by email at khotchkiss@reedermedia.com.