Consumer research is of heightened importance to brands responding to COVID-19, and new technologies can potentially help marketers glean deep insights about their audiences in a rapidly changing environment.

Jerome Shimizu, the co-founder of ABCS Insights, discussed this subject during a recent online Coronavirus Virtual Town Hall held by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF).

Data and insights, he asserted, can be reassuring in critical moments – with traditional knowledge-gathering methods like surveys being essential to gaining a real-time view of current and evolving attitudes.

“Consumer surveys are hugely valuable right now,” Shimizu said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Coronavirus heightens DTC brands’ growth trajectory.)

“You can get nearly instantaneous information about what’s going on, on the ground, in the minds of a huge number of people.”

Understanding the aggregate views of people is critical – and further useful information can be gleaned through breaking out data in more segmented ways.

“You can sample that – by market and region – with all the technology today. And you can see these differences,” said Shimizu. “This is a time to be doing more research. More surveys, more consumer research.”

And, with the tools they have in place to navigate marketplace chaos, “brands should be celebrating” their research capabilities, he continued.

In fact, he allowed, “consumers may be too busy doing other things right now. They may not be interested in even telling you their opinion right now. But if we can reach them, we should be finding out what they want and what they’re listening to.”

A case in point resides in what the ABCS co-founder called the “high-tech economy”, and yet another new aspect of the digital commerce, with “gig opportunists and hygiene-tech entrepreneurs responding in near real time to changes on the ground”.

The range, he noted, runs from broad-based services like the digital grocer Instacart to tightly niche products like the electrostatic foggers that airlines have popularized by using the devices to disinfect their planes’ air and cabin surfaces.

Sourced from WARC