The most valuable thing we need during this time of uncertainty surrounding coronavirus is information. We want to know how to keep our families healthy and safe. We want to know how much worse things will get before they get better. When things do start to turn the corner, we all want to know whether the recovery will be V- or U-shaped.

Predictive Analytics for Category Demand

At Forthea, we live and breathe analytics. It influences the way we make decisions and how we execute digital marketing campaigns with an eye on profitability.

Our data scientists have developed sophisticated internal tools for extracting search data and translating it into actionable insights. One of those proprietary tools is Demand Barometer: a methodology for tracking and projecting category demand by industry and market.

We are closely monitoring category demand for the hardest hit industries and markets in real-time so that our team can present different scenarios and strategies to clients, allowing them to make cool-headed, data-driven decisions, as opposed to relying on gut feeling or instinct as they may in a time of unprecedented public health and economic crisis.

Our demand barometer answers questions like:

  • “How much is my category demand?”
  • “Is the decline accelerating or decelerating?”
  • “When will we see the bottom?”
  • “When and how fast will demand recover?”

At Forthea, we are closely monitoring category demand for the hardest hit industries and markets in real time so that our team can present different scenarios and strategies to clients, allowing them to make smart, data-driven decisions.

Marketing Strategies & Scenarios in the Face of Coronavirus

Armed with real-time category demand information, marketers and decision makers can explore different scenarios and response strategies.

Scenario 1 – Should we stay the course with respect to marketing and spend?

If you are an e-commerce shop, online learning institution, multifamily developer, construction company or essential business, the answer is probably yes.

There can actually be more traffic online as people are stuck at home browsing and capturing those users might prove beneficial for business. For digital advertisers, be sure to increase caps for budget, volume, CPC to capture the increased volume of people going to e-commerce.

For example, multifamily development took a hit in search interest earlier this month (March 2020), but is climbing back to where it should have been as people settle in and social distancing continues.

Construction companies are labeled “essential business” and we are seeing a lift in building materials searches and sales.

Scenario 2 – Is it better to cut spend and conserve cash, and if so, by how much?

The decision to turn off paid media and conserve is not an easy call. PPC and display advertising are a key business driver for many of our clients, delivering 20-60% of overall website traffic in many cases.

For clients seeing a decline in category demand, where cutting paid media spend makes good sense, we are seeing a ramp up in SEO and organic search campaigns. During downtime, companies can focus on going after highly competitive keywords and building content that communicates positively and proactively.

For example, the hospitality and restaurant industries may be the hardest hit and spend cut is taking place across the board. The motel industry is seeing a 30-45% decline at a time when there should have been a 10% increase in demand.

Restaurants are directing spend to online ordering and delivery along with other creative campaigns to stay close to business-as-usual.

Scenario 3 – What would happen in the long term if we increased spend to gain market share?

Interestingly, the opportunity to invest in brand campaigns and video advertising is a critical consideration as companies seek to participate and add value. People are turning to online video to adapt, cope and connect.

YouTube is capturing a huge portion of that increase in digital media consumption. Google is noticing this especially for TV advertisers who are suddenly finding scattered buys to be more expensive as other advertisers are trying to buy up inventory. YouTube buys are significantly cheaper, especially when weighted against TV.

Real-Time Industry Demand Forecaster COVID-19 Impact | Forthea

Stay up-to-date by visiting our real-time category demand barometer for a select set of industries and markets

Through advanced analytics, we’ve helped clients uncover new markets, find hidden opportunities for competitive advantages, and even leverage a what-if model for strategic planning that can predict sales in some categories with as high as 97% accuracy.

We are hoping by having access to real-time category demand information you can make better decisions and respond more proactively in the face of unprecedented shocks to our economy and way of life. Continue to take care of yourself and others as we navigate this time together.

About The Author

Holly leads the strategic and creative direction of building and managing the brand of the agency, demand generation, and pipeline forecasting. She specializes in account-based marketing, digital marketing, analytics, and customer engagement. Holly brings over a decade of omnichannel marketing experience with a background in technology and business services industries.

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