The most valuable thing we need during this time of uncertainty surrounding coronavirus is information. We are hoping by having access to the information we uncover you can make better decisions and respond more proactively in the face of unprecedented shocks to our economy and way of life. Leveraging predictive analytics, our data scientists have built a real-time industry tracker to monitor the effect of COVID-19 on category demand. You'll also find resources from our team on steps you can take now to ensure success down the road.

Continue to take care of yourself and others as we navigate this time together, and let us know how we can help.

 

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.

Monitor the second wave of COVID-19.

Our analytics team is paying close attention to searches directly related to COVID-19 symptoms, which we see as a leading indicator of the pandemic itself. Based on daily search data (from Mar 1 to today) and looking at the seven-day moving average trend line, we see that Houston has put the peak of the second wave behind it.

Since searches for COVID-19 symptoms are a leading indicator of new coronavirus hospitalizations, we should see a substantial decline in new COVID-related hospitalizations in Houston over the coming week.

A similar pattern of the second wave peaking and then coming back down occurred in Dallas. The trend line for the country is plateauing as well, albeit not in retreat yet.

This goes on to show that, in the eyes of our analysts, COVID-19 is manageable with proper social distancing and face covering. The second wave has prompted people to take social distancing and face covering more seriously, like Houstonians are doing right now.

Leading Indicators of Second COVID-19 Wave in Houston
Track industry demand in real-time.

We developed this COVID-19 Category Demand Forecaster, which uses real-time search trend data on a list of category-relevant keywords that have been carefully curated by our SEO specialists. Select your industry in the drop-down below and check back weekly for updates.

Based on historical data patterns prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. (early March 2020), our Advanced Analytics team has built a predictive model that projects category demand into the future, taking into account both seasonality and long-term trends. This projected category demand serves as our counterfactual, or what demand would have been if there had been no COVID-19. Comparing that counterfactual with the actual, we attribute the difference to the effect of COVID-19 on category demand.

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Automotive Demand Forecaster 2020
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Automotive Digital Marketing Strategies During COVID-19

Digital advertising is highly competitive for auto dealerships. Our job is to make sure that car buyers find our clients' inventory first and keep their vehicles top-of-mind until the keys are handed over. In this video, AJ Gallion (Sr. Specialist, Paid Media) shares insight into how Forthea had to think fast and come up with strategies to drive car sales while shoppers stayed at home and couldn't access dealership lots.

Insights from Our Experts
FAQ
What can we do while search demand is down?

Many companies are asking this question. There are three key decisions to consider and we dive deep into this topic on a recent blog article, "See the Impact of COVID-19 Unfolding by Industry in Real Time." Should you cut and conserve? Increase spend for more market share? or Stay the course with respect to marketing spend? It comes down to your overall growth goals and performance objectives.

Should we scale back on our SEO efforts?

This is the best time to focus on organic rankings. SEO takes time to establish and results are manifested in 2-3 months or longer. The effort you invest now will pay off when things return to normal. Since your organic performance is a function of the competition, this is the time to accelerate content development and technical optimizations to take advantage of the downtime and distraction. Learn more at "Why SEO is Crucial During Economic Downturns."

How should our marketing strategy shift during a recession?

Now is the time to focus more on the upper funnel to build brand awareness. Consumers aren’t ready to “pull the trigger” as quickly now and many users that were lower in the funnel are on pause or gone entirely. Strategies to fill the upper funnel will pay off later and position you for success when things return to normal. Upper funnel tactics are about educating and providing resources to engage with users including relevant SEO content supported by branded advertising.

Do we scale back or cut paid media during a crisis?

We are seeing both cuts and increases in digital media spend during this coronavirus pandemic. By leveraging demand data and not relying on gut feeling or instinct in a time of unprecedented public health and economic crisis, brands can make an evidence-driven decision. There is an argument for maintaining advertising during an economic slowdown. Category segments have reduced noise and competition, and those looking to gain market share and come out of the crisis strong will continue to advertise. Ask us which scenario works best for you!

Should we be doing CRO right now?

Absolutely. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) helps to maximize leads from your website traffic, whether your visits increase, decrease, or stay steady. This becomes more important during periods in which visits decline because CRO focuses on converting the traffic that remains.

Help! Some of my vendors are shut down.

We understand that not everyone is set up to work remotely or handle the influx of client demands during a crisis. None of us expected coronavirus or the effect it would have on business as usual. Our team is up and running and helping clients navigate this time together. If you need assistance, please call us, fill out the form on this page, or contact a team member.

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