Why aren’t you using Covid data to improve marketing?

Scott-LogieIn the past few months, we have probably all become quite a bit better acquainted with data. To some extent, nearly everyone has learned to follow the numbers and read the stats. I’m pretty sure that almost everyone understands what the R rate is.

Given that all this data is available, it is a surprise then that no one seems to be using this data in a marketing context. And now, more than ever, tailored, sensitive and responsible marketing communications are crucial – and we have the available data to drive it. But examples of brands who are doing so seem to be few and far between.

Here’s a good example of how data can be a powerful driver for impactful decision-making.

As has been widely reported, Leicester was the first city in the UK to go into lockdown this week. This is potentially a situation that could have been avoided had the data been available so that local authorities could have sent out early warnings and minimised the chances of infection and lockdown. Having the right data to hand allows one to be reactive to an ever-changing situation and to make better decisions.

The world has changed dramatically for brands. There is less face-to-face contact and a corresponding increase in digital services, while customers are suffering from an array of financial difficulties. Brands need to be targeting different audiences according to their different needs, and the data exists to help them do that.

Research from Kantar shows that only 8% of consumers think brands need to stop advertising during the Covid-19 outbreak, but their expectations of how a brand should be helping them are huge: 78% believe brands should help them in their daily lives; 75% said brands should inform people of what they are doing and 74% said companies should not exploit the situation.

We’ve talked recently about the power of direct mail to reach people at home. Mail reaches everyone, gives reassurance, has a physical impact, drives interaction and gets people online – there are plenty of stats from the Royal Mail to back this up.

A brand’s direct mail, however, should not adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. Brand communications should be tailored differently to vulnerable audiences, the recently unemployed, the furloughed and the self-employed. Each of these audiences has very different needs, and brands should be aware of these. And knowing which of these is which is very easy, thanks to data.

Since April 2020, REaD Group data partner More Metrics has made available datasets that estimate Covid-19 risk factors and infection rates across the UK at a neighbourhood level. These datasets contain 20 different measures of risk at a range of local geographies, using open source and GDPR-compliant data from REaD Group.

Not only can this data give you a greater insight into your customer base at local and national level, enabling you to maximise marketing and sales opportunities and operational efficiencies, but as you prepare to come out of lockdown, you can now add to this the fundamental requirement of customer and staff safety: in other words, how to open and operate safely within a Covid-19 world.

This data is free to use for a range of geographical areas including Parliamentary constituency, ward and Clinical Commissioning Group. If more granular data is required, the data is available at postcode and attached to over 50 million individual consented consumers.

The question is, can you afford not to use data like this to make sensible, sensitive decisions and inform your marketing strategy, supporting data-driven decisions and responsible marketing?

Scott Logie is customer engagement director at REaD Group

Print Friendly