Measuring the movement of demand is critical

Measuring demand has never been more important. The investments we help our clients manage to stimulate demand have a much different impact under the cloud of COVID-19. For many clients our measuring task is to watch not monthly, but weekly movement in demand so we can help them dial down investments as COVID-19 dampens demand – and be ready to dial them back up as this cloud lifts, knowing that restored demand may be different in nature.

Digital property activity while COVID-19 is in effect for many clients is way up year-over-year, but often simply because folks are at home with lots of time to engage digital device screens – sometimes generating false positive “ready to buy” signals. Nonetheless, this circumstance is revealing deep rooted intentions in digital behavior. Even if users won’t act on those intentions for weeks or months, you have the opportunity now to start a conversation that could result in new business after this cloud lifts.

COVID-19 actionable analysis

COVID-19 business impacts starts March 11-12, 2020

On March 11, 2020, the NBA announced suspension of play due to a player testing positive for the Coronavirus. We feel this announcement represents the start of COVID-19 meaningful impact on consumer & business behavior. This date should be annotated in your analytics platform so the impact is considered in analysis related to this period. This will be important weeks or months after related impact has subsided.

Measuring success for a digital property, and for a business in general, may warrant COVID-19 related changes. Does your defined & measured success need to change? Below are some ideas to consider in this endeavor.

  1. Your employees are working from home (WFH), and so are your customers. WFH is pervasive now, and will continue to be engaged at a relatively higher rate once the COVID-19 cloud lifts. This represents technical & behavioral nuances to interaction with your business that should be considered in your tracking plan.
  2. COVID-19 impact changes significantly week to week. You can’t just wait to do actionable analysis every 30 days. With COVID-19 in effect, one week ago is way different than four weeks ago. And don’t forget to consider how COVID-19 is changing your sales cycle (maybe longer, definitely different). Best practices for comparing date ranges are helpful.
  3. WFH means users will be on different devices (and browsers), coming from different networks, than they would when engaging from an office. You need to accommodate this in defining & building audiences in ad platforms. And, you need to make sure your pre-COVID-19 audiences are preserved.
  4. Setting alerts for meaningful movements in key metrics is also critical – especially in monitoring demand, to drive timely decision making.
  5. Google Optimize recently launched a free tool that allows you to present personalizations on a digital property as a COVID-19 banner. You can selectively present banner versions to users in different audiences (e.g., employees vs. customers, customers that have bought certain products or services, etc.). This makes for an easy way to put messaging in front of your constituents, right where they are spending a good bit more time these days. And, you can record in Google Analytics which audiences see & interact with these banners. Be sure to consider GDPR / CCPA related issues when deploying such tools.

iDimension can help

We’ve been working through the above matters with our clients proactively. Reach out if you are not a client and want our help.

COVID-19 impact on measuring what matters