What we can learn from the beginning of Asia's coronavirus recovery

The Drum 28 Apr 2020 11:30
What we can learn from the beginning of Asia's coronavirus recovery

Wherever you live, news broadcasts across the globe have one thing in common - the comparison of cross-territory information about the impact of coronavirus. Such data helps generate expert forecasts and predictions as to how the situation may play out in individual countries and around the world.

However, a similar application of marketing data could prove equally illuminating. It may even be instrumental in helping brands and companies survive the financial crisis brought on by the pandemic. The benefit of our global network is that we can see how the situation is playing out in the markets that are starting to open up again, such as in Asia, as well as those that are stabilising but still in lockdown, such as in Europe and those like the US that are now hitting peak crisis.

Right now, modelling the economic recovery means looking at markets such as China, Korea and Taiwan, which have all been praised for their response to the virus and are now the markets best placed to take advantage of a recovery.

For many brands, the increased use of their e-commerce channels may become the new normal post-crisis and could even offer an opportunity to exit or divest in more costly traditional channels. Kantar’s consumer survey in China, conducted in February 2020 found that 42% of those surveyed said they will buy more frequently from e-commerce platforms post-crisis.

As restrictions are lifted these behaviours will start to change again but they may not go back to where they were pre-crisis.

Global organisations have a distinct advantage in that they can apply individual market learnings to other territories, using data and insights to remove assumptions and guesswork as they plan for the recovery phase. Even non-global organisations should be analysing trends in similar sectors and across their competitor set while leaning on their agency partners for further insights and strategic guidance.

Any recovery, however, will likely come initially from brands focusing on individual domestic marketplaces rather than combined global business, as consumption is still dramatically reduced and varied across different markets, while supply chains will remain disrupted for some time.

Global businesses should be analysing their own data in a way that allows them to know when other markets will reach a similar economic upturn, helping them revise marketing strategies for the rest of 2020.

The recovery will bring added scrutiny to each company’s data governance and taxonomy. Such cross-market data analysis is only possible where there is a centralised, structured approach to collection and storage.

Further, storing the data in a global tech structure and removing any tech silos means that data can be harnessed more effectively across business divisions and markets.

Brands that are ineffective will remain hindered by uncertainty and less agile when it comes to rebuilding their businesses.

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