In the absence of a crystal ball, we turn to research experts to see the trends and data that help us and our marketing partners make better decisions about the future. One trend we know is being followed very closely is new behaviors consumers will continue to uphold once states lift or soften social distancing orders.
This survey from McKinsey looks at the consumer behavior with high usage now and how likely those behaviors are to continue post-COVID-19. The top right quadrant is especially telling in that those activities have seen the most accelerated growth and are the most likely to continue. What does this mean for your business?
Virtual Consultations are Not Just for Medicine
We see that telemedicine for physical and mental well being are predicted to have the most staying power. While this is potentially great news for overburdened physicians and therapists, this also means that people are becoming increasingly comfortable consulting with experts virtually, even about sensitive topics. If people are willing to log on to a platform to discuss private medical issues, what would it look like for a financial services provider or a home improvement consultant to do the same thing? Businesses need to be looking at options for virtual consultations and how to build their databases of people interested and willing to do business that way.
Remote Learning Beyond an Elementary Classroom
We all might get a kick out of the memes showing how exhausted parents are with managing their kids’ remote learning schedules, but it means that more people are being exposed to the concept and the implications beyond the classroom. Consumers are reporting that they expect to continue remote learning for themselves. This, of course, means universities have an enormous opportunity to recruit adult students, but not all learning must lead to a degree. According to AP News, DIY product purchases grew 136% in March of 2020. Instructional videos have seen explosive growth as people explore how they can cut discretionary spending by embracing DIY lifestyles. Businesses that have valuable knowledge to impart to consumers should be weaving that into their content marketing strategy.
Ugh. We have to learn ANOTHER Social Media Platform?
Yes. You’ll have to learn about TikTok, sorry. It’s hard to say whether this platform would have surged so forcefully if it were not for a global quarantine, but it’s an interesting moment in time for this platform. Its focus on low-fi, amateur content is giving people a really authentic way to connect with humanity where Facebook and Instagram have an increasingly “fake” reputation. This is likely why consumers are reporting that they will continue using it. Whatever the real reason, advertisers need to follow this trajectory.
We have to see the forest for the trees when looking at this data so that we can tune in to the mindsets of consumers and see their willingness to adapt to change.