Vision7 has partnered with a research group from McMaster University to launch a real-time tracker of Canadian attitudes and mindsets during the pandemic.
The purpose of the COVID19Monitor.org is to have deeper understanding how people are feeling in general to provide a clearer picture of how they may act as consumers, said Kristin Wozniak, Cossette Media’s vice-president of insights.
“We can’t just look at how we’re behaving to understand what’s going on,” she said. “We have to look at the undercurrents of human thinking to get a feel for why things are happening the way they’re happening, why people are making the decisions they’re making.”
Along with the data monitor site, there is a complementary site with reports and perspectives from the Vision7 network that provide additional context. “We knew we wanted to support our clients and employees in different ways,” said Woziniak of the reason for developing two sites.
Because the changes and reverberations of the pandemic are so constant and quick, they realized there was little value in creating a static report which could be obsolete as soon as it was published. “Even more than that… they could actually be putting out recommendations that were unhelpful,” said Woziniak.
Instead they found a partner in Vox Pop from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., which had lots of real-time data but needed help to present and promote the data in useful ways.
The COVID19Monitor site includes ticker-style data and charts grouped into five categories: concern, sentiment, precautions, trust and government approval (both Federal and by province).
Within each category there is current data on specific metrics, along with data points tracked since the start of the pandemic.
In concern, for example, the site includes data on concern about contracting COVID-19 (currently at 45%, down slightly from 51% at the start of the pandemic); the Canadian economy (81%, down from 84%); and job security (31%, down from 37%).
Sentiment includes a range of options from happiness (currently at 29%, up from 22% in mid-April) to anger (9%, the same as mid-April) to despair (8%, up slightly from 6%).
Precautions tracks some of the actions and attitudes that we’ve become so familiar with in the past four months: 94% are practising physical distancing (up from 84% in late March), 76% are wearing a mask (up from 5%), and 60% are avoiding gatherings of five or more people (down from about 95% in early April).
Marketers and their agencies are asking big questions about what channels they should be in, what kinds of categories should be speaking up during the pandemic, and what do consumers want from a brand engagement, said Wozniak.
“All of those questions, ultimately, are rooted in how we’re fundamentally feeling and behaving and thinking,” she said. “How do we take ourselves out of our narrow vision and take a wider look at society and say ‘How do we understand what is happening overall to help us make these decisions?'”