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“Will Life EVER Be Normal Again? Your Customers Don’t Think So….” By Phillip Stutts

We are releasing our 4th national consumer data insights survey exclusively today to give you access before your competitors realize how your consumer market is changing.

As I’ve been preaching since late March, we are in a “month-to-month” world and things are shifting so fast that what worked 6 weeks ago, might not make any impact on your customers now.

I want to share some critical NEW insights about how they are rapidly changing their purchasing decisions.

This post will focus on what consumers are sticking with and the reasons they are changing their habits.

Our four national consumer data insight surveys (March, April, May, June + our data report on how the protests have affected consumer decisions) have analyzed 20,853 consumer surveys, matched it to 200 million+ Americans, 550 million connected devices, and tracking 10 billion daily online decisions– all in one database.

I’m going to address what’s still working from our past survey findings, what has changed in the last month, and a few interesting tidbits that will help you adapt and innovate in this new and very weird economy.

Let’s dive in….

What am I seeing in the data that has remained unchanged from our past surveys?

  1. Consumers are still buying for “need” only. You must position your brand, product, or service to meet their needs! How do I surmise this?
  • 93% of all consumers will not be buying a luxury item anytime soon. A luxury item is not considered a “need.”
  • 62% of Americans are deeply concerned about the economy.
  • When considering shopping at a “physical” store, the top 2 choices for all purchasers are grocers (58% of consumers) and general merchandise stores, like Walmart, Target, Costco (62% of consumers). These transactions are “need” decisions.

2. Business owners must continue messaging/marketing around safety, trust, and communicating on how your business will help the local economy. This will drive more conversions than any other message! Where do I see this in the data?

  • 74% of all consumers are not comfortable attending a live event with crowds (safety issues) and 58% of Americans are not even comfortable going to church.
  • 68% of consumers feel unsafe taking a train or plane (based on our May survey). In June, that number remained at 68%.
  • 51.8% of consumers are even more concerned about the Coronavirus than they were in past months. When you add in those who were already highly concerned (in the past), it hits 75% of all consumers. Seems obvious but that number is growing, it’s related to safety and you need to understand it.

3. The two biggest disruptions in the new economy are any business that needs large gatherings (to be successful) and the travel industry. The reluctance by consumers to travel or attend live events is a BIG problem that feels like it won’t change much until we have a vaccine, a game-changing treatment, or herd immunity.

What has changed with consumers over the past few months?

1. The most deeply profound change is that 4x as many consumers believe life will NEVER return to normal (compared to when we asked this question in March). Bottom line: As this number continues to grow (I believe this trend will increase dramatically) consumers will change many of their habits; i.e. what they spend, the media they consume, and their daily activities. It’s critical that you understand this and then meet their “needs” ASAP.

2. Political leaders are viewed by the American consumer as inept and untrustworthy. The one political question I’m asked the most these days is, “How will this affect Trump’s reelection? I’ve been in this game for 24 years now, so I don’t become an alarmist by studying June political data….a lot will shift and change in the next few months. However, if we still have these same infection numbers (and increased deaths and hospitalizations) in October and/or the economy hasn’t continued its comeback, then it’s going to be bad for any incumbent running for reelection.

What are some other interesting data nuggets from this survey?

  1. Look at . While this is a consumer survey (not a political voter survey), it’s clear there is a HUGE trend towards Americans wanting closed borders, which is another clear indicator of how important “safety” is right now with purchasing decisions. This is the second month in a row we’ve seen numbers like this, so the trend is holding.
  2. Video streaming and online grocery delivery have been declining since its peak this spring. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, however, it’s not a big trend — think of it as “an evening-out” now that the economy is slowly reopening and Americans are consuming less screen time and going to physical stores.
  3. Music streaming, radio, and podcasts have increased. No doubt this is attributable to local economies opening back up and Americans commuting to work again.

Interested in reading the full data report to glean new insights into your customers or clients — and win in the new economy?

I am giving you FREE access to all of our surveys (March, April, May + our survey analyzing the protest culture on consumers) — just go to , click on the “Covid-19 Consumer Research” tab — my analysis of all the data is also found on this page. And if you subscribe, you’ll get first access to the data before anyone else.

Phillip

PS — Did you see Kanye West recently proclaimed that he was going to run for President…this year?!? Is he serious? Can he really win? Here is a quick clip on ESPN’s ” The Paul Finebaum Show” where I give my prediction on a Kanye candidacy… FOUR YEARS AGO….  and let me know what you think.

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