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Understanding The New Normal

May 19, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an abundance of challenges for everyone both personally and professionally. As workplace priorities and personal priorities merge together, we need to be judicious with our time and energies in a way we have not seen before. Every day, we are bombarded with new information, and more than ever, decision making needs to be nimble, agile, adaptable, and targeted.

With information on overload, regulatory, health and well-being guidance frequently in flux, and the facts on the ground constantly changing, insights need to be fresh, frequent, and focused. Never has there been a time where information is more perishable and waiting months or even weeks for intelligence isn’t a viable option. These times call for short, relevant, and targeted engagements. Efficiency is key, as is asking the right questions given the current circumstances.

What do consumers really want and need as their lifestyles and priorities change? How do marketers focus on things that are truly important and stretch their research dollars?

The need for timely and relevant data is well illustrated by changes in consumer sentiment as measured by the Big Village Insights COVID-19 tracking work. In roughly the past month the following has been observed:

Having been exposed or knowing someone exposed is on the rise:

4/3/20 – 4/5/20 5/1/20 – 5/3/20
% have been exposed or know someone who has been exposed to Coronavirus 13.8% 24.6%


In spite of this increase, during the same time period, concern and attitudes around avoiding crowds are on the decline:

4/3/20 – 4/5/20 5/1/20 – 5/3/20
% concerned about Coronavirus 90% 86%
% think we will continue to need to avoid crowds and close schools and businesses 2+ months 71% 65%


There are a variety of techniques that are well suited to meet these needs:

  • Surveys – omnibus or quick turn surveys with the inclusion of advanced analytics are a great way to quickly, iteratively, and cost effectively capture and visualize insights from representative and targeted audiences without sacrificing quality and reliability.
  • Online communities – these can be used to forge deep emotional connections with customers, prospects, and employees in their natural environment and at their convenience to uncover quick insights.
  • Secondary research – using secondary research to synthesize work that already exists. Authoritative content coupled with human insights to deliver cost-effective business decision support.
  • Expert Networks – tap into the experience of healthcare, legal, and regulatory professionals to help you navigate today’s unprecedented business challenges.
  • Digital audiences – marry survey research with digital behavior to reach the right person at the right time more effectively than traditional programmatic audience targeting.

Big Village’s Agile toolkit, supported and informed by its advisory team of industry experts, can help ensure an approach most fit for purpose and actionable results.

These are challenging times and keeping businesses relevant will require efficient, flexible, and responsible use of resources. We see this each and every day as we juggle our personal and professional lives. Utilizing agile solutions will promote these things for ourselves, our organizations, and the consumers we seek to better understand.

Written by Richard Catrone, Executive Vice President at Big Village Insights.