What a difference three weeks makes in the fast-moving world of a pandemic. Since originally writing this blog, President Trump has issued a National Emergency, some countries are on full lock-down and most companies and schools have pushed employees and students to find the balance of working together at home. Everyone in the U.S. and around the world are going through a struggle of emotions as we embark in an unprecedented time. Humans are resilient, we will get through this and while the norm may be defined as something different than it was this time last year, we will have the opportunity to look back and reminisce on the impact COVID-19 had on all of our lives.To get my head around the difficult times we have fought through, I found this article about the history of infectious disease pandemics.
While unemployment is increasing quickly, retail stores, restaurants, theaters and other gathering places are closing for a couple of weeks, there was a great story written that highlights just a few examples of Brands giving back during this time.
We have decided to publish this, as business needs to continue. I know we will adjust quickly and all pitch in to continue the contributing positively to the economy.
March 3, 2020 (date of original post)
There is only one business story making world headlines right now and that is the impact of the Coronavirus COVID-19. Each day we learn of additional influence the virus is having on our everyday and business lives. From schools closing for weeks at a time and store shelves being cleared of Lysol wipes and cold medicine, to cruise passengers being quarantined and retail inventory levels at zero.
We have also seen many large companies ask U.S. workers to work from home and cut non-essential travel and large industry events continue to be canceled, erasing a year of planning, setting up speakers, getting delegates, and those that do decide to proceed with the conference outline the rules of engagement in their keynote. No shaking hands, no hugs. Instead? Fist and elbow bumps only. Abundance of caution is highly recommended as the virus spreads closing some WeWork offices and removing the ability to re-use your coffee cup at Starbucks. It’s no wonder that one can easily get a panic feeling when you sit back and think about the depth of businesses and people being impacted.
Whether it is the virus itself or the unknown that is causing significant changes in our everyday consumer and business lives, the COVID-19 impact is something not many could have foreseen. I do hope that resolution and calm take over soon as we learn more about the virus and how to address it.
Business needs to continue and no, this isn’t another blog or opinion piece on COVID- 19. Instead, as I sit here on the plane from CVG to DEN, of course after wiping down my seat area with Lysol wipes, I think about how the headlines of COVID-19 have overshadowed some of the great business pieces written this quarter. In case you need a break from the COVID-19 business story and updates, check out some of these articles that are getting lost in the shuffle.
On March 8, 2020, clocks moved forward for daylight savings time, but also, many celebrated International Women’s Day. I was inspired as I read the FORBES, Top Women to watch in 2020. Oh, and if you have a Google Assistant, wish it a Happy International Women’s Day and the smart device will read out loud information related to one of the many trailblazers, such as labor rights activist Dolores Huerta or environmental scientist Rachel Carson.
In case you missed it, Banana Republic announced its partnership with Postmates to launch on-demand delivery. Currently available in NYC and S. CA markets, this service enables customers to purchase items online and have them delivered to their home that day! What a great way to compete with the ease of Amazon Prime delivery. I will be watching this closely as I will bet it’s a trend we see continue this year. Learn more in this article posted by Dan Bethiaume at Chain Store Age.
In January, I was introduced to the platform, TikTok and have found myself addicted. I have always steered away from social media as it tends to be a time suck. Well, TikTok does a great job of not only keeping you engaged for hours by watching new artists or dogs talking in videos, but they also have ambassadors and influencers come onto the screen to remind you that time is slipping away. I loved this article and have actually encountered influencers coming onto the screen reminding me that the videos will be there tomorrow and it is time for me to log off. This article by Chris Stokel-Walker is a well-written reminder.
The other big news of the quarter is about 3rd party cookies crumbling. Over the past 18 months, we have seen browsers, like Safari and Firefox providing the consumer with privacy setting options and automatic dumping of cookie processes to make claim that their browsers are more privacy efficient than others because of their focus on limited web browsing tracking. But in January, the largest browser, Chrome, announced its decision to move away from third party cookies within the next two years. This is an aggressive goal and one that has digital companies evaluating what this could mean for their business.
Brands will need to start identifying other ways to track and understand intent. There are several companies that build identity graphs which can piece bits together to create the full view of a household. This will provide brands a connection through mobile IDs, App Tracking, and other unique identifiers. But at the end of the day, first party data continues to be the biggest indicator of customer intent to repurchase and a prospect intent to purchase.
At NaviStone, we can help link abandoned browsers via first party cookies for activation and reactivation retargeting. This reporting, written by Frederic Lardinois is a good overview of Google’s two-year plan to phase out support of third party cookies. As privacy education becomes a priority of learning for consumers, I anticipate we will see more consumers using Brave as their browser of choice. Brave has a unique approach to consumer privacy by removing the third party tracking out of the box giving the consumer the ability to select which trackers they will allow. Learn more about this approach in this article by Clifford Colby.
And finally, remember the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) taking up the headlines in December? I’m calling out a thought leadership piece by our CRO, Lori Paikin. This article is a great at-a-glance read on the insights and updates on how it has impacted advertisers and consumers over the last couple of months and provides a glimpse into what modifications are being made before the July 1 deadline. Check it out here!