In a recent roadshow we found marketing teams were increasingly asking the question “how can we get reliable information on which to base our marketing budgets and strategy. How will we know when to get back into market?

Times are uncertain with a constantly shifting landscape and we got to exploring first party data could be used to form a basis for this decision. We began look at behavioural trends across the population and how people were engaging with COVID 19, and began to realise there were some clear themes which could serve useful to marketing teams.

The population with anxiety over the crisis were clearly concerned about their health, respiratory conditions and previous pandemics.


covid 19

Interest Cloud: The population that were anxious about COVID 19 displayed health related interests on the subject

The population displaying a more complacent attitude toward COVID 19 through lower engagement were primarily focused on the impact of lockdown on things like sports and events.

covid 19

Interest Cloud: Complacent population were more concerned about social freedoms and sports

This clear divide amongst the population allowed us to begin understanding creative messaging and engagement strategies when addressing these audiences

Actionable Insights

To address the question “How will we know when to get back into market” we needed a measure of the consumer. Through first party data partnerships were able to monitor site traffic and booking, and in the case of a travel vertical we were able to observe travellers returning to market as COVID 19 anxiety began to flatten.

graph travel activity

First Party Data : Provides a clear improvement on intent and consumer behaviour which can inform travel activity

Taking a strategic view of this, we know that travel restrictions and sentiment have been highly localised by state how can we further leverage signals within First Party Data?

Owned data allows for analysis beyond that which is typically offered by third parties. As we collect all user action on site we are able to further understand traveller destinations to enable regional and state tourism operators to optimise their marketing budgets.

inbouds flight by state

Inbound flights by State: Darwin and Brisbane demonstrate a faster initial recovery as restrictions ease First Party Data : Provides a clear improvement on intent and consumer behaviour which can inform travel activity By

By interrogating the data at a state level, we can see that Queensland is a net beneficiary of COVID as Australians look for a domestic holiday as the Queensland borders re open. At the time of writing have not yet seen the impact of the latest Melbourne restrictions.

We were curious to see how traditional media tools compared to the signals generated by our first party and were surprised to see that platforms such as Google Trends provided very little predictive value in the case of travel.

Over time we saw erratic results in the case of search terms related to domestic travel, making this a difficult tool to inform a travel strategy.

search trends

Search Trends: A very noisy signal for consumer sentiment in the travel sector

Where to next?

As we move into a world where data becomes a strategic business asset, it is imperative that we understand the quality and accuracy of our data to ensure planning and strategy is executed to the highest fidelity.

The new reality is that marketing budgets may be reduced or limited so it is imperative that dollars are spent at the optimum time. Using first party to gain insight and strategic advantage allows us to effectively capture our audience at the right time.

In the new world, expect to see new forms of measurement beyond standard media attribution where data partnerships can provide greater understanding and insight into your business, product and marketing effectiveness.