643% increase in ‘how to wash hands’ searches in India: Tonic Worldwide

Tonic Worldwide’s research division ‘GIPSI’ decodes the new Indian consumer during the lockdown in new study

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Apr 21, 2020 5:24 PM

We have been served a lot of Covid data reports right from the letter ‘C’ landing in India. Initially a lot of brands panicked when the lockdown was announced. Consumers witnessed a knee jerk reaction from brands to justify and stay relevant to them. Everyone is trying to decode the future – the world post ‘Covid lockdown’. If there is anything that the marketers need right now, it is consumer ‘insights’ and how do you get them without stepping out?

Digital data is a powerhouse of insights. Gipsi, the HI+AI insights division of Tonic Worldwide has published insights and implications which attempts to decode consumer behavior amidst ‘covid lockdown’. The data sources are multiple – from Gipsi’s panel across metros, digital conversations, interests and searches have been analysed with unique perspectives giving actionable insights.

According to the report:

  1. India has leapfrogged into online life during ‘covid lockdown’, right from online grocery shopping (32% increase in interest compared to pre-lockdown), working online (313% increase in interest ), WhatsApping (40% increase), banking (4% increase in interest , paying bills to even praying online (73% increase in searches)!
  2. Consumers are not living in the present. Past and future escapes are how the consumers are dealing with the lockdown. There is 60 times higher viewership for DD during lockdown due to #oldshows which are indulging the consumers in nostalgia. And looking for motivational content for hopeful future
  3. HQ (Hygiene quotient) is top of mind with 108,579 conversations around it and 643% increase in ‘how to wash hands’ searches. Post covid all brands will have to pass HQ test
  4. India is introduced to WFH and it is here to stay. 220% jump in online meeting app searches. WFH memes searches increased to 27%. 85% of Gipsi panel feels it should be part of the new work culture
  5. There is cooking debut happening in each household. A new TG with respect to cooking is ready to be addressed post ‘covid lockdown’. 28% and 110% surge in searches for Cooking Recipes and Easy-to-cook respectively
  6. How will you differentiate video content post covid- with its ‘greeting gesture!’ Indians are taking pride in ‘Namaste’ going global
  7. Learning is big on the agenda. 22% increase in searches for free online courses, 108% increase in Online training platforms. New skills and knowledge upgradation is here to stay as WFH becomes part of the work culture
  8. There are lots of suggestions and questions consumers have which is expressed online. E.g. bra brands have been asked to step up to make masks (25% topic related to bra masks), people are looking for ways to help the needy in these tough times or mothers wanting to know activities to engage their kids (47% increase in searches). Marketers need to listen to these digital insights before engaging with their audience online

Apart from these there are insights and implication for fashion, groceries and smoking in the report.

Commenting on the report, Unmisha Bhatt, Chief Strategy Officer and Director – India & MENA region, Tonic Worldwide, says, “In such sensitive times every move of a marketer will go through scrutiny from consumers. Data science should be looked at as a big boon in times like these. Just tracking weekly numbers will be a mere waste of the data. Brands will have to go beyond using data just for performance metrics and seeing digital as just an extension medium. They will have to consciously invest in ‘actionable insights’ not just ‘data’.”

Anjali Malthankar, National Strategy Director, says “Brands in the time of Covid need to prepare for the ‘Post Covid lockdown World’ and not just worry about how to engage topically. Lockdown has forced Indian consumers to leapfrog and embrace digital, brands need to be ready for this. Digital is a very measured medium, any marketer’s dream come true. The most important step to taking your brand digital is to first, take your consumer understanding digital!”

Gipsi was launched in 2018 and is being headed and driven by Unmisha Bhatt, Chief Strategy Officer, Tonic Worldwide and Anjali Malthankar, National Strategy Director, Tonic Worldwide.

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