Welcome to my weekly series, looking at the key data sources I share internally each week to support our agency leads in developing context-relevant strategies and campaigns.  This week the data shows increased positivity about the future, with some signs pointing toward, and some away, from a return to the “old normal.” As noted, this is only ever a snapshot, but I hope a valuable one. I welcome questions and suggestions about this data and/or other sources so do get in touch at kate.gomes@hkstrategies.com

Insight 1: For the first time, internationally we are starting to feel more positively about the virus (McKinsey, GWI)

McKinsey data shows that in China, India and Europe, our expectations are higher than in North America, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa and Latin America

This is consistent with data from GWI’s Fourth Wave Study, which shows declining levels of domestic concern, outside Brazil

What does this mean for communicators?  This is an early marker that the extreme sensitivity with which we have (rightly) been approaching external communications may be able to be reconsidered.

Insight 2: We are seeing some markers of return to the “old normal” (GWI, Google)

GWI Fourth wave data shows that, internationally, we are largely ready for brands to “get back to normal”

And on a lighter, note, Google data shows that in the UK we now search for more information on weather than Coronavirus, for the first time since the outbreak.

What does this mean for communicators?  This is another marker that consumer pull for / interest in other topics is growing, and should be carefully re-introduced.

Insight 3:  But in other ways, our expectations of ourselves and society have fundamentally shifted (Kantar, GWI)

A Kantar study released this week showing a drop in trust across G7 (and particularly in the UK), highlights that many don’t expect to return to normal social behaviours soon, if ever. “One in three people felt uncomfortable about returning to their workplace, a similar number said they would work at home more than before the crisis and about four in 10 said they would visit restaurants, cafes, pubs and cinemas less than before.”

GWI Fourth Wave data shows we are newly concerned with reducing our environmental footprint, in light of COVID-19.

What does this mean for communicators?  Now may be the time to revisit our understanding of our audiences.  As significant, potentially long term behavioural shifts are underway we will need to better understand how consistent this is across audience type,  who is changing most and least among other things.