For brands in search of how the ‘new normal’ will look, frustratingly, there’s no single definition.

Each sector has its own, unique audience experiencing a new way of life, and developing its own set of behaviors and attitudes.

This means the most valuable research you can do right now is focusing on how your audience is responding.

With access to the very same source on which we base our latest white papers, blogs and trends reports investigating the consumer impact of coronavirus, you can develop your own insights and see exactly how we’ve formed ours.

Our waves of coronavirus data are freely available in the GWI platform to help enterprises of all kinds monitor trends and get to grips with changes happening in their industry.

With this resource at hand, you can personalize this data set by applying your own, bespoke audience to all data points.

Here’s how it’s done.

What is our multinational coronavirus study?

As home of the world’s largest online consumer survey, we’re uniquely placed to offer the latest, ground-level insights on the consumer response to the outbreak.

Our methodology allows us to gather reliable data fast and offer it up to users in our intuitive platform.  

We recontacted respondents across multiple markets and asked them questions on their attitudes and behavioral responses to the pandemic.

We’ve released three waves so far: 

Wave I ran from March 16th – 20th in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, UK and the U.S.

Wave II ran from March 31st – April 2 in 17 countries including the 13 above, plus Canada, India, Ireland and New Zealand.

Wave III was carried out in the same 17 countries between April 22nd – 27th.

Wave IV was fielded from May 19th – 26th in the 20 countries including the 17 above plus Belgium, Poland and Romania.

The first and second releases of our international study showed the scale of the impact, the third wave looks towards the post-outbreak future and the fourth focuses on the impact of coronavirus on consumer sentiment.

This research is ongoing, with the next wave available in early June.

What is a recontact study?

We use a sample of respondents who already answered our core survey and have given their consent to be recontacted for more research. In this case, this included those who answered it between Q1 and Q4 2019.

The benefit of doing a recontact study is respondents have already answered our core survey, so the answers from the coronavirus study can be overlaid with the 40,000-plus data points in the platform. 

Key topics you can dig into

If you’re wondering whether the study contains data that’s relevant to your sector, brand or offering, below we’ve listed the range of topics covered.

Each of these data points can be applied to your audience, layered, and trended for deeper analysis

Levels of concern:
At a global or national level.


Expected length of the outbreak:
At a global or national level.


Levels of optimism:
At a global or national level.


Expected post-outbreak behaviors:
Vacation booking confidence drivers, post-outbreak vacation behaviors, post-outbreak leisure behaviors, post-outbreak shopping behaviors, factors influencing shopping, speed of returning to locations (with specific questions relating to shops, large indoor venues and large outdoor venues).


Impact on finances and economy:
On a personal, national or global level – but also the impact on jobs.


Levels of approval for brand activities:
Approval levels towards advertising as ‘normal’, advertising relating to its own response, providing practical information to help people cope, producing lower-cost versions of their normal products, selling non-essential products, running promotions, producing essential supplies, and more.   


Levels of approval for institutional response:
This is divided into approval levels towards large corporations, one’s own country’s government, one’s own country’s population, social media companies, banks and financial institutions.


Behavioral changes:
In-home and media consumption, permanent behavior changes, personal financial responses and device usage


Purchase behavior:
Delayed purchases, expected length of purchase delay, and prioritization or delayed purchases. 

Viewing the data in the platform

There are two versions of the data set containing two groups of respondents, ‘all respondents’ and ‘brand and media respondents’.

All respondents: This contains all core respondents who completed the coronavirus recontact survey. The benefit of using this is its large sample size, but it’s limited for brand and media-related queries.

Brand and media set: This contains core respondents who only completed the brand and media extension and the coronavirus recontact survey. 

It’s important to note that both sets are weighted using the same framework, but as the latter group contains fewer respondents, the exact universe figures will be slightly different. 

Creating your audience and applying the coronavirus data

If you’ve used GWI before, it’s likely you’ll have your audiences fully formed and saved in your account. But for those new to the platform, the first stage is to create your audience.

We have detailed guides on how to create target personas with GWI, but here’s a quick overview to get you started. Alternatively, you can use one of our pre-saved audiences. 

Creating your audience personas

Step 1: Create an audience.

Once you’re in GWI, you can create new audiences using the ‘audience builder’ section of the platform. 

If you already have a strong idea around who you want to target, simply create it fresh and give it a name – anything from fashionistas to affluent coffee drinkers.

Step 2: Add your audience attributes.

Combine any number of attributes – including behavioral, regional and psychographic – to reveal the big picture. 

Drill down into the data set and source relevant attributes (e.g. people interested in fashion). If you know the attributes you’re after already, use the ‘search’ function to find your data points faster. 

Step 3: Group your statements.

Grouping attributes allows you to easily map out your statements in a visual and digestible way. To do this, find your statement, then drag and drop it over another (or an existing group). You can tailor each statement to expand or narrow the pool of respondents. 

Applying an audience to our coronavirus study

Here’s how to analyze the data from the coronavirus study in a single market, across multiple markets, world regions, and globally.

1. Looking at the data in a single market.

Select your audience, market and all 2019 waves from the filters on the right hand side. 


2. Making comparisons across different markets.

You can do this by adding in one or more countries from a study into the location filters. Then, select the ‘countries’ option in the ‘segments’ tab. This will then split up each country’s responses for your audience.


3. Analyzing by world region.

We recommend you de-select any countries you may have in the location filters. Click into the ‘segments’ tab, and select ‘world regions’ which splits out your audience into 5 sections.


4. Looking at the global response from your audience.

Make sure you have your audience selected in the filters, then clear ‘all countries’ from your locations – this means you’re looking at all markets. 


Digging deeper: how to trend across waves

Being able to grasp which consumer trends are fleeting and which are here to stay is important, especially when we’ve seen such a drastic change in daily life and working patterns. 

Using our ‘dashboards’ section in the left hand menu, search for ‘GWI Covid-19 Over-Time Comparison – All three waves’. 

At a glance, you’ll see global trends for key questions, but to get more specific, apply your unique audience using the ‘add audience’ function at the top. 

For those in need of deeper trends analysis, our coronavirus data can be inputted into our crosstab builder, allowing for a more complex and detailed look into niche audiences and specific regions – just be sure the sample size is significant enough. 

You can find guides on how to carry out deep analysis in crosstab builder here.

Recap: getting the most from our data set

Our coronavirus data is designed to help brands gain control during the crisis. 

Businesses of every shape and size from one-person-shows to large multinationals – each with their unique objectives and audiences – have access to the same reliable, reactive and detailed data set. 

This means anyone can: 

  • See the bigger picture through a global, regional and national lens.
  • Get niche by applying detailed, bespoke audiences. 
  • Identify key trends across all waves of research.

Businesses need to have a plan of action now. Using consumer insights to guide your decision-making will help you sidestep obstacles and identify new opportunities that could help you move forward – and even thrive – in challenging times.

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