June 4th, 2020

Franchise Marketing: Digital Strategies for the Nervous Consumer

MRI-Simmons, the essential consumer truth set, announced the release of its COVID-19 Consumer Insights Study, providing an in-depth analysis of consumer behaviors and attitudes resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. Unlike other studies, the COVID-19 Consumer Insights Study will be fused to MRI-Simmons’ nationally representative datasets, providing marketers and media with deeper profiling capabilities across 60,000 consumer elements, including hundreds of psychographics, product categories and thousands of brands.

Overall, about one-third (34%) of consumers belong to a subset of people who are ‘Nervous’ and identify with the statement, “My world is forever altered, and I feel uneasy.” This segment has been emotionally hit the hardest by the outbreak and are least likely to go back to their old ways in the future. The remaining majority fall into the ‘Accepting’ category, who identify with the statement, “I believe in fate, and that whatever is meant to be, will be.” 

Deep Dive: The Nervous Segment

At Franchise Ramp, we dig beyond just COVID-specific topics to unveil other attributes that set the Nervous group apart from the majority:

The Nervous category skew female (57%), are 10% more likely to be parents living with at least one child, and 67% are the principal shopper in their household.

According to MRI-Simmons, the Nervous segment are also “Influential Consumers” – meaning they have a great deal of knowledge, and/or are often asked for their trusted advice – in several key product and service categories. Compared to the average adult, they’re more likely to be experts on Parenting and Dieting (+13% for each), Healthcare (+12%), Healthy Lifestyle (+11%), Shopping in general (+11%), and Grocery Shopping specifically (+10%).

The Nervous segment is also the type of consumer to proactively engage in wellness activities known for mind-calming benefits. A higher proportion of them are runners (+15%) or yogis (+16%), and they are 17% more likely to visit a day spa for personal care services.

Although they represent just over a third of the adult population, their leadership in key consumer areas and their high-touch media behavior make them an important group for businesses and marketers to keep a pulse on.

How To Market To The Nervous Consumer: The Breakthrough Moment For Click and Mortar

 The goal is to stay relevant and top-of-mind while showcasing where your brand fits into the nervous consumers’ new normal.

The nervous consumer who would usually spend their money at the brick and mortar stores immediately switched to their online stores when the physical stores closed. “Click and Mortar” is the term that encapsulates this breakthrough moment. Although this is not a new trend, COVID-19 has accelerated the dynamics. 

At Franchise Ramp, we are have set the stage to emerge post-crisis ready to capitalize on opportunities for nervous consumers: 

Strategically Adapting 

Consumers are glued to their screens for entertainment and information for the next several weeks or months. Digital advertising is exposed to more eyes. This means staying engaged with the customer through Brand Awareness campaigns.

Stay Focused 

Franchise Ramp’s mission to supporting franchisees translates directly to Quality Control: sticking with our mission of finding Ads and Audiences that drive results.

Ad, test, and copy quality matter. We always run at a minimum, 2 copy variants, properly labeled, in order to prioritize the winners in a directional format.

Act and Speak with Empathy (And Transparency)

It’s important that we keep customers in the loop about measures of cleanliness, sanitization, and the precautions you’re taking to prevent the spread of the virus.

Customers appreciate transparency, and now more than ever they want to see it from brands. People are generally sympathetic to the fact that businesses are struggling right now, and making a statement on your decision-making when it comes to these hard choices shows that your brand is honest. In turn, customers will usually meet these messages with respect and understanding.