Inside Vision7′s new COVID-19 monitor

Vision7's VP of analytics and insights Kristin Wozniak explains the academic approach, how clients can use the portal and why it's important to be open to everyone.
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There’s a lot of information out there about COVID-19 – from health updates and public policy updates to how it’s altering people’s media consumption. Now, holding co Vision7 has decided to launch a Canadian COVID-19 Monitor and an accompanying insights site to provide advertisers with real-time insights to fuel their brand development – from a creative, strategy and media perspective.

The main site portal features a ticker of key Canadian sentiments – like how many people are concerned about the economy, what the stress levels are and how many people approve of their government’s actions. Further along, it shows how some of these factors have changed over time. The companion Insights site has deeper dives into topics such as changing social media habits and brand trust.

Cossette Media’s VP of insights Kristin Wozniak played a big part in the launch of the COVID-19 Monitor. It was launched in partnership with Vox Pop Labs and McMaster University, which Wozniak says helps make it feel deeper than just media and advertising insights.

“An academic perspective on data is very different than the perspectives we have in the industry,” Wozniak tells MiC. “Key for us was getting those two things together, with a lot of rigour from our side but also that critical, academic eye on the data.”

One of the reasons Wozniak says the holding co was motivated to create the portal is not that there wasn’t enough data in the beginning days of COVID-19 – it’s actually that there was too much.

“There were so many questions coming in about what was happening, and there was too much data as a result,” she says. And within a few months, she says, it went from deluge to dearth. “We realized that as much as we wished we had crystal balls that could predict the future, in this case, we simply couldn’t.”

Knowing that it wanted to be a part of the conversation, Vision7 brainstormed a few different ways it could help.

“We thought about webinars and static POVs, but the challenge with that was everything was changing so quickly, that you start doing something and the second you get it launched, everything is going to change again and it’s going to feel irrelevant,” she says. “So we wanted to put something out there that wasn’t just a response to everything at one exact moment, but something that will help us understand where things are going.”

In order for it to be a true “one-stop shop,” Wozniak says representatives from all of the group’s agencies will be involved with the task force. Besides Cossette and Cossette Media, other partners and agencies include Jungle Media, We Are Social Citizen Relations, Impact Research, Camps Collective, Magnet, Citizen Relations, Gene, Aperture 1, Colony Project, K72, fuseproject and Eleven

 

The goal, she says, is to have every agency spearheading what they do best. Cossette Media will offer a specific angle on the data that We Are Social or Citizen do not.

In addition, many of the insights that Vision7 is delivering came from suggestions and interviews with 25 CMOs and marketing leaders in Canada.

At its core, the purpose is to help brands connect with people in the context of a complex marketing space, according to Wozniak.

“A lot of brands are asking, ‘As a brand, do I have a right to have a voice right now?’ There’s certain types of messaging that might trigger additional stress or negative thoughts – but some verticals or categories have a different [experience] than others. Other clients are asking, ‘Do I have a right to have a voice in the space?’”

It will also answer more practical questions, such as what type of messaging plays well on what types of channels, what frequencies are suitable for different contexts and where people are consuming most media.

The portal is open to more than just Vision7′s clients, which Wozniak says is crucial. She adds that it can serve as a way into deeper consultation, but ultimately, capturing the current moment is the top priority.

“In the spirit of more academic research, it feels like it’s better to make this widely available. It’s more in the public interest.”