Ipsos Update - August 2020

A monthly round-up of Ipsos research and analysis from around the world.

The August edition of Ipsos Update opens with a look back at the research and analysis our teams have been producing over the last weeks and months to help us better understand the impacts of coronavirus on business and society. This tenth edition of our Signals publication includes links to white papers, research articles and reports from individual markets.

Our latest coronavirus research includes a look at when parents in 16 countries would feel comfortable sending their children back to school or daycare – now, in one month, three or six months, or even a year from today. Meanwhile, our behavioural science team have been exploring how best to design behavioural support strategies to encourage the public to safely re-engage with the wider world as lockdowns lift.

Has coronavirus concern peaked? It is still the top issue according to our What Worries the World study across 27 countries, but the proportion highlighting COVID-19 as a concern is now down 20 points (to 43%) since it was included in our tracker four months ago. Unemployment fears remain high (40%) while healthcare has dropped from third to sixth place between April and July.

The time is now for virtual care and telehealth, which has quickly become widely used to treat patients since the outbreak of COVID-19. Before the pandemic, our Digital Doctor survey found one-third of non-users expecting to use telehealth in the next year. The current situation has accelerated uptake: another study indicates three-quarters of doctors will do more virtual visits after the pandemic.

Today, market research relies on increasingly large and varied data sources. But Big Data does not automatically translate into Big Insights. Instead of relying on “magic algorithms” a lot of work needs to happen in the background. A Matter of Fact? presents eight simple rules that can help to make data science work for market research.

The hospitality sector is facing the reality that people are unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels of spending right away. Not only due to the immediate challenge of COVID-19 but through also existing food trends that are becoming more embedded (such as the popularity of home delivery): the industry must adapt. Find more on food trends and possible future scenarios in our latest edition of What the Future.

This month sees us turn a spotlight to the beauty industry; our experts have taken a deep-dive into understanding the needs and motivations of women in the ‘Beauty Triangle’ of China, Japan and Korea. Despite different traditions, women across the three markets share an appreciation of inner beauty and balance – which 84% of women across the three markets say is important, compared 71% who mention appearance.

A little happiness goes a long way: we find that people will spend more on certain “treats”, even when times are tough and overall spending is down. This means premium brands who position their products as affordable indulgences will be able to appeal to consumers who continue to seek moments of joy through their purchases.

In times of social change, media brands must make decisions over who or what they give a platform to. We have recently seen the removal of statues, Twitter accounts and historic TV shows in the UK in the name of progressivism. Our new “Pillars of Popular Culture” piece explores how to best respond to calls for action and accountability on social issues.