How the Coronavirus is Impacting Business & Travel

As it continues to spread, the Coronavirus is impacting business and travel in very real ways. Next generation AI-powered consumer and market intelligence expands both business and consumer understanding of the evolving situation. This helps each adapt to new developments, as needed. And there’s quite a bit to adapt to, as the threat increases . . .

Monitoring Mentions Over Time

Capturing an understanding of what is happening locally on the other side of the world, or even in a neighboring country, can be daunting. Some governments restrict the flow of information, so it’s critical for brands to have the ability to supplement official conversations with “on the ground” intel.

In NetBase Quid, we capture millions of text documents to generate immediate insights around complex questions. The platform utilizes artificial intelligence to uncover actionable information to support strategic decision-making in areas including competitive intelligence, market landscapes, and trend analysis.

Perhaps what is most valuable of all though is our advanced AI. With it, text analysis goes beyond reading, sorting and analyzing data – to also draw connections across these varied pieces. This offers a predictive capability to brands ready to take advantage of everything NetBase Quid offers. The Coronavirus offers a case in point.

As we can see above, there are many conversational clusters to explore. Let’s start at the beginning.

Capturing Early Mentions of Something Amiss

Prior to December 2019, the earliest mentions of the Coronavirus focused predominantly on the Middle East, as the MERS Coronavirus. And most of the emphasis was on travel. Brands alert to monitoring travel conversation in Quid would see this come up with unsettling regularity.

And when the Coronavirus news focused on travel and business skyrocketed in January 2020, it would not have been as much of a surprise to these market intelligence monitoring types.

And that would ultimately save them on supply chain planning and other pending protocols that had to be put into place.

Supply Chain Disruptions

Businesses are closing up shops, as travel bans are in effect. Some of the news items quickly surfaced using Quid, include:

·      As mentioned in its Q1 earnings report, Starbucks has closed more than half of its stores in China due to the outbreak of the coronavirus and remains committed to finishing out the year strong, however that may look.

·      Royal Caribbean offered a similar outlook during its earnings call, sharing a very honest outlook after canceling a few cruises departing from the area: “There are still too many variables and uncertainties regarding this outbreak to calculate the overall impact on the business.  For example, we expect an erosion of consumer confidence in China could have an additional impact on load factor and rate in the region until the market normalizes.  If these travel restrictions continue for an extended period of time, they could have a material impact on the overall financial performance of the company.”

·      McDonalds, United, American Airlines, Walt Disney Co, Wynn Resorts and more – all have canceled flights, closed stores and theme parks to help contain the spread of this virus. The resulting loss of revenue and refunds to consumers is significant.

·      Apple and Tesla have shut down Shanghai operations and Google is in full support mode partnering with WHO to create “a new SOS alert for all coronavirus searches on the search giant’s platform. When anyone searches for ‘coronavirus’ or related keywords, the user will see a curated search results page with the latest news, live updates from Twitter, and important information on coronavirus from WHO. As of now, Google is showing the same alerts across all countries but these might be localised later on.”

Staying Ahead of a Virus

Staying on top of this conversation as it shifts is critical for these, and other businesses located in the surrounding areas, to stay ahead of the virus. And clicking on a cluster in Quid reveals the latest interconnected news, to offer rapid insight at times when brands need it most:

Businesses are obviously worried and taking action. Consumers are equally disconcerted with many experiencing travel disruptions, and some stranded in unexpected locations. This offers opportunities for brands as well – steps they can take to solidify consumer relationships in the long-term during this difficult time.

Travel Disruptions and Consumer Care

It doesn’t require sentiment sleuthing to know that people are afraid right now:

But what is good to know – and that brands can quickly sort out using social sentiment insight, is this: Consumers are worried this is just the beginning and things will get a lot worse before they get better, so they’re looking for the “best tactic” to take not only in their travels, but in life overall. They want to stay healthy, and businesses that offer whatever small ways to assist in that effort will be remembered when this all dies down.

And one of those ways revolves around travel insurance:

Another around preparedness and prevention:

Is your business able to help with either? Most likely, yes – in some way. Or maybe you can connect in another equally helpful manner. The point is, once you understand the trending insight and concerns, you’re better equipped to take relevant, real-time action for the good of your business and your clientele. Without it, you’re running blind along with the masses.

Be sure to reach out and we’ll show you how quickly you can be capturing this important insight and how to explore it, along with consumer sentiment, to a granular level.

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