Merkle's Economic Resilience Dashboard Measures Bounce Effect From COVID-19

Merkle has created an Economic Resilience dashboard that combines data from its DataSource datasets with publicly available COVID-19 data via the New York Times to help marketers in the United States make better decisions when creating and running marketing and advertising campaigns.

The combination of data identifies the economic resilience of a county and how quickly a population might recover. It includes data such as buying habits, how consumers react to marketing income levels, and spending habits.

“The main focus right now is to determine how consumers weather the storm,” said Shirli Zelcer, COO of analytics at Merkle. “The initial dashboards were built to analyze economic data. Rather than look at income, which is pretty unstable, we looked at disposable income historically, as well as the average liquid assets, which helped us to understand the financial security of consumers.”

This would help marketers focus on planning before they plan to open stores and would provide details on the economic climate in a given area. It also would help brands create their messages in campaigns. For example, there needed to be a difference between hard-hit areas with stable and unstable economics.  

There are plans to add all types of data from spend rates on certain items in specific industries at the county level, online vs offline.

The data also helps to identify the communities most likely to spend. “We’ve developed the Economic Resilience Index, which we hope will define where people spend money,” she said. “There are multiple counties on paper that seem very similar in terms of wealth rate. In terms of the resilience index, we would put the county with a high wealth rate, but lower infection rates higher on the scale.”

A ranking based on this index showed that the counties with a higher wealth rating and liquid assets, as well as a low infection rate, are the ones more ready to spend.

“When you include first-party data from retailers in these dashboards it’s very impactful,” she said. “We’ve been able to see a clear correlation between the index we’ve created around Economic resilience and year-over-year sales. It’s become easier to predict where they will be down year-over-year based on the county’s economic resilience.”

The dashboard, which has two tabs, allows users to choose one or multiple states and counties. The red color signifies a lower economic resilience and the green signifies higher resilience.

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