Vaccine Rollout Spells Opportunity for Brand Marketers

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More than half of adults in the United States have gotten at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, arriving at mass vaccination sites, retail pharmacies, supermarkets, and medical clinics in droves. For brand marketers, the push has opened the door to new opportunities.

Using foot traffic dashboards from technology companies like Quotient, brands are gaining insight into consumers’ movement in and around vaccination locations. The insights are being used to fuel targeted OOH and DOOH campaigns, designed to engage consumers on an intimate level.

“With heightened visitation to venues that offer the vaccine, we are already seeing marketers embrace this trend by creating and executing strategies that lean on timely foot traffic insights,” says Gilad Amitai, vice president of revenue and operations at Quotient. “These strategies can include omnichannel engagement opportunities en route and inside the store to be present in those valuable moments.” 

Quotient’s Vaccine Data Dashboard analyzes movement around more than 115,000 grocery stores, pharmacies, and doctors’ offices in the United States, with a radius of 0.04 miles and dwell time limits. Quotient selected its tracking sites based on the list of Federal Pharmacy Partners and CDC-registered doctors’ offices. Its dashboard reports lift as the percentage change in weekly visitors observed compared to the baseline, starting with the week of December 14, when the U.S. vaccine rollout began. 

With CDC guidelines recommending a 15-minute wait before patients leave a clinic after receiving a vaccine, advertisers and retailers have a unique opportunity to engage what is essentially a captive audience. Amitai says consumers in this situation have high purchase intent, and Quotient’s vaccine dashboard gives marketers insights that can guide them toward sending relevant messaging that could be valuable during the post-vaccination time. For example, a consumer who has received a Covid-19 vaccine could be targeted with an ad for an over-the-counter pain reliever or a thermometer.

“This time becomes an opportunity for brands and advertisers to reach new consumers and engage with existing ones at these shopping moments,” Amitai says. “Personally, when I got mine, I shopped the aisles. I spent that time walking around and picking up items that were not on my list but became interesting to me since I had time to explore the store.”

Real-Time Connections

The idea to build a dashboard that would track foot traffic around vaccination sites was born out of existing advertiser behaviors. After launching the company’s Out-of-Home Dashboard last year, Amitai and his team noticed advertisers using the data on movement and exposure to identify areas of opportunity and craft relevant strategies. With the Covid-19 rollout happening across the country in real-time, Amitai says advertisers now have an even more direct way to connect consumer movement to real opportunities.

While privacy is an obvious concern, Amitai is quick to point out that all data used in Quotient’s dashboard is anonymized and aggregated. Each category is based on the data from several retailers. The dashboard is meant to be representative of overall movement trends in order to help brands and advertisers understand the impact of the vaccine rollout.

As eligibility to the vaccine opens up adult boosters appear likely to be required in the future, Amitai sees a real opportunity for continued use of the vaccine dashboard. He anticipates that brands will continue to leverage the data to tailor campaigns to align with ongoing visitation behavior, even once the initial vaccine rollout is complete.

“As people become vaccinated, we expect to see a shift in consumer behavior towards resuming activities that were limited during Covid. Many people are eager to leave their homes and spend time outside,” Amitai says. “We are providing this dashboard to continuously monitor movement and behavior which can be translated to opportunities based on each advertiser’s goals.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.