How Illness Insights Can Weatherproof Your Brand Strategy

August 12, 2021

Have you ever looked at the weather forecast and planned for sunshine, only to be met with an unexpected rain storm? For illness-related brands, forecasting demand and creating a media plan ahead of cold and flu season can feel a lot like packing for a sunny destination and getting caught in the rain, having to pivot at the last minute and spend more than you planned on a rain jacket and umbrella.  

So what does this have to do with your media targeting and sales? 

In order for illness and disinfectant brands to create an effective media plan and forecast demand, they need insight into the illness trends for the upcoming weeks and months ahead. Traditionally, it’s been impossible to predict when and where cold and flu season is going to strike - varying both in timing and intensity each year. Illness season peaks anytime between October and February with no early indicator available - and strikes in varied geographies each year, leaving brands with little data or strategy to effectively plan ahead. 

As a result of this unpredictability, sales of illness-related products are affected dramatically year-to-year. For example, in 2020 with COVID-19 illness rates plummeted by 90% and OTC category brands saw sales decline over 50%. However, in a severe season like 2017-2018, decongestants saw a significant growth in sales. 

Media planners and brand managers need the ability to predict illness to more accurately target and optimize illness-based product campaigns in the areas where illness season is striking and pull-back spend in areas where it’s low.  

So, why Kinsa Insights?

Like a reliable weather forecast, Kinsa’s proprietary illness data and predictive insights gives you visibility to when and where illness will strike, allowing brands to build awareness and purchase-intent leading into an illness outbreak. Getting ahead of your competitors will drive significant in-store sales lift improvement. 

Our hyper-local data also provides brands and brand planners the ability to speak to target consumers at their exact moment of need - just as they become ill. Kinsa Insights’ brands and retail customers have seen a 55% increase in ad engagement with our insights and a 4-to-1 return on incremental ad spend (iROAS) by optimizing for illness-specific messaging and calls-to-action by illness level and geography. 

But, how does it work? 

Everyone’s illness episode begins the same way - we’re exposed to illness and then the first signs and symptoms appear. In this event, one of two things happens: symptoms improve or they don’t, causing us to seek medical attention to recover. 

Alternatively, Kinsa captures illness insight directly from consumers at the first sign of illness, ahead of symptom relief seeking. Traditional illness data capture their claims-based data after someone visits the doctor, creating a 7+ day lag in illness intelligence from the onset. More importantly, according to the CDC, 55% of those who get the flu never even visit the doctor. 

Kinsa data reaches over 5 million users, capturing illness at the home level, allowing us to monitor and predict illness spread with unprecedented accuracy at various levels of geography. Our insights are built from a sensor network of smart thermometers in households and schools, capturing illness across a broad range of populations. 

What Do I Do with this Data? 

Kinsa Insights delivers real-time visibility into illness onset, spread out by geography and symptom. Our solution allows you to target geos based on DMA, store trading area and region to give you the “when” and “where” illness is striking and at what severity level. 

This enables you to: 

  • Allocate your spend levels accordingly
  • Deliver the right message and call-to-action based on illness levels and location
  • Complement your DCO efforts with highly targeted insights 

So, just like you pack for vacation and check the weather to make sure you’re not caught in a storm - Kinsa Insights will keep you dry, figuratively speaking, as you plan ahead for your media campaigns as we prepare for and approach illness season. 

Interested in learning more? Schedule some time with our team to learn how Kinsa Insights can help you optimize your media targeting strategy and get ahead of flu season before it starts. 

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