Our Covid19 Business Relaunch survey

Written by Tim McLarty

May 14, 2020

These are challenging times.  It’s important small business needs to know effective ways of promoting their products/services when every dollar counts. If you’re kind enough to fill out the brief survey below, we will share the results on Linked in for the benefit of marketers and small businesses looking to reboot their businesses as quickly as possible.

We thank you for your time!  All data will be anonymous and no identities will be shared.

Thank you for sharing your Covid-19 viewing and buying habits to help small business reboot as the economy opens back up again!

As provincial and national governments in Canada draw closer to easing up on the national lockdown, we want to help small business determine where to best share their news and offerings to help rebuild their businesses.


We’ve put a very short survey together, asking how you’ve been spending your media time throughout the lockdown.  


Back to Business?

We all know rushing back to work, or play is ill advised. Kudos to governments across Canada for recognizing this is a test and track situation. But we can’t continue in a holding pattern forever. So the new normal will require some intelligent, well-planned relaunching of businesses and services and some smart marketing decisions.


How do businesses reach the “New Normal Customer” ?

This is the million dollar question. The costs of retrofitting businesses into a safer, distanced environment for the public are huge. In order for some revenue streams to start flowing again, businesses will need to reach out to the consumer through a variety of advertising and PR channels. Many have done it extremely well through the pandemic. Instagram has kept loyal customers updated on new menu offerings, new hours and new products. Facebook has replaced the daily at work water cooler occurrence as we exercise our desire to mix and mingle safely. It would be easy to guess that people are watching more news programming. But it would be extremely helpful to know what this new normal has created as far as a media landscape goes.


What do you think?

How have you been staying in touch and finding out about products and services ? The true sign of some sort of limited recovery will be your desire to buy products you don’t need, but simply want. A new garden weasel, new teak deck chairs, a new vehicle; many of us have exercised some degree of caution as we negotiate these uncertain times and get a feel for where the economy is going. But many have also determined life goes on. So where are they finding out about the items they need to allow life to move forward.



It seems to be the number one source of early stage purchase influence when buying a new product or service. A Google search gets the ball rolling and sends you down a variety of rabbit holes. You may be exposed to products for the first time, or reaffirmed to products you heard about or saw elsewhere.


Online streaming radio.

This one makes marketers very curious. With apps like Radio.com and I-heart radio, are you listening to more radio now because you want the local news along with a musical distraction? Or are you turning on an actual radio (yes some of us still own them) and listening?


Online streaming TV.

ENTERTAINMENT. Are you spending a ton of time on Netflix, Prime, Apple or another streaming option? Which streaming platform are you spending the most time on? This may determine, as time drags on, which ones continue to receive your carefully budgeted monthly dollars.


Traditional TV.

NEWS. In Toronto we have CP24 which streams their content live around the clock. Many make that a part of their day, especially around the two daily pandemic press conferences from Federal and Provincial leaders. Are you spending a lot of time on CNN or CBC News channel, hoping to hear some encouraging news about the pandemic?

Did you bulk up your cable package to include more channels for distraction viewing?

ENTERTAINMENT. Are you watching distraction shows like The Masked Singer?



Yes, this gets its own category. Many, especially younger demographics, spend a great deal of time in the land of Youtube. They watch influencer videos, how-to-videos, and whatever programming that has been uploaded. Old public domain movies and documentaries are in abundance for hours of distraction.



Over this pandemic many have rediscovered books. And the fact that you can order and download a book in one minute means you’ll never have a shortage; unless you’re a purist who prefers to have a tactile, real book with the smell of old paper and the crack of the spine as you work your way through.


What are the trends?


That’s what we’d love to know. In the pandemic age, how are you entertaining yourself and how are you finding out about products and services? To keep business flowing, marketers need to know effective ways to reach you, in ways that are palatable to you.


Please help us by filling out this brief survey. I will keep your identity private but will share  results with the marketing community so that businesses can find the least path of resistance to rebooting their small businesses and generating cashflow back into the economy.

I’ve kept this very basic so you can run through it in very quickly.

Thank you in advance for helping us, the marketers, help small business. The best way to claw our way back to something that remotely resembles the old normal, is to help businesses efficiently understand where to best place their advertising dollars so that not a single dollar is wasted.


See our survey above.  Thank you for your valuable input!


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Tim McLarty - Ontrack Communications Inc.

About the author

Tim McLarty is creative director at Ontrack Communications in Toronto. He’s a podcaster, and his background includes 9 years as professor of media creation at Humber College and 17 years as a broadcaster across Canada.  Ontrack is a media studio creating video, motion graphics, audio and podcast content.  In his spare time he makes short films and travels to any country that will have him.