The year 2020 has been far from a smooth ride. As most looked forward to the start of a new decade, already 76% of marketers were fearing the worst – an economic and customer growth slowdown.
When COVID-19 started spreading like wildfire around Southeast Asia, countries took swift action to manage the situation – in particular, the Thai government. To date, Thailand has had only 58 deaths and no local transmissions since May. While the Kingdom has been lauded for successfully containing this health calamity, another crisis has crept up – the pandemic’s economic impact.
Since the pandemic hit in March, 70% of Thailand’s national workforce has seen their average monthly income decline by 47%, and 75% of small tourism-related businesses have had their revenues decline by at least three-quarters.
Fortunately, Thais are resilient people and adept to change in creative ways. We have also evolved well in the digital ecosystem, so businesses and marketers can take comfort that there are ways to still thrive, whilst helping heal the economy by understanding the following:
Before we delve further, there is a need to understand how COVID-19 has affected mobility in Thailand. Using data from XACT, our proprietary Data Management Platform (DMP), we built a Crisis Management Dashboard to get down to the granular level of details. We found that despite the first COVID-19 case in the beginning of the year and a looming outbreak, January and February saw fairly normal mobility trends.
Fig. 1 and 1.1: Between January to February 2020, just as the pandemic started, there was normal mobility trend around Thailand, represented by the light green areas.