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February 18, 2021 - By Barron Rosborough

Hawke Media Special Report: February 18, 2021

Cold Front

It’s no secret that there’s a wave of freezing temperatures, snow, and ice sweeping through 73.2% of the continental United States causing power outages, plumbing issues, and in some of the worst cases, loss of life.

Nowhere is this more apparent and critical than the state of Texas where the state government runs on a privatized power grid that is separate from the rest of the nation’s, meaning that its energy infrastructure doesn’t have to adhere to federal regulations.

This has left millions in the Lonestar State without power for several days as the state’s natural gas plants were ill-equipped to handle the drop in temperature and the increased demand for energy as families struggle to stay warm.

The cold in Texas is a particularly threatening issue for the state’s most vulnerable populations, the unhoused, and communities of color that are disproportionately affected by the failures in infrastructure.

If you’re in Texas or want to help those in need, check out these resources compiled by FastCompany:

  • Austin American-Statesman: The capital city’s newspaper has a list of resources for people in the area. Find it here.
  • The Texas Tribune: This nonprofit local news outlet has rounded up a ton of resources on how to help or where people in need can find help. Find it here.
  • Austin Mutual Aid: This group has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help bring food and shelter to people on the streets during the cold stretch. 
  • Red Cross: You can find a list of open shelters on the Red Cross website and also additional ways to donate. Find it here.
  • TDEM: The Texas Division of Emergency Management has a map of all the warming centers around the state. 
  • Feeding Texas: This group has a list of food banks searchable by zip code. Find it here.

Consumer Trends

Online Shoppers

Source: Oberlo

  • 27.6% of the world’s population shops online. (2.14 out of 7.74 billion people)
  • Consumers are spending more time online as a result of the pandemic and new participants are learning their way around the digital commerce landscape with the help of social commerce and increasingly frictionless discovery to checkout experiences.


millennial lifetime milestones

Source: Global Web Index

  • The pandemic has led to 7% of millennials (ages 24-37) losing their jobs and could likely have a lasting impact on lifetime milestones like homeownership and retirement.
  • Dubbed “The Recessionals,” millennials have been set back by major economic crises during major earning years throughout their lifetime stimying growth opportunities.


Personalization Boosts Spending

Source: BCG

  • “When the shopping experience was highly personalized, customers indicated that they were 110% more likely to add additional items to their baskets and 40% more likely to spend more than they had planned.” – BCG
  • Use automation to scale personalization efforts by leveraging customer data to identify inflection points in the individual customer journey for outreach and engagement.

Business Trends


Amazon traffic increases year-over-year

Source: Digital Commerce 360

  • Amazon has seen near double-digit traffic growth YoY for each month in 2020 and January 2021.
  • The world’s largest eCommerce retailer continues to grow as the pandemic left them perfectly positioned to supply the needs of consumers left with fewer options and more time at home.
  • 62% of Amazon sellers reported an increase in profits in 2020 as shoppers flock to the platform. – JungleScout

YouTube Ad Revenue


  • YouTube ad revenue grew nearly 46% in Q4 2020 to $6.89 billion by essentially doubling the number of advertisers on the platform.
  • Advertisers have been drawn to YouTubes eCommerce functionality and its TrueView ad format, which gives brands more control over where, when, and how their ads are shown.

Marketing Disruptions (UK)

challenges for UK marketers 2021

Source: Adobe

  • A survey of marketers in the UK reports that the biggest challenge in 2021 is the sunsetting of third-party cookies as internet platforms endeavor to increase user privacy.
  • This puts the burden on brands and marketers to build more trust with their target audience in order to collect first-party data.