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March 11, 2021 - By Barron Rosborough

Hawke Media Special Report: March 11, 2021

Yesterday, Congress passed the massive $1.9 trillion stimulus package to support Americans affected by the pandemic and jumpstart the nation’s economic recovery. The American Rescue Plan was passed 220-211 with no House republican support and a single democrat joining them.

The Tax Policy Center predicts the bill will raise incomes for the poorest 20% of Americans by 20% as proponents tout it as one of the most significant pieces of anti-poverty legislation in recent history. With provisions like the “(1) extension of pandemic-related unemployment insurance benefits, (2) extension of higher Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, (3) $1,400 recovery rebate payments, and (4) advance portion of the increased child tax credit,” the Urban Institute projects that these inclusions will leave poverty at 8.7% as opposed to 13.7% without them.

Here are a few of the major hallmarks included in the bill:

  • $1,400 direct payments to Americans phased out over a decreasing scale for those making over $80,000 a year
  • $7.25 billion for PPP loans
  • $25 billion to aid restaurants
  • $128.6 billion to help K-12 schools reopen
  • $19 billion in rental assistance

Consumer Trends

Gender Parity in Advertising

Graphic by Morning Consult

Source: Morning Consult via LinkedIn News

  • Only 29% of US women believe that they are represented accurately in advertising.
  • Representation is an important aspect of equity and brands should be aware of the depictions of groups like women, for example, that struggle with these images.

Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt by year

Source: WalletHub

  • Americans are paying down more credit card debt than at any time in history at $89.2 billion in 2020.
  • While the previous statement holds true, US consumers are expected to add $50 billion in credit card debt to the balance sheets in 2021.


employment percentage change during COVID

Source: New York Times

Business Trends

Mayhem at the Ports

Port of Long Beach Cargo Volumes Fall 11% in June – gCaptain

  • “While air cargo had its period of volatility in the first few months of Covid, tracking a 400% increase between February and April 2020, ocean freight has become a bottleneck in global supply chains, making air cargo a more viable option in some cases,” Freightos Chief Marketing Officer Eytan Buchman said.
  • Consider the continued stress on supply chains caused by the pandemic when dealing with stock and fulfillment issues, especially if you’re importing from China and using ocean freight.

Most Downloaded Apps

global app downloads in Q4 2020

Source: Sensor Tower

  • TikTok was the world’s most downloaded app in every quarter of 2020. However, Zoom outpaced TikTok in the US.
  • “People watch an average of 18 hours of online video per week. (This is an increase of 2 hours per week compared to 12 months ago, and a staggering 7.5-hour increase per week across the past 3 years.)” – Wyzowl

Top Marketing Channels

Marketing channels where customers are most likely to interact with campaigns

Source: Marketo

  • Social media tops other marketing channels as the one where customers are most likely to come into contact with a brand’s message.
  • “Marketo Engage generated 58% more leads via social media than paid search. However, further down the sales cycle, we see that paid search vastly outperforms social media by nearly 200% in terms of the quality of opportunities.” – Marketo