Marketers are looking at more data, more often as they try to navigate the unpredictable developments of 2020.

Spirits maker Bacardi Ltd. and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz have turned in part to a dashboard of analytics, for example, that was introduced in May by their media agency, Omnicom Group Inc.’s OMD Worldwide. It pulls in 35 data sources across 30 markets on subjects like media consumption habits, ad rates, consumer sentiment, foot traffic, shopping behaviors, government restrictions put in place to fight the coronavirus pandemic and fluctuations in local Covid-19 cases and mortality rates.

Bacardi used what it found in the dashboard to shift marketing dollars toward its ready-to-drink Bacardi Rum cocktails last summer as stay-at-home restrictions eased and people became more willing to venture outside, according to the company. Bacardi, which spent 65% of its planned media budget in the U.S. to support the product’s launch in May, increased its planned spend to the same percentage in June and July—from as low as 10% of its budget in June and 0% in July…

Hershey Co. is using a platform built by Universal McCann, part of Interpublic Group of Cos., to parse what’s happening across the U.S. as the candy giant ramps up its advertising for the holiday season, according to Charlie Chappell, the company’s head of media.

UM said the platform uses machine learning to predict rising and falling consumer demand across various marketer categories spanning 32 countries, drawing on online search data and other data sets to track factors such as the rate of new, confirmed and recovered Covid-19 cases, local government restrictions, and unemployment and other economic data. In the U.S., UM provides data broken down by state.

“Hersheys is a national advertiser, but there are state-specific implications which will impact the holiday period,” said Huw Griffiths, global chief product officer for Universal McCann.

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