Using Market Intelligence to Innovate During a Pandemic 

Having the right consumer and market intelligence that you can trust to help your brand pivot is critical, particularly when it comes to innovating during a pandemic.

Just as the virus hit, one entrepreneur was able to pivot and capture an emerging market, while helping the world – and others can do the same with the help of market intelligence, as we’ll explore below, including:

  • Staying ahead of the curve capturing innovative ideas with market intelligence
  • How mask filters are driving conversation and who is leading currently
  • Consistent monitoring of consumer sentiment and opinions for brand success

And these stats speak to the need for market intelligence – right now, more than ever:

  • The PPE Market is expected to top 80B by 2026 – causing companies everywhere to shift gears
  • 76% of enterprises reported having to innovate to stay current
  • The global HEPA filter market is expected to grow to around 455 million U.S. dollars by 2025 – another signal that demand for filters, masks and PPE is still evolving

guide to media and market intelligence

Innovating Ahead of the Curve

24-year-old Dakota Hendrickson pivoted mid-launch in his nanofiber HVAC air filter startup, Filti. Instead of charging ahead as planned, he focused his attention on filters for facemasks. Within 45 days he sold $2M dollars worth. How? He understood what people needed before the rest of the world knew. And marketing intelligence does this for brands every day.

From 3D-printed masks to school air filters – the conversation around filters is huge. And they all point to the investment in PPE since Covid-19 became prevalent.


Companies investing in the PPE market are smart as it’s expected to top $80 billion by 2026, up from $50 billion in 2019.

It’s not enough however to only see what’s trending in the media. For a well-rounded view, you’ll need social media monitoring as well to make sure that your next product hits consumers right between the eyes and makes a lasting impression. And yes, you need to do that right now, as online is more competitive than ever.

Social media listening shows us what Dakota Hendrickson could have observed. We see sentiment toward masks and mask filters is relatively positive. Both areas provide direction on the do’s and don’ts (from the positive and negative conversation) and can be explored by clicking on them to understand what’s driving the sentiment in each.


Obviously, not everyone is on board. However current events combined with positive sentiment seems to signal that face masks may be here to stay. And brands are taking notice and bringing their ‘A’ game to the PPE market. In an equally telling turn, mask filter innovations are on the rise.

Mask Filter Innovations & Market Intelligence

Earlier in the year, the need for PPE caused many companies to reinvent themselves for the greater good, offering PPE to the masses of consumers and even hospitals. Some were uniquely ready to pivot and Apple – always ahead of innovation was among them.

Apple did its fair share of research to make sure they had the right materials for filtration. And they took into consideration those who are deaf, or hard of hearing, creating a second mask that is clear for lip reading purposes. They knew where to look, and marketing intelligence takes the mystery out of their fortune teller capabilities.

Below, we’ve created tags within our search, and see top trends around our filtration friend, the mask:


Along the right, are segments separated by color, and along the bottom are tags created to organize and define the different types of filters discussed. For example, in Battery Powered, LG’s Air Purifier Mask has the largest hold.

And why wouldn’t it be? It’s big news. It’s designed to make breathing easier for those wearing masks all day, such as nurses and other caregivers. And who is riding alongside the likes of Apple and LG? Our company view, below, explores top mentions.

guide to media and market intelligence

Company Dataset Offers Additional Context

Honeywell has a voice in several segments, as does Google:


The bar chart shows that adaptability is the name of the game. In fact, 76% of companies reported the adopted and innovated in response to the pandemic.

One such innovation was Pneumask. It combines a snorkel mask modified with a 3D printed ventilation port and medical-grade filter to help people breathe safely. They were keeping up with what’s new and who had pioneering ideas and along came COVID-19. Monitoring a market for every day shifts can be tricky, even with a pandemic afoot – but social media monitoring combined with marketing intelligence can keep any brand ahead of the unexpected, even beyond the weirdness of 2020.

Social Monitoring to Innovate

Monitoring trending conversations is vital. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that. And below, our scatterplot reveals top discussions surrounding masks, along with which areas are receiving the highest social engagement. Masks with filters – especially those that kill coronavirus, are trending. And masks with valves, well – the thought is that they are actually useless. That’s important intel if you’re planning a new mask offering, as there may be other options deemed useless, or even harmful:


And then social engagement is critical to deciding on where to focus efforts, as something may get lots of press yet not resonate with consumers. Also, interest can be fleeting. So, understanding when something is being talked is crucial.


Below, our timeline dissects topics and reveals when they were trending and whether they still are. At the beginning of September, LG battery-powered mask was overwhelming the conversation, but right now it’s nowhere to be seen. Instead, we see the Home Purifier Systems segment growing steadily. This shift could be indicative of masks making consumers more conscious of the air quality in their home environment. Or just that they’re staying home more and value that safety:


Regardless of why, the global HEPA filter market is expected to grow to around 455 million U.S. dollars by 2025. And social media monitoring shows us a good bit there – from both an overarching market and specific company standpoint.

Using Market Intelligence to Identify Influencers

For example, Winix True would be interested to know that this person reviewing their product (below) is ecstatic about their purchase. And with 2,850,136 unique visitors a day, this review has a lot of sway with consumers. This demonstrates the need for powerful marketing intelligence with social media monitoring to help your company identify influencers and maintain brand health. Had this review been negative, a brand could have a PR crisis on hand. But, with the right tools you can meet that crisis head on, and in a timely fashion before it becomes unmanageable.


Consistent social media monitoring and marketing intelligence should be at the core of any successful business. And it needs to read between the lines and understand sentiment, correctly sorting them into the right boxes. Reach out for a demo and let us show you our best-in-class solution in action!

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