Mark McCann reflects on some of the key lessons that marketers and agencies may have learned from the ongoing pandemic.
For many, the toughest leadership test is looming: how to make their business survive in an environment where a vaccine has yet to be fully rolled-out.
The impact of the pandemic was felt by many agencies large and small across the globe. The outbreak has also necessitated an abrupt shift in how marketers manage their business and their brands.
Staying imaginative is the lifeblood of a marketing agency. However, it is hard to judge how agencies contain this imaginative rhythm when we are all working from home and our best practices may not be as effective as they were pre-lockdown.
In saying this, the Covid-19 has also unleashed a revolution in education for marketers, brands and agencies and perhaps they have realised that this is an opportunity to pivot the business. This experience may also have shed light on how brands can stay resilient in these tough times with the right messaging.
Always welcome change
It is unpredictable when a crisis may hit, and when it does many marketers need to be ready to put other marketing strategies – in which they have invested time and money- on hold. Their ability to adapt, refocus and take advantage of new opportunities is a key factor.
Saying goodbye to old marketing plans can be a bitter pill to swallow but sometimes it reveals a marketing agency’s best interest and pushes forward an agency that is known as an entity that addresses peoples concern and is active in acknowledging them.
We witnessed in 2020, not just a crisis, but a stream of crises- a health crisis, a social crisis and of course, an economic crisis. These crises have interfered with every element of life in an unprecedented manner. However, as marketers pivoting towards a solution, bringing people together while staying safely apart and addressing consumer concerns is the way forward.
Focus on digital first
Embracing digital first is by no means a new concept but it is now more important than ever to focus on technology and the tools that will allow you market your brand and reach new and existing customers. People are no longer able to pop to the shops for a browse, instead they are forced to browse the online world. Many of these behaviours will remain in place once the pandemic has passed. This inevitably puts businesses with a strong online presence ahead of the competition.
Even when there is not a crisis, it is extremely important to be authentic, however since the ongoing pandemic more marketers have had a shift on their online presence making consumers support ones that authentically stood out. Your audience can tell you if you are not being authentic about the difficulties of the current situation and will be less interested as a result. Competition for marketers has increased and it is forcing us to innovate, staying ahead of the curve. It is important to reinvent yourself and be creative.
Communication and cooperation are key
It is now more important than ever to check in with your clients and your employees to make sure that we are all overcoming the everyday work struggles of this pandemic. Constantly communicate news about your company, update your website, update your social media pages, create content and show the world that your business is still open in these unforeseen and strange times.
Mark McCann is managing director of Oliver Ireland