I’ve been speaking to a lot of people over the last few weeks, from business owners to global brand leaders. Some have adapted and some are still adapting to the pandemic but the one thing they all have in common is that it’s not only their professional lives that have shifted and been affected but their personal ones as well. Time with family is definitely time well spent, I’m spending more time with my wife and daughter than ever before and it comes with glorious highs and toddler tantrum lows.
People are connecting on a level that they never have before and that’s beautiful, that’s something within the communications industry we need to focus on.
The world is still rotating. People are waking when the sun rises and sleeping when it sets, and businesses are still functioning. It’s our responsibility to support the ones that aren’t or cannot, but how? There have been many acts of kindness on a personal level, especially helping those frontline workers who need it now more than ever. But how do we help the small businesses and agencies that have already suffered? For them, there is no hope. How do we help them and their business owners recover?
Digital has become king, now more than ever before. The fact of the matter is, if someone is not proficient, then they need to partner up with someone who is, or learn and learn quick. This is less of a problem, but actually an important step in the right direction. I’ve been listening to a lot of brands say that the digital elements they’ve been trying to implement within their company for years have been cleared within 8 days. This will naturally help customer engagement to an unprecedented level but it needs to be done right.
Marketing and communications during this time couldn’t be more important for brands. Making sure that they can be heard above the noise without shoving it into people’s faces will be the talking point of most creative agencies and it’s up to them to step up to the mark.
Brands haven’t cut their marketing budgets, I’ve only heard of one brand that’s done that, Coca-Cola, for 6 months, why? Because everyone is drinking it anyway, a saving of just over £3 billion. For the rest of the brands, they need and must, assure their customers that everything is running as normal; you can still order their products and they’re even throwing in free delivery too. Budgets have not been cut, the mindset has, so in order to grow your agency, your mindset must as well.
These past few weeks talking to brand leaders has been reassuring, they want those conversations. Now more than ever they want the solutions to their problems. How do they engage? What must they build? Who can help? Which direction is the right direction for the brand in the long term? How can we collaborate? How can we keep swimming? It is time to start those conversations, plant the seeds for long term growth, build relationships as well as the foundations for clients to come. It’s time to shift focus, innovate and savour that family time.