The coronavirus also known as COVID-19 has impacted on the way individuals live and overall business operations. The economic impact of the virus has threatened the sustainability of many businesses. There is going to be a new normal, new consumer behaviour, a negative effect on the overall operations of the business and in all honesty, the year 2020 will not be business as usual.
For a marketing agency operating during the pandemic, the questions are numerous. Currently, majority of the work force are working from home, and even the intermittent ease of the lockdown has been met with a lot of mixed reactions. Everything is taking a new shape and we are in an adaptive phase. Marketing campaigns will be done differently, and it is the duty of an agency to advise its clients on the way forward, propose the right strategies that can portray the brand as accountable, reliable and responsible.
Survival is the most paramount question in a time like this. Accepting this change, we will be sharing five major ways a marketing agency could thrive now and beyond COVID-19?
1. Using Digital Media: Take ownership of the online space. Majority of individuals are currently home and more than ever surfing through the various online platforms. As a marketing agency you can propose plans and campaigns that fuse excitement via online platforms such as using the zoom network, social media apps etc. Be creative, think wide and be different.
Go online for majority of offline activities. Offer to help your clients adapt and transition to using the online platforms.
2. Offer Information, build a Community: Having an audience base even as a marketing agency is a good investment. With a lot of time on our hands, we could cultivate an audience, gather followers, generate leads, and data which can be sold to clients as a form of revenue generation both short and long term. There is an opportunity that you could own and organize online and offline events long term with the right audience.
Provide the new community with opinions and strategies, answer questions and expand the company portfolio. By doing this, even after COVID-19, the agency will be a name on the lips of many resulting to brand loyalty.
Do not forget to be highly creative, share information, host meetings on prevailing issues, and engage individuals better. We have all the time now. Let people see you through your actions, witness your management style, experience your business during this period. Your clients and their customers will love you for being more than an agency but also as a friend and guide.
3. Team Up with Other Agencies: Staying separately yet building together. A marketing agency should not be alone at this time, encourage your employees to reach out to their friends in other agencies to acquire more information on coping during this era.
As top management in agencies liaises with one another, the employees also share their thoughts which can generally help in the making and directing of strategic decisions.
Other agency individuals can help your agency see through different angles, in return you can influence them with your thoughts and opinions.
4. Give Added Value: While submitting proposals is good, a much more proactive step will be collaborating with a brand to provide incentives and special offers. Showcase a different business personality, a compassionate, empathetic and sympathetic personality. Such gifts could range from internet data, branded face masks, hand sanitizers etc.
5. Identify and Fix Business Gaps; New Opportunities: There are funnels and areas of constraints that have impacted negatively on profit-making of business over the years that you have not been able to figure out. The areas could be in operations, client service, production, logistics, financials etc. This COVID-19 period is a time-availing avenue for marketing agencies to identify these areas of waste, look through bottlenecks and think of ways to reduce and even eliminate them.
Discuss with your employees, form small teams among them and task them with the onus of providing strategies with which the agency can survive and thrive. Provide surveys, questionnaires that can help identify the loopholes in the organization and fix them.
Re-evaluate your business strategies and overall ideas that can be implemented Post-COVID-19. Adopting this approach will not only make your employees adequately involved, their minds will be engaged positively.
In addition to doing all the above, do not forget to keep in touch with clients as this is very essential. Top management of agencies should do well to send kind emails to their clients, focus should not just be about getting briefs and submitting proposals but writing sincerely to enquire about their welfare, physical and mental state of health.
Try to remain top of mind just the way you encourage top of mind for the brands you work with.
The future after COVID-19 will be different prior to COVID-19. Do your best and remain positive.
Brandlife Limited is a marketing services agency committed to delivering experiences that make life easier for our clients and more enjoyable for consumers in Africa.