Harris Atkins, CEO North America
Harris Atkins, CEO North America 24 June 2020

Turning new normal into new value

How you can emerge stronger in the post-pandemic world

Harris Atkins, CEO North America
Harris Atkins, CEO North America 24 June 2020
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How you can emerge stronger in the post-pandemic world

As we emerge from lockdown, leaders are assessing what ‘new normal’ will look like in their industry so that they can be ready to bounce back. This is demanding a rethink of marketing strategy.

Budgets may be tighter than ever, but brands cannot afford to fall silent. Because in today’s reality, brand connections matter more than ever. But what can leaders do?

“Though much has changed in the world, the central themes that enable businesses to foster meaningful connections—trust, purpose, human experiences, fusion, participation, agility, and talent—remain the same.” Deloitte.

Pre-COVID, Indicia Worldwide was already undergoing significant change as we prepared to launch a new brand. Pausing the launch just before lockdown was the right thing to do. Not for any cynical reason about the message getting lost but because the landscape has altered exponentially as a result of the crisis. We’ve learned a great deal in the process. Learnings I’d like to share with you now.

Think smart and save

Because change will be inevitable for many brands, now could not be a more pertinent time to reference what Indicia Worldwide means to its clients: creating new value. It’s clear that marketing spend won’t be anything like it was pre-COVID, so being lean is ever more important. The good news for marketers everywhere, is that the potential for cost savings across digital, social, in store, mobile – every channel ­– is enormous, if you’re smart.

Consolidation is key

What’s more, creating new value isn’t just about money. Fragmenting your spend on agency support across multiple channels invariably means your message can become inconsistent or lost. All while tons of money and effort is being spent on giving your in-housers the dubious task of trying to keep each agency on point and on brand.

This isn’t just your time and money that’s being wasted. It’s also dangerous for your brand. As an agency already focused on creating new value before COVID-19 hit, Indicia Worldwide was evolving and becoming leaner and smarter about how we deliver for clients in advance of the pandemic. This couldn’t be more relevant as we emerge out of the crisis.

Same process, same results!

Your existing agencies will tell you to stick to the plan. Stick to the way things have always been done, and it'll be all right. But these agencies are in the midst of this pandemic too, and they’re as panicked about it as the rest of us. The trends that were making their business model a bit shaky in the years up to 2019 have accelerated incredibly in just a few months. There is no room for the old agency model in the new normal. It is fast becoming obsolete. 

As Gartner points out, CMOs need to “optimize the marketing budget” and “look instead for ways to drive efficiency (for example, by looking for overlap in agency or marketing technology contracts), and to reduce or postpone obligations that won’t bring value — and may even come off as tone-deaf — in the current environment.”

 As for the business model that agencyland has established, since forever – the wheels are falling off. We say: right now, why would you not change the way you do things?

Why would you not explore less expensive and more efficient ways of delivering marketing?

The time is now

Now, more than ever before, brands will have to be prepared for new normal. Because when the time comes, they will have a unique opportunity to reset and reposition themselves in the post-pandemic era.

To be successful, brands will have to put creativity, innovation and the multi-channel customer experience front and center. There is no time like now to turn to your marketing partner to help you anticipate and adapt.  

The time for change is now.

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