At a time when everyone is trying to look beyond the pandemic called Covid-19, communication needs to be crafted carefully. There resides a chance of either too less talking or more. It is here that agencies play a significant role in hand-holding and telling brands the dos and don’ts of communication. Abhik Santara, director at ^atom talks to BrandWagon Online about how brands need to act and react during such difficult times. (Edited excerpts)
On the art of maintaining a relationship in a turbulent environment – brands and agencies
This is the time when we need each other more than ever. And therefore being forthright and honest will be a very important factor to cement a lasting relationship. It’s important that we empathize, help each other, and be honest about what we propose as business solutions. This is not the time to benefit from the situation, but to benefit from each other.
The other is being fearless. We have to be courageous enough to experiment, test, and learn. Traditional playbooks are gone, and no one knows what are the next great moves.
On the dos and don’ts brands need to follow when communicating with consumers
Brands need to sound less opportunist in their belief, in their actions, and certainly in their communication. Being genuine, responsible, and earnest will go a long way in cementing a deeper brand love.
On the periodicity of the conversation
If there is something worth saying, frequency is not a factor. But jumping on everyday moments, just to have a higher SOV has never been and will never be a great tool to engage consumers. Consumers are watching content more than they ever did, and it is a good opportunity for brands to find a meaningful place in that behaviour.
On the role agencies play in the life of brands and advertisers
This can be the renaissance for agencies who can bring in the hybrid expertise to manage the short term business and long term equity for brands. Advertisers will be under pressure to succeed each day, yet create a sustainable value for its consumers. The classical mainline agencies or the typical digital agencies have to do some serious overhauling to stay relevant. While the need was always felt, most agencies struggled and failed to deliver beyond mere lip service. The crisis has made this the only priority one should have now. Agencies who can bring that nimbleness and understanding of business and consumers will be in a good place under the sun.
On the mantra that agencies and advertisers should follow to beat the Covid-19 blues
We should treat this as a learning opportunity. We are all in the same boat, trying to keep afloat. The old guard has to give way to modern ways and it is a level playfield now. Human beings need a goal and that is the only thing that can keep the spirit high- Setting up new goals, waking up each day with the promise of not giving up, to be fearless once again, and to become the student of time. Those should be good enough motivations to keep one going.