The virtual work infrastructure has given digital marketing agencies the necessary edge to scale up despite the challenges
By Raghav Bagai
The devastating impact of coronavirus has hit every sector and has changed the lives of many, which resulted in businesses and people reach a grinding halt. Well-established companies are also finding it hard to navigate through the pandemic, and digital marketing agencies are no exception. The impact of the pandemic has hit every business, company, and digital agency differently.
For instance, the businesses that had mapped their digital marketing strategies for two to three years got their marketing teams to think creatively and reframe the goals according to the pandemic’s impact. Similarly, many agencies have redefined and polished their existing set of goals and business strategies to make it through the pandemic.
The year 2020 was the year of change for every business. The home isolation and sudden lockdowns sped the adoption of digital technologies. Further, the unexpected onset of the second wave of the pandemic enforced every organization, digital marketing agency, and customer to take up the curve of digital adoption overnight. This has created a bigger space for digital marketing agencies to pilot the client’s initiatives to understand and scale up during the crisis.
To thrive in the pandemic world, many innovative digital marketing agencies have stepped up to shift their work culture leading to massive elevation of digital adoption.
Shifting to a digital/virtual work format
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the way businesses operate and the most efficient step is the adoption of a cloud-based work format. The virtual work infrastructure has given digital marketing agencies the necessary edge to scale up despite the challenges. Considering the pandemic-induced lockdown, agencies can identify different digital work functions and reimagine them without a physical workspace.
Reimagining and reconstructing the minute to major functions digitally can serve as a foundation to an improved and safe operating model. This also helps the agencies to develop a hybrid operating model by leveraging the best of in-person and remote work functions.
Humanising the Brands
Creative Agencies are responsible for crafting the creative communication strategies for the brands out there. With people being confined to their homes, they are spending more time online. Their expectations on the internet are changing and, the brands also need to transform their communication strategies and how they present themselves online, evolve, and boost their online presence. In order to sail successfully through the pandemic, agencies need to humanize the brands while maintaining their core values.
To produce a healthy relationship with customers, brands need to humanize their approach in a way that maximizes engagement and brand relatability. It means cutting through all the cold corporate strategies like simply pushing forward the offerings of the brand be more empathetic towards their audience to have a winning edge over their competition. For instance, in order to be relatable, if a brand caters to GenZ, it has to talk in the language of memes as this target group does not fall for hard-selling techniques.
Transformative change in agency culture
The COVID-19 pandemic is a human health crisis and similarly, employees needs have to be approached from a more understanding angle. Taking care of the team becomes one of the most crucial factors in order to grow through the pandemic and come out stronger. To provide extensive support to the employees and their families, many agencies have come up with initiatives to help them deal with the exacerbating impact of the pandemic. For instance, a few agencies provided financial support in the form of leaves with zero deduction in salary for its COVID-positive employees. Additionally, many agencies included ‘no layoffs’ and released ‘advanced salaries’ specifically for the team members who are fighting the most pressing challenges during the crisis.
Besides this, digital marketing agencies are organizing vaccination drives for their employees & their family members. This practice helps employees come back to the workplace stronger and makes them feel that the agency has their backs. Bringing such changes to agency work culture boost the employees’ emotional well-being and keep them positive during these times.
Understanding the increasing dependency on digital for brands
As the digital landscape continues to transform the marketing landscape, brands, too, understand how they need to adjust their business targets and strategies accordingly. From being just visible on social to using digital to create the business, brands have become more performance-driven and their expectation regarding ROI from digital has gone up during the last year. Agencies need to understand the changing needs and prepare strategies that encompass the same.
The pandemic is not completely going to change the digital marketing scenario. However, some necessary changes will alter the agencies. If these necessary changes are made, agencies would be able to position themselves creatively in the market will be at an advantage. By understanding the client’s objectives, changing times, and employee’s needs, digital marketing agencies can develop a strong brand and navigate the crisis seamlessly.
The author is co-founder of Sociowash. Views expressed are personal.