Carl Witton: Chief Growth Officer and Partner at Tangram, looks at where we go from here.
As 2019 drew to a close, all was well in the world of business. Advertising, in particular, was looking in fine shape. What could possibly go wrong?
Then on New Year’s Eve, China reported a cluster of pneumonia type illnesses in Wuhan. The world watched on with detached interest, unaware of what was about to happen. The rest is, of course, part history and part present.
As governments struggled to deal with the acute virility of COVID-19, business was affected like never before. 2020 wore on while social distancing and working from home became the new norm. As Europe and the USA struggled, Asia and Australasia acted swiftly. In Vietnam, a lockdown was called as early as April and showed remarkable success.
It was soon apparent, coronavirus changed advertising, probably for good. Will things ever be the same again?
Has Coronavirus Changed Advertising Forever?
The short answer is yes. As people continue to work from home, advertising companies realized that instead of having one office with a hundred members of staff, they suddenly find themselves with a hundred separate offices that need complete interconnectivity. The move from manual to automated processes has never been more crucial. At Tangram we offer bespoke automated processes that enable the user to work in the multi virtual office world seamlessly.
As coronavirus changed advertising, we began to realize that not everything was doom and gloom. There are some interesting improvements to our work-life balance. Women, for example, are seeing huge advantages. Cindy Gallop respected founder and former chair of the US branch of Bartle Bogle Hegarty said for years that the only thing that would break the circle of “White guys talking to white guys about white guys” would be a complete total and utter disaster. For women working within the ad industry, this appears to be their chance.
When disasters strike, people have to change the way they think. Working from home has given young entrepreneurial women, especially those with young families, an in. Working from home requires different talents and different mindsets. Multi-tasking is paramount, as are flexible working hours. Work routines are no longer governed by airline schedules and travel distances. Meetings that would have taken days out of people’s lives can now be completed in an hour or so. Thanks to automated systems, everything can be monitored, priced, and accounted for.
The Top 5 Challenges Faced by Advertising Agencies
1. Hugely Reduced Budgets
Advertising budgets have been significantly reduced. However, expenses also have, meaning companies that cannot swiftly adapt to whole new budgetary realities will perish.
2. Increased Need for Brand Perception
The whole business world is monitoring how companies respond to the pandemic. It is paramount that we listen to customer concerns and thus protect brand perception. It is important to keep in contact with our customers through the many tools that are available to us.
3. Increased Understanding and Application of Technology
Without fully understanding and utilizing technology, we are doomed. Never before have the Internet, marketing tools, and apps been so important.
4. Rapidly Changing Markets
Not only are we staying at home but our customers are also. Out of home meetings and marketing are becoming obsolete. Tangram could not be better placed. With our team members working remotely across the globe since its inception in 2014, we have always used the cloud as a virtual office. Check out our informative COVID Resource Hub.
5. New Client Acquisition
We must understand that not only is working from home a challenge for us, but it’s also a challenge for our customers. Never before has it been so important for us to build a bridge between client and customer. Tangram specializes in providing access to tools that do exactly what the customer needs at this very trying time.
Into the Future with Optimism
Thankfully vaccines are now being rolled out across the globe. Hopefully, there is light at the end of this very dark tunnel. While the challenges remain real for now, we can at least look forward with a renewed optimism. A recent survey of senior professionals, conducted by Credit Suisse, predicts the short-term growth of advertising at 1%. It also expects challenges to smaller agencies with the threat of consolidation. So yes, coronavirus changed advertising, but in some ways, for the better.
With the right approach, the world of advertising will surely ride this pandemic out. It would appear that the worst is behind us. Switching to automated systems has never been more important or more cost-effective. Businesses are realizing that expensive office rents and business travel are becoming a thing of the past. As Asia and Australasia are doing better than most regions, Tangram is well placed to be at the forefront of technological growth and business development.