What was your standout learning from Lockdown?
KH: I reflected on what we had at HGB, and what we needed to have, and the best, quickest and smartest way to implement it. It emphasised the importance of planning – even on the fly. Times changed quickly – day-to-day and hour-to-hour – so as a business, we had to move our team to working remotely quickly.
JGB: Our team is awesome! Even when we weren’t in the same location, we could see when each other needed extra time on the phone (or Teams), so I always felt connected. A group of strangers working together wouldn’t have had that synergy. Our team has camaraderie and a sense of belonging, and it is a deeper connection that unites.
What was the most important way HGB adapted to the complete change of scenery?
JGB: In a physical office environment, you connect (whether you want to or not). Our Teams chats were going around multiple topics. There is often humour in the office and our team was quick to develop a Covid Survival channel to keep the laughter, banter, and good vibes going.
KH: Communication was key. We kept in touch with our team daily meet via Teams (at 10.03am as per our normal day), regularly talked one-on-one with each of our team members and wrote some long, more-official-looking communications. There were a couple of very hard decisions to make along the way (and we didn’t like them) but it meant we could keep operating.
Where do you see marketing heading in the future?
JGB: The nature of business is changing. I believe the flexible working environment will continue through the business community. Why invest in a physical premise when you can work in shared spaces and come together as needed?
KH: I think Lockdown created a new normal in terms of less human interaction. By default, this is going to push us even further into a digital environment. There are positives and negatives to this, but it does mean some sectors are going to need to rethink their marketing and sales strategies.
JGB: Marketing will become more important, especially as borders are closed. People cannot get in front of their international prospects, so professionally-presented marketing material and information will be needed to supplement or replace a person.
KH: The impact on our exporters is going to be great. They can’t meet with their prospects or showcase their products. They need to create new strategies for digital lead capture and prospect / client nurture. There are tools to dust off and put to use, and creative ways to make them stand out.
JGB: Digital continues to be on top. When newspapers cannot be published, movie theatres are closed, and people are not driving around in their vehicle listening to the radio, it makes you realise that when it comes to connecting with your potential audiences, online really is king (or queen).
What’s the number one behaviour all marketing agencies should be adopting to excel in the future?
JGB: Hire people who see and understand that your values are pillars of behaviour (not just wall art). This way, wherever the team is working, or whatever they are working on, the same rules of conduct will apply.
KH: Quality over quantity. Content dumping is annoying – make it worthwhile, something people want to know, something that adds value to their lives, rather than content for content’s sake.
JGB: This is an ideal time to buy marketing resource and knowledge from a well-equipped partner, as opposed to needing a jack of all trades (master of none) in-house, or a large-scale, in-house team. $100,000 per annum can buy you a lot of quality work from a marketing, design, and digital partner like HGB.