As we progress, it’s important to adapt your strategy, organization, and communication.
If you own a workplace or are with a workplace, you’re probably wondering how things will change thanks to COVID-19. I’ve spent a good amount of time thinking about this and here is what I predict will happen.
- Strategy with change
Everything a digital marketing agency does start with their strategy, so I feel it’s important we address this first.
How it will change
There are clear changes to provide and demand online. The product-market fit has also been modified for nearly every category on some level thanks to the ripple effect of COVID-19. Because of this, agencies are going to have to look at themselves and their clients through the following lenses:
- How much has the need of the customer base changed?
- How to tackle the budget crunch?
- Are they still a good customer target?
- Should they target a different customer profile?
Agencies got to check out their own product-market fit with which of their customers. This will be a serious exercise through the remainder of 2020.
How to win
You need to require a better check of your customer and refine your strategy around their new pain points.
For example, we’ve seen searches drop dramatically for “near me” terms and spike for “delivery” terms. We have seen YouTube grow 15% in traffic, while at an equivalent time ad revenue has gone down.
Agencies will have to modify the way they take clients to plug their services and pricing for doing so.
Bonus: Immediate tips for a way digital agencies should update client strategy
- This is the right time to bring their new messaging strategy to the table, their content marketing, and email marketing teams, and TV and radio.
- Bring our new customer-friendly campaigns, help your customers in need — and they need to track the results. If the results are good, they will tout how they helped customers during a follow-up marketing campaign later in 2020.
There is little question that the way organizations operate will change within the short-term thanks to this. Agencies are no exception.
How they will change
With everyone working remotely, you can expect employees and employers to get used to this. Rent is not cheap, and in general, agency profitability is low. In most cases, agencies have net profits between 5% and 30% and rent may be a big part of that cost because the agency often likes to possess a pleasant office to attract staff and wow customers. If customers don’t want to meet in their office and the staff wants to work from home, this means big savings for the company. The best part is that this money often wants to invest more in client success and employee success.
But not having an office brings other large challenges: lack of team/company culture, lack of community, collaboration then far more. I personally love having an office and seeing our team a day. Without one, agency owners may have management challenges and can need processes and accountability, such as:
- Time tracking on clients
- Daily check-ins with team
- Weekly accountability
How to win
This is up to every agency owner to make a decision, and time will tell how important the office is in the future. But for now, a couple of things which will help are video calls including:
- happy hours or chatting for team building instead of work
- department meetings every week
For agencies, client communication is going to change.
How it will change
Clients enjoy lunch, coffee, or happy hour. That all has gone out the window now. This places a necessity for everybody still to point out up to those meetings even as they might in-person, but via video call.
How to win
You need to point out up to the video call dressed fairly nice, with some decent lighting and a background that’s presentable. I believe a pleasant set-up here will go a really great distance with clients. The video call is an experience, so this becomes an entirely new skill set. I expect to see a spike in custom video backgrounds for company employees.
Imagine you’re doing a video call with a staff member at our company. One call has someone during a sweatshirt, hair all tousled, poor lighting, and within the background, you see their laundry everywhere on the ground.
Now imagine that same call with someone who has taken the time to put on a nice shirt, brush their hair, has clear lighting on their face and the background is a whiteboard with the corporate logo thereon in order that they can write things down and brainstorm. During the meeting, you see your digital marketing strategy written down hebdomadally and delivered back to you. This is a completely different experience — one that you’ve grown to expect during a professional environment.
COVID-19 almost seems unreal due to the magnitude of impact it has had on the world, but we will get through it and come out stronger. As we progress, it’s important to adapt — and agencies are not any exception. For agencies, believe your new customer needs, employee needs, and communication strategy. For those who use agencies, web agency owners appreciate you.