In the past three months the world has been turned upside-down and inside-out. Only now there is some light illuminating a path back to normality, or a possibly a new normal. When the lockdown commenced in March this year, we immediately decided to run a series of polls to check in with the industry on what was happening and where people were thinking. The results of these polls, with marketers and advertisers and their agencies and marketing suppliers, make fascinating reading. The impact of COVID-19 will be felt for many years to come, but the immediate reaction and the ability of people to adapt is fascinating.
So please take the time to read the poll results here as we look at three topics: 1. The impact on pitching; 2. The impact on spend; 3. The impact on ways of working. It is testament to the optimism, ingenuity and determination of the people in the marketing, media and advertising industry that we were able to adapt to the immediate reality of COVID-19. Now we need to apply those same strengths to forging the way forward to a long-term, sustainable recovery.
IMPACT ON PITCHING (March)
COVID-19 is having a huge impact on people and businesses globally. To move beyond opinion, we made the decision to commission the first of our surveys to take the pulse of the marketing and advertising sector in March, but even that feels like another time – one just around the first round of enforced shut-downs and increased social distancing.
This survey and the results focused on the impact on agency search and selection, or pitching, from both a marketer and an agency perspective. The results, presented here, provided some really interesting findings around how we’re trying to adapt as an industry, the differences between marketers and agencies, and how far we’ve already travelled.
It’s not news that marketing spend is being reduced fast at the moment. It would be news if it weren’t. Everyone in the industry is feeling the pain and worry of that. And there is no shortage of opinion pieces and calls for marketers to zig when the world zags, build brands in times of trouble – you know the drill.
We’re running these surveys so that we get evidence – on the way down, at the bottom and on the way up. No-one has been through a cycle like this – because there hasn’t been a cycle like this one before. Predictions are everywhere. Actual evidence is scarce.
Weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted the way we all work, we asked for feedback on the current ways people were working within the lockdown provisions and the impact it was having. There continues to be a lot of advice out there on remote working and speculation and anecdotal feedback around on this topic, but we wanted to know how people are finding the experience.
This third and final survey and the results focused on how the industry is adapting to remote working from both a marketer and an agency perspective. The results, presented here, provided some really interesting findings around how we’re trying to adapt as individuals, the challenges people were facing, and the lessons and insights people were discovering in lockdown.