It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives, and in many ways, the changes will be permanent. The idea that this is a fixed moment in time that is abnormal, and that we will return to normal, has ceased to be the prevailing mindset. Every sector of life has had to quickly evolve, and marcom is certainly no exception.
As we have touched upon in previous marcom issues, marketing and communications professionals are adept at pivoting, at changing with the times, and being speedy in doing so. It is part of the job. Therefore, the effects of the pandemic have been felt by the marcom industry in ways that are similar to all digitally savvy businesses — much is the same, with the exception of managing in-house operations from afar, and learning how to keep clients happy without in-person meetings. What is specific to this industry, however, is the need to figure out how to counsel clients with their own pandemic responses. What is the right advertising strategy, for instance, during such unprecedented times?
One thing is for sure, since the March 2020 quarantine, we’ve gone even more digital as a society, implementing virtual, cloud-based software for a host of our everyday needs, especially our communications. Even the most experienced marcom professionals are learning new technology now. Local marcom icon Mary Fisher always speaks with a voice of clarity and simplistic candor: “I love technology, but I still have a lot to learn. I like watching the tutorials.”
In step with the time, our annual marcom roundtable discussion was conducted by email this year, and we talked with four local marcom gurus about what we’ve dubbed “quarantine marketing” (it has a nice ring). Here’s how they’re approaching things.