By Cary Hatch, CEO, MDB Communications
The 2020 drumbeat of disruption is hopefully behind us now. It appears that the coming year could very well be one of opportunity, brand purpose and igniting a diverse talent base for an entire industry dedicated to topline economic brand growth.
As we begin to assess the 2021 advertising economy, client/agency relationships, procurement, media partnerships, brand loyalty, “in-housing”, agency organizations, inclusion and equality, and more, we may be on the brink of an even healthier outlook than previously imagined.
The requisite learnings coming out of an anxious nine-month pandemic are many. The tough lessons and essential importance of consumer trust, brand and agency operational resilience, ingenuity, and “scrappy” entrepreneurial spirit apply to client, agency and media organizations of all sizes.
As we look to 2021:
-There has been a fundamental shift in the mindset from performance marketing to purpose marketing that has been passionately embraced and revealed in numerous recent global studies. Brands are asking “How do we recover?” What is the messaging that’s important to top line growth and relevant to consumers going forward? Finding that balance of empathy and utility as we find a path that transitions to this next period is delicate. Our charge is to contemplate, every day and in every way what do I want to be remembered for during this pandemic.
– The advertising industry’s standing has improved in the minds of consumers during this period. Advertising now ranks above news. Continuing to support that earned shift and the positive equity we’ve created will likely provide access to future consumer purchasing power and accelerate a recovery as long as we continue to create trustworthy and useful messaging.
-Organizational resilience remains the predicate for future success. This is a crazy business – it has always been that way – but, because of the duration and continuing uncertainly, it’s even more true now. The undeniable resourcefulness of agencies, brands, production companies, media partners and talent support my optimistic outlook. We have necessarily become even more scrappy and agile in pivoting to devise new solutions to “make this work” for everyone. Examples include the streamlining of the creative and production processes while keeping the workforce safe. The speed, efficiency, collaboration and ingenuity of resourcing has helped our industry survive – but it’s also the roadmap for future success.
-The unbridled advantage of a distributed workforce opens the geographic possibilities of more diverse, inclusive, and talented teams. The benefits of our expanded team of data scientists, content providers and social media strategists is just one example of this new paradigm.
Every one of us has been put to the test – some more than others – but several constants remain true: Our innovative response to chaos has continuously been a hallmark of advertising leaders through the decades, creativity thrives in chaos, ingenuity and grit are not optional, and optimism is mandatory.
MDB is a Capitol Communicator sponsor.