17th March 2020.
We reached the office and there was a hand sanitiser in place. Everyone was talking about how coronavirus will sweep India if we don’t take immediate measures.
We did our chores for the day post which we were contemplating about initiating work from home starting next week. However, after 2 hours of post reaching home and understanding of how big COVID-19 can become,
we put the below message on our core WhatsApp Group.
“[9:17 PM, 3/17/2020] Pulkit Dubey: Hi Team,
We are doing work from home from tomorrow till 31st March.
We will get on a call tomorrow morning first thing at 10 AM to discuss all tasks and will take them up for the day.
we will also do a call and update check at around 7 PM on all tasks”
It’s been over 2 months now and we have no plans to work from the office any time soon.
I’m sure if you’re a company owner or an employee you would know how I feel.
Impact of COVID-19 on our Business
As a performance marketing agency, our success is directly related to our client’s business’ success.
This is the primary reason COVID19 has impacted all marketing agencies in a different way.
Some of our partner agencies working on F&B & Travel portfolios have taken a huge hit, while some working on education and gaming have seen unprecedented growth.
For us, it has been a bittersweet journey. Our entire F&B portfolio has been shut for the past 2 months but our education and eCommerce portfolio has observed growth.
We have not opted for any salary cuts/delays for our employees during the unpredictable phase. Though, we have delayed performance reviews by a quarter.
It is indeed a tough time for the growing marketing agencies but it is also an opportunity for them to reflect on their way of working.
It is a test of their skill to come up with a foolproof plan for their own selves this time.
We’re scared and pumped at the same time. And, I’m sure we’ll come out of this as a stronger and much more responsible performance marketeers.
Impact of COVID-19 on our team’s productivity
For the first month work went on as usual and as some of our clients dropped out, we started focusing on some of our brand-related tasks, like redesigning our website. However, we started seeing a dip in morale on our morning and evening catching up calls.
We quickly addressed this issue and adapted instantly for better productivity and a healthier ecosystem.
I’m listing down 3 things in particular which have been the key driver to our team’s productivity.
- Switching On Cameras
- Each one of us has to switch on their cameras on daily catch up calls. This helps in sparking better communication, attentiveness and accountability.
- Sharing Beyond Work
- Once a week, we make an effort to talk about our personal lives and not work on our daily calls.
- Offering Flexibility and Ownership
- Our key focus for operating remotely has been to offer flexibility and ownership to our employees. As everyone had to cook their own food and had their own stuff to take care of during work hours having the flexibility to complete the tasks and accountability to finish them has been a key to our team motivation.
Plan to live and evolve with COVID-19
COVID-19 has brought the era of uncertainty for all businesses.
We believe that it is also helping with enhancing digital penetration in the market and changing the way people communicate and interact with their devices.
This opens up a big opportunity for all businesses to adapt and evolve to serve the needs of the evolved customer.
We have dedicated ourselves to work on evolving ourselves to offer brands with advertising solutions. Some of the key steps include
- Experiment with interactive augmented reality experience for brands using Spark AR. Key integration with Facebook allows easier implementation
- Focus on building brand interactions by adding interactive elements in Ads. Instagram Story Poll Ads have shown good results
- Working with brands on their digital strategy for staying relevant and add value. Things like live webinars & events has worked well to build consideration among the target audience.
- Utilising key partnerships with Facebook, Google & LinkedIn to offer growth assistance to startups and NGOs striving to create a change in the society.
- Building our company's website and social media accounts. It's more important now than ever.
It is a difficult time for most of us but I’m certain that with the right mindset and perseverance, all of us will find opportunities to evolve and grow.
Keep a look out my friend & all the best :)