While we understand that these are difficult times and the country is already in lockdown 4.0; digital agencies continue to provide their expertise to brands in order to guide their brand communication strategies with responsible messaging at the heart of it.
In our endeavor to bring views that matter and completely different, Medianews4u spoke to Ambika Sharma, Founder & Managing Director, Pulp Strategy to understand the nuances of agency life during lockdown and the introduction of work from home along with the many new normal post the lockdown.
With the agility of a start up and the experience of a stalwart Pulp Strategy is a full-service interactive, digital communications and technology agency, transforming solutions with creative storytelling that translates into effective data-driven marketing initiatives and products at scale in the humanized digital era.
In these testing times how has the agency been shaping up? Which are some of the recent achievements that you would want to highlight?
Times are tough with uncertainty and a transformation of sorts in the way business is approached now. Most of what we took for granted 75 days ago is redundant. Re -calibrating the plans for clients to effectively tackle the changing trends and the marketing landscape. In the lock down we have come together as a team and kept the delivery levels at pre-covid levels, pitched and won. It is a celebration worthy for us internally.
Brands are being a part of the conversation by responsible messaging… What are some of the campaigns that are credited to the agency?
We have worked with all our brands to ensure that communication is responsible and empathetic, however personally I believe that the video series created for our newest NGO client is closest to us because of the speed and efficiency of the process in a WFH environment.
How have you helped the brands change or modify their communication strategy?
There is the short term planning and that differs from brand to brand, essential services are different from others, their effort and contribution during the last 65 days hold its own, Businesses, brands and consumers are having to quickly learn the new way to operate in the coming month and the month’s post. Consumption patterns have been disrupted by the lockdown. Work from home and isolation has resulted in New online behavioral shifts are Beginning to take shape. Some of these patterns are changing for the long term. Our strategy has been to encourage and work with our clients to include these changing behaviors into the communication moving forward.
Being a digital agency how are you making sure that you’re ahead of the curve in these times of uncertainty and crisis?
Data plays an important role, understanding the trends and the impact on the business and communication in marketing is an important and ongoing process, in addition, we have worked to collaborate with partners and platforms to enable the shift to online events, speaker collaborations, improved audience acquisition and using technology to help quicker adaptability as well as improved results.
How will businesses shape up post the lockdown?
Our business is closely aligned to that of our clients, we foresee a change in the splits and orientation of focus in the marketing mix, the activation side will possibly take a hit on for the next two quarters, digital and technology is seeing improved uptake. All businesses will be impacted. Covid-19 is a black swan event, a human tragedy with long-term economic damage. Everything that we knew about the world conducted business 60 days ago has changed. In the next few quarters’ consumer behaviors, changing media consumption, a partial relaxation of restrictions, a drop of discretionary spends and many other factors will define a new normal for more than just purchase patterns. In the next few quarters, we will see Freakonomics at its best. Advertising budgets will be hit even as digital spends increases. There will be erosion for the first 2 quarters.
As a Women leader how are you motivating your team during this crisis?
The lockdown has hit everyone hard, our team is engaged in delivering and work at this time so it helps, the HR team is doing a good job of keeping the clan motivated and engaged a lot of online events, workout sessions daily and evening games are keeping the spirits up, needless to say that folks miss the hustle bustle of life as it was 60 days ago. The team considering the situation is handling the emotional side of the situation really well
Are you seeing a tectonic shift in the way branding and communication will be adapted by clients?
Like I mentioned, we are working on 3 scenarios worst case to best case based on the economic recovery and consumer purchase patterns. We have tweaked certain offerings to ensure we are better able to meet emerging needs for our clients. Once the lockdown opens and commerce resumes there will be a sharp change and we will see innovation rise as trends become clearer, speculation changes to actual line of sight. But yes there is no denying the change and the fact that it is already being adapted to.
Post COVID 19 scenario for the Digital business?
It is the bright side in the possibilities and the future it brings, it’s no longer an option it is a need.