The new normals in a world where Covid-19, unfortunately, is becoming a part of our life will bring about many changes in the way businesses will be conducted, and more importantly, the way we live our life.
The nation-wide lockdown is slowly being lifted across orange and green zones and life is slowly crawling back to a new-normalcy. Businesses and brands are now are making their way back into the business; planning their communication plans for a new world post the covid-19 lockdown, keeping a note of some of the new buzz words such as ‘social distancing’, ‘work from home’ and the latest one; ‘atmanirbhar’.
In this story of Medianews4u’s new brand series, Back to Business, we spoke to Sandiip Kapur, Founder & President of Promodome Group
How are you coping up with the impact of Covid-19 on your brand & the Organisation? How effectively have you used the lock-down period?
Advertising remains one of the most affected industries since the onset of the pandemic due to severe budget cuts called by the clients. We too have faced our share of the brunt as several of our clients have initiated budgetary slashes due to the pandemic. Our expansive and diligent 360-degree nature of operations that encompasses not only print, TV and radio advertising but also the digital ad vista ensured that we manage to keep our boat afloat and retain more than 50% of the pre-COVID business even in the face of the storm, unlike those agencies that were active only in print and TV/radio. Our specialized foray into the digital advertising realm, which is now the foremost marketing dimension in a post-COVID world turned out be our saving grace. On a personal note, I effectively optimized the lockdown in observing a well-disciplined lifestyle that involved taking regular walks, yoga sessions, and meditation practices that has helped me soothe my senses and collect my thoughts while keeping my body fit.
The quest for a solution to a particular crisis helps invent new business opportunities and sometimes leads to a revision of existing business models … What sort of innovation has or will the Covid-19 pandemic bring to your brand & industry?
It is indeed true that the quest for a solution to a particular crisis helps invent new business opportunities and sometimes leads to a revision of existing business models. With respect to our industry in the coming times, digital modes of advertisement and marketing will emerge as the primary sources of revenue and is something which must be optimized by all the relevant industry players. We as an ad agency had the remarkable foresight to traverse into digital advertising even before the pandemic struck, but now with the widespread shift in the modes of consumer communication, we plan to focus largely on enhancing our digital footprint to strike a chord with our tech-savvy audiences. This involves hiring personnel that enjoy a vibrant tech-enriched background and investing in the latest digital advertisement and marketing solutions architecture to scale the various digital channels of communication such as social media, OTT platforms, etc.
While some parts of the country have become Covid-19 free, cities like Mumbai and Delhi are still in a lock-down situation. How are you planning to resume business across cities that are not in the Red?
Promodome as a premier ad agency enjoys clientele not just within India but across the globe. Creating ad campaigns for several of our overseas clients was a challenge we successfully managed to overcome, thanks to our reliance on the online pathways of digital advertising and content-creation. Now coming back to our country, as the major metropolitan cities like Delhi and Mumbai are experiencing an increasing in COVID-related cases, we can witness the peak of the pandemic shifting gradually to the various tier-1, tier-2, and tier-3 cities such as Goa, Pune etc. Therefore, for a majority of our clients who have a pan-India presence, an extensive reprisal of their advertorial campaigns and ambitions needs a thorough reassessment, which indicates that advertising via conventional modes can only be prolonged after a gap of three to four months. Until the passing of the contagion peak, the only plausible medium of conducting ad campaigns for various brands across the country is digital advertizing.
What is be your communication strategy post the opening of the lock-down? What will be the objective of this strategy?
Our post lockdown communication strategy would majorly focus around the various pathways of digital advertising including social networking and media, digital marketing, video marketing, OTT marketing and other emergent avenues. These are where the consumer focus lies in the post-pandemic world.
How did you keep the morale of the employees during this lockdown period? On a personal note, what kept you positive?
While the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic heralded a time of great turbulence and upheaval, we made sure that our employees do not feel dejected. We worked with utmost productivity and passion to rise above the challenge. While we did conclude some necessary budget slashes in the form of income cuts but only for those who were earning well and had been a part of our organization for a long time. For those recently hired, we did not bring into effect any monetary reductions of any sort. Moreover, I continuously kept reminding myself and my employees that we are fortunate enough to be in a more fortunate station of life as there were several instances of various companies and agencies that shut down operations within our industry alone due to the crippling effect of the pandemic. It allowed us to reflect on the fact that they were in far more rough waters as compared to us and this helped instill a sense of empathy and humility in all of us. On a personal level, I kept myself motivated by being positive and affirming to the fact that we will cover up the lost ground by the advent of financial year-2021. Even if we manage to resurrect 60-70% of pre-COVID business revenue and I wholeheartedly believe that we will, it would be nothing short of an incredible feat.
What are some of the post-lockdown business strategies that you are using to bring the business back on track or at least get it in the right direction?
Our post-lockdown business strategy plan revolves around aggressively carving out our own marketing campaign that involves creating a new and vibrant website, revamping our old identity to suit current business dynamics. We also envision on forging a brand-new campaign for our brand by approaching various targeted audiences through affable channels such as Youtube and Linkedin in a bid to gain new clients.
Can you elaborate on the overview of your industry?
We envisage our industry to deal with a neck-to-neck struggle amid the dire effects of the pandemic for at least the next two financial years. The future is uncertain as it is replete with numerous hurdles, and anyone who is able to clock in 60-70% of their pre-COVID business should be considered hugely successful. A complete and comprehensive transition to the latest channels of digital advertisement is the vital need of the hour and must be complied by all industry players.