Mumbai: Scenic Communication, a boutique, integrated communications agency has successfully on-boarded 14 new clients, in the midst of market adversity. As a 5-year-old agency, the challenging market scenario had been crucial and the agency navigated these with an agile approach to client servicing and business development that helped them to not only survive the adverse conditions but to emerge stronger. Adding to their already diversified client portfolio, Scenic communication now represents Goavega Software, an IT solutions providing organization, Secure Layer 7, a cyber-security firm, School Diary, a SAAS based Ed-Tech firm, and WeRWellness, a wellness firm co-founded by former South-African cricketer Jonty Rhodes. Each of these firms is significant players in their respective domains and have reached out to Scenic Communication for their specialized and result oriented communication needs – a testimonial to the agencies past success stories and commitment to deliver impactful strategies.
Speaking about the agile business development strategy and the addition of four new clients, Anindita Gupta Co-Founder Scenic Communication said; “The pandemic and the corresponding lockdown brought with it an economic uncertainty at a national and global level. The marketing and communication sector also was impacted, as brands reacted to the economic slowdown by cutting out PR and advertising budgets. This immediately prompted us to re-evaluate our current client engagement and go back to the drawing board, for coming up with a new, relevant business strategy. This approach, coupled with our quality of work, commitment, and ability to deliver in adverse conditions, ability to adapt quickly and go beyond the call of duty, enabled us not only to retain existing clients but also to sign on new ones. This was one of our biggest learnings and certainly an aspect that would be very helpful in times ahead”.
For surviving in a harsh market environment, the necessity of an effective ‘survival’ strategy is an absolute must. Keeping this in mind, Scenic evaluated the economic conditions to thoroughly understand the current market scenario, what that meant for our clients and how we could help. In the pre-COVID period, Scenic’s strategy included targeting international travel boards, international economic boards, expanding our own operations and opening new offices, etc. As a result, the leadership team had been focusing on international brands looking to expand into Indian markets, Indian brands looking to expand overseas, new business alliances with international agencies, as well as smaller projects in India.
With the pandemic, however, all business plans were put on hold and re-evaluated. After studying the new situation, and understanding the uncertain duration of the adverse market conditions, the agency employed two key strategic changes. One, for new business development, it shifted its focus from long term retainer accounts to short term or project-based engagements, which are generally overlooked by agencies. This received a good response as it allowed brands to engage for relevant and specific campaigns, without having to commit to long term retainer fees. And it worked wonders because, after a good experience with the initial engagement, the agency earned the trust and secured a retainer client, whenever they would be ready for a long term engagement which helps us to bag them as retainers. The second shift was that of stepping up to support the existing clients in their hour of need, irrespective of their monetary engagement. The team not only stood with the clients in the need of the hour but also went above and beyond the call of duty, creating value for their business.
Additionally, Scenic’s senior management was instrumental in recognizing the symbiotic relationship with its all-important execution team, who had been working harder than ever from their homes, juggling several personal and professional challenges. With careful hand-holding, close daily and weekly interactions, and supportive policies, the combined effort paid rich dividends in not just retaining clients and adding more business but also building a stronger, close-knit team that is now a family.
The pandemic has tested the resolve of several brands and businesses and under such circumstances, only those having flexibility and the alertness to react to the situation promptly would thrive. Going forward, as the VUCA (Volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) scenario dominates the new normal, the marketing, and communication industry too needs to adopt an agile and client supportive strategy, which can go a long way in helping businesses stay afloat.