The Focus for Communication Agencies in 2021
Vishaal Shah, Co-Founder, Moe’s Art
India pulling off a stunning win over Australia, in a ground where the latter haven’t lost for 32 years, will be counted as one of the mightiest turnaround victories in the pantheon of incredible series. One could debate over 2005 Ashes, but the Gabba win will top as the greatest overseas win of all time by a Test team. The freewheeling Rishabh Pant, Pujara’s stubborn refusal to buckle and release India’s four-year hold of the Border-Gavaskar trophy buoyed by the swashbuckling approach of Shubman Gill saw an inexperienced India XI sway its way for a superbly unprecedented achievement.
In these extraordinary times, the drama of India’s push for victory is the guide to survive and thrive in 2021. The win which will be the talk of the town for a long time to come is purely based on turning around an unfavourable situation with innovation, uniqueness, and building a cohesive team that has the ability to withstand any challenge. And as all of us around the world embark on our road to recovery there is a lot to take away from the match.
In the past few decades, the communication industry has gone through several radical reinventions. The exponential rise of digital media; strong emphasis on technology-led solutions; the proliferation of data-driven platforms; redundancy of traditional means; growing relevance of direct-to-consumer relationships; evolving consumer perceptions on the social and cultural responsibility of brands; along with huge industry disruptions were already making the effects of change felt.
With a global pandemic in tow came the added demand of catering to a homebound consumer-base whilst managing a remotely placed workforce. A few days into it and we are operating in an ecosystem that is barely recognizable or relatable. In an industry that faces constant, rapid change it is important to relook and redesign to make sense of the reality.
PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST
A company’s success depends on the people who drive the wheels of action. The advancement of technologies has played a key role in enabling companies to adopt a people-centric culture that supports collective business success.
We realized early on that when people feel cared for and valued, they are willing to go the extra mile for the organization. However, the proposition is not as complex as it seems, and neither is it a cakewalk. More than a placeholder in a ‘great places to work’ listicle and making aspirational value statements on websites – it is about taking actionable decisions.
Imbibing humility, empathy, and compassion in leadership expectations, developing employee programs that support growth and well-being, an open-door policy where everyone is heard and respected, and encouraging a leadership mindset that enables them to become more autonomous and empowered.
More than anything it is about deepening the relationship, offering genuine help, and striving to make a real difference to every single person’s life at work.
INNOVATION AND FRESH THINKING
In a digital-first community, it is important for brands to be responsive and iterative, and offer more than advertising. As storytellers it becomes our responsibility to help them define their purpose; and bring it to life through visual and verbal communication, modern marketing that cultivates a wholesome customer experience.
As the current context of things changes and we look towards what’s next – we must focus on repurposing our objectives guided by innovation and fresh thinking.
Now is the time to sum up courage and harness creativity that goes beyond the traditional limitations and constraints. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention and limited resources spark creativity.
Capitalizing on new trends and creating something meaningful which intersects the consumer need with tech possibilities and fills the existing gap is the goal with which we must move ahead.
COLLABORATION AND COMMUNICATION
Manoeuvring through complexities, harnessing creativity, and fostering cooperative solutions have been the core guiding principle of businesses for years now. Now, moving on to the new normal – adopting a collaborative approach is the glue that will bind the industry together. As traditional hierarchical structures become redundant – flexibility is the order of the day.
Collaboration at the individual and organizational level simply recognizes the fact that more can be achieved by working together. It gains a genuine determination to achieve a common objective by sharing knowledge, learnings to create an environment of openness, respect, and trust.
In a world that is constantly evolving into a highly competitive marketplace, businesses stand at an advantage with successful collaborations. If executed effectively it encourages creativity, agility, and resilience in enhancing the ability to adapt and respond to change.
The challenges that we’ve faced over the past year has altered the way businesses operate—regardless of the industry or the country. We’ve all been forced to re-evaluate and re-examine everything. And individually, we’ve been challenged to test each and every business process we’ve established to ensure that it’s still the right decision for the new economy.
That said when it comes to the brand-consumer relationship – we are dealing with more communication channels than ever before. Whether it is television, radio, print, outdoor, or digital media – each medium differs in the way it parses and communicates information. The future lies in unified communications – a set of tools and products that present a constant and unified user-experience across multiple touchpoints.
These focuses are a lens to frame the way ahead for the communication industry. They say that crisis can bring people together and build a spirit of togetherness and endurance, and amidst the chaos – that is the only haven for all of us.