It’s not very often that we see agencies win clients and business in times of such uncertainty; when most companies are trying their best to get through the massive impact of the pandemic. Mirum India, has not only been winning clients and new businesses but has also announced some senior level appointments during the covid-19 lockdown period.
In a detailed conversation with Medianews4u, Mirum India’s Co-Founder & CEO, Hareesh Tibrewala shared their recipe of winning clients in these tough situations and the various WFH strategies that the agency has been applying to make sure that show goes on.
It has been a while since we did our Leaderspeak, tell us about how the business for Mirum India has been shaping up? What are some recent achievements that you would want to highlight?
Mirum continues to go from strength to strength. We closed 2019 with a good 30% growth in our business.We continue to be the leaders in the marketing automation space and recently launched the Mirum Martech India 2020 report, which was released by WPP Global CEO, Mark Read, when he was in India earlier this year.
Our clients have started trusting us for work beyond digital. We have done TVCs for some clients and print for others, and packaging design and outdoor collaterals for yet another client. It seems almost like a logical extension of the brand relationship. Once you understand the consumer and the brand ethos, then your messaging and communication is the same…digital / TVC/ Print are only carriers of the message.
Just like we have built a great partnership with Salesforce, this year we are going to be invested in building our expertise in the field of Sitecore and Google 360.
Our Health and Wellness vertical is beginning to take shape. We won a whole bunch of awards for work done for our client Sanofi in this space.
Even in times of great uncertainty, Mirum India continues to win accounts across the spectrum… What’s that secret ingredient of your recipe to win clients and businesses?
I think there are two factors.
The first is the clients look upon Mirum as a “Trusted Partner”. We will tell you what is right for you and will handhold you through your digital journey. Mirum occupies the position of a thought leader in the digital space in India…and I think that helps.
The second is that we offer complete 360 end-to-end solutions (media / strategy/ creative/ technology/ social listening / Martech…everything). So our clients believe that once they have started an engagement with Mirum; we can pretty much meet out all their digital requirements.
While Covid-19 has struck all of us very hard… brands are still being a part of the conversation by responsible messaging… Tell us about some of the campaigns that are credited to Mirum?
Obviously in times like these, brands need to be empathetic to the public sentiment. Thus all messaging is around social distancing, staying safe, bringing work-life balance in WFH era and ofcourse optimism.Sharing some work that we have done for brands in the past 4 weeks.
During these hard times how are you keeping up the morale of your teams that are working remotely? How are you making sure about the mental health of employees so that the lockdown doesn’t drive people crazy?
This is the time for over-communication. Our leadership team is doing regular town halls with individual teams.We have a daily activity called “Cocktail Time” where we encourage talented Mirum-ites to showcase their talent via Teams video call. We have had someone do a stand-up comedy, another play a guitar and still another talk about his army life etc. This keeps people engaged and bonded. We also started employee interactions on the lines of “Speed Dating”. Team members from different teams are paired with each to have a conversation and know more about each other. In the process you end up making more friends, and of course everything happens virtually…
How has your experience of working from home been?
Honestly, I am amazed at the quality of work that is coming out. We have been on WFH for about 6 weeks now. We haven’t missed any client deadlines. I am seeing some great creative work happening and also our tech team completely on schedule for all projects.
Our teams are also ideating remotely and have put in place business winning pitches. We have on-boarded new team members virtually and they are now a part of our family. I think it all boils down to responsible and mature team members, who know that the show must go on, and in difficult times we need to work harder and we need to work better.
I cannot tell you how proud I am of the team and how they have managed WFH so well.
Being a digital agency, how are you making sure that you’re ahead of the curve in these times of uncertainty and crisis?
We get a lot of knowledge from our parent company WPP. We are constantly being briefed about how consumers and brands are behaving in different markets and how for example, China – now pretty much out of Covid-19, has seen consumers come back to make purchases. We are able to translate all this domain knowledge in actionable items for our clients.
How have brands changed or modified their communication strategy? And what has been your advice to all your clients?
As I mentioned, right now, most brand communication is around empathy. But as lockdown opens gradually, brands will need to start communicating with their audiences in different markets, with different messages, depending on the situation in that market.
Our global experience shows us that brands that continue engaging with consumers in periods like these are best suited to take advantage when turnaround starts happening. The worst thing to do is to go quiet. A brand does not just represent a functional connection to the consumer. It also represents an emotional connection. And thus in difficult periods, you need to bond emotionally with your consumer, show support, and perform actions that keep the brand relevant to the society.
What has been the impact of Covid-19 on your business and its impact on the ability to generate new business?
This quarter is going to be a bad quarter for everyone, and understandably so. However, we do see mature and strong brands realize that this is the best time to get your mar-tech framework in shape…so that when it becomes business-as-normal, they are best positioned to take advantage of the same.
We also believe that whatever revenues we drop in this quarter, we will make up for it the next half year. We are focussing right now on initiating as many new conversations with prospects as we can and build a strong pipe. Once things start normalizing, we should be able to convert that pipe into revenues.
How will businesses shape up post the lockdown?
Like I said before, Covid has accelerated the need for digital transformation.
I think May and June will still be recovery time for all of us. We should start seeing normalisation of business from July onwards.