Meet the MENA Effie Thought-Leadership Program's speakers.
The pandemic has turned life and business upside down, challenged plans, and tested processes. In this context, companies need to seriously raise their game to be effective and succeed. The MENA Effie Thought-Leadership Program is your chance to Rise and Shine. Two mornings of sessions that will show you how to improve your performance and impress the Effie jury.
Leading up to the event organized by Mediaquest on May 18-19, Communicate presents a series of interviews with the speakers on what effectiveness in marketing means in 2021.
Today, meet Alejandro Fischer, Regional Head of Strategy at OMD. Alejandro will lead a fishbowl chat around "Agility and adaptability: why being able to adapt to disruption is key to be future-ready."
What has the pandemic changed in terms of marketing effectiveness?
The most significant change is that it has forced marketers to evaluate, adapt, and react faster. All of a sudden, strategic marketing priorities, like digital transformation, went from necessary to essential. Because of the level of disruption that consumers experienced, their shift in needs, preferences, and behaviors, access to fast and actionable data, became crucial to navigate and adapt to these changes. Whether we look at brands that doubled down on their e-commerce strategies, that pivoted into new products and services, or primed consumers to capture future pent-up demand, companies with the ability to access fast data fared better and were, in turn, more effective.
What has been a salient case of creativity and effectiveness in the last year?
One of my favorite campaigns from last year is the work we developed for Clorox. Unsurprisingly, the pandemic catapulted the disinfection category into one of its most competitive phases ever; rather than purely focusing on product superiority on sales, the team saw this as an opportunity to increase brand love by creating an unexpected, meaningful connection with its audience. When binge-eating, binge-watching, and binge-sleeping become the new normal, the brand decided to encourage users to get active in their homes and created a series of challenges under the #cloroxworkouts umbrella, combining Tik Tok and influencers. Surprising and proactive, the campaign successfully increased brand love and succeeded at generating qualitative reach at a time of increased competitive activity.
In a crisis, who reaps the biggest rewards and why: the brave or the cautious?
If we look at advertising expenditure throughout the pandemic, it has been highly volatile; but what history has shown us repeatedly is that being overly cautious during crises results in short-term gain and long-term pain. Our view is that this is a time for bravery and to bet big, overcoming the temptation of devolving to short-term tactics. Small bets are much riskier than big bets because small bets rarely break through in a hypercompetitive media environment. Big ideas are much more likely to break through and reinforce brand values. It's the strong brands that will remain; if we look at 2008, data indicates that strong brands recovered nine times faster from the financial crisis
What does the new normal mean to you?
Due to Covid, we have covered in days consumer shifts that would have taken decades, and the new normal will continue to reflect that. To me, the "New Normal" means embracing that what is new today will be out of date tomorrow. It's ensuring we have the right mindset to understand how change impacts us and the ones around us, and to act upon these learnings.
How prepared were you for the unexpected and how have you adapted to uncertainty?
More prepared than what I initially anticipated. Our ability to transition to WFH, collaborate, and deliver timely insights and planning to clients meant minimal disruptions to our day-to-day. We had to be incredibly reactive at identifying the various needs of our clients who had completely different business realities; for some, their business was on hold, others were thriving, and we had limited time to assess and provide solutions. We focused (and continue to focus) on the strength of our process and platform to ensure we capture the right signals and deliver strategically. With our proprietary solutions as our backbone, we created new tools specifically designed to navigate uncertainty, such as the OMD Fast Start dashboard to ensure minimum lag between real-time market conditions like lockdowns and business signals like demand surges or increases in competitive activity. We used these tools to support how we adapted our client's communications to mitigate risk and maximize business results.
Some argue that limited budgets enhance creativity. What do you think 2021's creative output will be like?
Regardless of the budget, now is not the time to blend in. Distinction has always been important in creative and the opportunities to be distinctive in media have never been richer. Make it easy for people to remember and value brands in times of hardship. That's why I believe the output in 2021 will be bolder than what we've seen in previous years.
What are the top three skills the marketer of the future will need?
Agility. The pandemic was an accelerator but even in the new normal, the speed of change won't slow down and marketers will have to be faster than ever to adapt and cut through.
Analytical capabilities, as navigating through different sources of data becomes a crucial element of the marketing day-to-day.E
Empathy, putting ourselves in the shoes of our customers and creating deep connections with our audiences.
Ultimately this will be how we bridge the gaps between technology, creativity, and drive better business results
To attend the MENA Effie Thought-Leadership Program, book your tailored experience now.