Rozanne Van der Merwe: Managing Director
In the wise words of Ogilvy Namibia’s Digital & Strategy Director, Kartrionae Alfantica-Ossai, “Unfortunately unlike us, brands can not afford to ‘self isolate’ without facing an untimely death.” We saw the demise of many a brand that did not adapt to the changing times.
27 March 2020 made a mark in Namibian businesses when government enforced a lockdown on the Khomas and Erongo regions. At the drop of a hat, contingency plans surfaced. A foreign term to most. We quickly realised that Ogilvy Namibia, our clients, media partners, suppliers and creative teams would need to rethink strategies & plan for survival.
36 days later with no major casualties having been reported, it was clear we could not enjoy “business as usual” forcing marketers to think outside-the-box. Communication & content strategies would have to be aligned to the crisis or rather to the “business lockdown” that public was and still are facing. This was a challenging time for brands to survive or shut down completely, and it was crucial to “check-in” more frequently with clients. A modest “Are you coping?” or “We are here for you” would do the trick as we sooner discovered.
We can expect a change in consumer & communication habits for the good of brands, much to our own surprise. “The coronavirus pandemic has yet to even peak in the U.S., yet many consumers have already changed their behavior in ways that will have lasting implications for brands,” Adrianne Pasquarelli on 5 Consumer Trends that will endure after Covid-19, and what they mean for marketers.
Suddenly, we are all required to operate outside our comfort zones, do things that we did not necessarily like or thought we would ever consider. Procrastination, being the thief of time as it is, became a thing of the past. Planning took priority. Checking in with family members and catching up with friends became futile. The lockdown has involuntarily forced us to communicate in a different way. Social distancing has now been added to our vocabulary.
We’ve encouraged clients to optimize on Google campaigns & see this period as an opportunity for brands to re-align all effors online. Key to online success is making sure your website is on point and your online campaign is supported with a mix of other traditional mediums as well.
Caroline Duncan transcribes the following best corporate communications practices we can expect and should incorporate in our workplace.
- More mobile oriented communications, to employees and to the public. “The way we work is constantly changing and evolving.”
- Audio content is on the rise
- Increased authenticity
- Increased use of digital tools
- Data-driven decision making
Namibia is patiently waiting to discover the way forward. While we are slowly moving back into what was classified as the norm once, let’s make sure our communications are in support of our target audiences. You’ve had the time to get to know them on a more personal note, now is the time to make it count.