We have always believed wholeheartedly in the power of what digital could help businesses achieve since we set up true 16 years ago, but I don’t think any of us could have foreseen the level or pace of adoption of digital, and as a result, the change in how brands and organisations engage and operate with their customers and stakeholders.
None of us foresaw the global pandemic we’ve experienced in the past 9 months. There is no doubt it already has and will continue to change our world and the way we live our lives for the long term.
We are not going to claim this year has been anything other than very challenging. There have been lots of positives in amongst it all, but when all is said and done it’s been bloody tough. For everyone.
The last two IPA quarterly Bellweather studies through this period showed just how low marketers' confidence has sunk through this period alongside the largest downturn in marketing spend since the study began 20 years ago. Over 80% of brands have reported a significant downturn in trading, and we’re now really seeing the effect of this downturn in job losses and a 5-fold increase in businesses entering into administration.
So, all hope is lost and we might as well all just pack up and go home right? Well, no. Because with all of these challenges comes opportunity.
Traditional business models are being disrupted at a rate previously unheard of. Many grocery, shopper, hospitality and manufacturer brands are taking steps into direct to consumer offers for the first time. As TechUK’s Deputy CEO; Anthony Walker recently commented, ‘We’ve seen 2 years of digital transformation happening in the space of 2 weeks.’
“We’ve seen 2 years of digital transformation happening in the space of 2 weeks.”Anthony Walker, Deputy CEO, TechUK
No longer is digital transformation just a boardroom buzzword, it’s happening, at scale and at pace. Covid has been a catalyst to accelerate change and encourage brands to procrastinate less, to be bolder.
Alongside this, we believe we will start to see a resurgence in original creative thinking and innovation. History shows us that in times of austerity and challenge, often the most inventive leaps of mind and creation occur. A sort of Triumph from adversity mindset.
Take Brompton bikes for example, they may have seen a real up-turn in interest in commuter and casual cycling due to the pandemic. However, they’re also at potential risk due to the premium price point, and low consumer confidence. So, earlier this year, Bromptom launched a low-entry point subscription model with pricing from £1 per day. Smart, innovative thinking that will no doubt ensure Brompton continue to grow at pre-pandemic levels for years to come.
It’s brands who embrace the situation, the challenges and constraints it brings, and are bold and ambitious who will come through this stronger.
We believe that our clients increasingly need trusted, long term partners to help navigate their way through the challenges and uncertainty; to growth.
And, the value and effectiveness of the work we do for our clients becomes even more important as greater scrutiny and investment constraints are more prevalent.
We think clients should expect greater ambition, urgency and understanding from their agency partners. More value, and less self-interest, a greater focus on clients’ businesses and less on the trips to Cannes or “where the juicy briefs are”.
That’s why we took stock during lockdown, we talked to our clients and our team, we took the core of what we’ve always been; true. Evolved our ways of working, our services and our proposition to ensure we could continue to deliver even greater value.
The days of long-winded consultation processes are likely to be over. Our clients still need that high-level strategic thought to cut through and lead growth, but it needs to be smarter, leaner and more action focussed. There’s no point setting an ambitious direction if it feels like you never get there.
This change puts a new proposition at the heart of true - big thinking, made real. We bring our strategic, creative and tech expertise together to solve business challenges, at pace.
We’re for ambitious brands who want to grow fast.
To help us do this we’ve packaged our core offering into 5 core services. Each based on a combination of what we’ve found to be the most commonly experienced challenges our clients have, coupled with where our experience lies. Each brings a curious chemistry of expertise across our practices to bear in a no nonsense, direct way. You can read more about each of those services here.
While we were at it, we also gave our brand a new look and feel to reflect this shift in our offer and focus. Giving us a boldness, confidence and ambition - reflective of the way we approach our clients’ challenges. You see this on our brand-spanking, new website.
So, rather than sitting on our hands and being passengers of the global downturn, we’re looking to keep creating, keep thinking and keep our clients growing.
If like us, you’re tired of the status quo. If you want to get your brand moving in the right direction. Get in touch, we’d love to play a part in your journey.