Apr 22, 2020
More than ever, uncertainty from economic conditions caused by Coronavirus/COVID-19 has many businesses frozen in fear. Some for good reason, and others irrationally. Today we are breaking down those obstacles to taking action and sharing how we’re trying to “un-freezing” current and potential. We’re also talking about how we are marketing our own services in this time. Although there is enormous uncertainty- there is also enormous opportunity for Agency leaders to lean into their expertise, reestablish their passion, provide a unique perspective of experience for their customers, and train their eyes on the future. Let’s dive in!
Top 3 Curtain Pulls in this episode:
About The Guys:
Bob Hutchins: Founder of BuzzPlant, a digital agency that he ran from from 2000 -2017. He is also the author of 3 books. More on Bob:
Brad Ayres: Founder of Anthem Republic, an award-winning ad agency. Brad’s knowledge has led some of the biggest brands in the world. Originally from Detroit, Brad is an OG in the ad agency world and has the wisdom and scars to prove it. Currently that knowledge is being applied to his boutique agency. More on Brad:
Ken Ott: Co-Founder and Chief Growth Rebel of Metacake, an Ecommerce Growth Team for some of the world’s most influential brands with a mission to Grow Brands That Matter. Ken is also an author, speaker, and was nominated for an Emmy for his acting on the Metacake Youtube Channel (not really). More on Ken:
[4:00] We reflect on the reality of our new way of life. One positive side effect is that people are becoming more gracious, forgiving, and sensitive to others’ experience. We see tv stars and news casters in their home with their children, we see the behind the scenes of things that are usually very produced. This is going to impact the way that all productions are executed in the future, even after Covid-19 is over.
[4:45] Bob speaks about this week’s guest: “Her words were ‘This is going to change how we do business going forward in that they’ve always allowed someone to work from home a couple of days a week, but she said they are seeing such high productivity out of their team during this time there’s very little distraction, for the most part.”
[6:25] Ken adds that some businesses probably are realizing that their big expensive office building may not be a necessity, which is great. But also there are people whose personality type is not’ conducive to self-isolation. And there is suffering in that for some people.
[7:15] Bob: “Well that’s a perfect segue really… we’re talking about productivity when it comes to sales… how to thrive in this time, how to reinvent, re-imagine yourself. How are you guys doing with existing clients?”
[8:07] Brad speaks on the struggle of filling up your sales pipeline during this time. “We probably won’t see the effect of that for 3, 4, 5 months. Typically in our sales cycle, onboarding a new client typically two, three, four, five months. And leads that we did have put things on hold. They may start back up again, but there’s a lot of uncertainty right now.”
[11:00] Brad: “All this time has created a lot of thought patterns- people think about their businesses deeper, they think about their values. They reinvent themselves at this point… so they might have a lot of great ideas.”
[12:31] Ken: “The idea of serving current clients and making that successful then finding new business that you company needs to thrive- you need to run on both. That’s the challenge,” and it applies to every day business life, not just this situation that we’re currently living.
[14:37] Ken: “Some of our clients are struggling because of certain fears and certain threats to how they do business right now. But I don’t think it’s going to last for too long.”
[15:45] Ken continues: “So helping people make the right decisions has been our sales strategy now more than ever, but it’s become really clear for us… speaking those words, helping people make the right decision, we’re starting to see that freeze mode loosen up a bit.”
[18:45] Bob adds: “I’ve noticed with some companies that March started off with a strong dive- specifically ecommerce businesses, and now that’s actually going up because I think… people are stuck inside and their only way to connect, research, buy, to have any contact with their outside world through the internet and ecommerce.”
[20:25] Brad chimes in: “There’ll be some new companies in the next three or four months hopefully that will convert the way they do business. And they’ll be looking for companies like us to work with… so that’s kind of where I’m looking.”
[22:08] Ken: “Internet usage as a whole is up 35% right now... and there is a new focus on education in a new way.” First of all, because kids are being educated at home but also because there is a pressing need for some to make sure that their role is invaluable- some are getting education because they’re switching industries after getting laid off. So it would make sense that some industries are thriving now- education is incredibly valuable right now.
[24:48] Bob speaks on the question of purpose and how this is a valuable time to start re-assessing your answers to those questions.
[29:45] Ken speaks on the importance of noting the difference between your “what” and your “why”.
[34:00] Brad speaks on working with legacy companies that have been around for a hundred years or more. They survive not by doing the same business for a hundred years, but by keeping their ‘Why’ at the top of mind. When their why is strong, the what can shift and change over time, and that means longevity and success.
[36:25] Brad talks about how the companies that do the best have a strong why- “A company doing their job just because it’s work will never be able to compete with a company or business owner or employees that understand WHY.”
[41:00] Bob: “One of the things I’ve said for years… it doesn’t apply to every agency owner… you need to start seeing yourself as a media company because what you do is you create and produce, you enhance and market media… it’s all pixels, it’s content, it’s helping clients tell their story.”
[44:35] Brad speaks on the desire to create contentment in change for himself. Reaching a point where you’re comfortable enough with change that you can pivot quickly. Learning to be more flexible and allow the customers to own more of the decisions.
[46:30] Ken talks about how before this happened, many would have thought that working from home was an impossibility, but within just three or four weeks that has been proven untrue. We can adapt and adjust, so now it’s a matter of “challenging norms that we would usually take for granted.”
[49:55] Bob: “If you are relying on one channel that you don’t own or that you don’t have control over, then you are just waiting for disaster… A good exercise for anyone during this time is what are the sources of traffic and revenue… Could I survive without it? And if I couldn’t… start to diversify and be like… okay we’ve got Facebook nailed. Now let’s figure out how to do the same thing on Google.”
[52:15] Ken talks about the technology/delivery model of Fast Food giant Chick-fil-A and their online delivery system and app technology for online ordering.
[55:00] Brad tells us about his upcoming webinar: “We’re doing a 60-minute webinar about 3 topics: how to protect your financial viability, how to use this time to strengthen your brand, and we’re going to look at case studies of how companies have reinvented themselves in the past through different challenges in society.”