Written by Daniela Britt
AMASV’s Local Leaders in Marketing event had four highly respected top local marketing executives discuss some challenging topics around marketing shifts since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists included Michelle McCauley, Vice President of Corporate Development & Marketing at Bonney Plumbing, Heating, Air and Rooster Service, Steve Gándola, Chief Marketing Officer at Quick Quack Car Wash, Doug Brown, Director of Marketing at Mikuni and Amber DiBernardo, Vice President of Marketing at SAFE Credit Union.
Some of the topics of discussion have been summarized below.
- How are businesses adapting to work from home?
What we have learned is that the impacts of COVID-19 and working from home varies greatly on the business. Some businesses have moved to a fully remote style of work, versus others such as Sacramento-based restaurant, Mikuni, who simply cannot have all of their employees working from home due to the nature of the business. Our local leaders gave some suggestions on how they have adapted and kept employees engaged and happy during this time. Some key takeaways were:
- Allowing for hybrid as an option.
- Daily offerings such as more mental health resources and virtual games.
- Creating fun virtual meetings such as happy hours.
- Has digital evolved?
All of the panelists agreed that digital evolves daily. Pre-pandemic advertising was much different than it is today with the surge in digital advertising. Since 2020, new digital advertising platforms have emerged such as TikTok, which have opened new doors for advertisers to reach their audiences. Another digital feature that has seen a comeback recently is the QR code. This technology was not readily used prior to the pandemic. However, post-pandemic, QR codes are being used everywhere from restaurants to television ads. It is important for businesses to stay fluid and be ready to make changes as the digital world continues to expand.
- How did marketing positioning change since 2020?
Brand positioning and advertising has changed greatly since 2020. The biggest shift that the panelists agreed on has been the shift from traditional advertising to digital advertising. Digital advertising has become more of a focus in media plans, as there is more attribution that can be provided with these channels. Many businesses also took this time to enhance current business practices and even level up their brand name and image. Bonney Plumbing, Heating, Air & Rooter Service led by example here by creating a new brand image that has been so successful that audiences can’t even remember what their previous slogan was. Michelle McCauley spoke to the importance of continuing to adapt brand messaging to reach new customers.
- Biggest challenge during the pandemic?
Most panelists agreed that the biggest challenge during the pandemic was on-boarding new employees. Whether their businesses were fully remote or on-site, many of the usual on-boarding tasks were limited. Panelists agreed that being able to share company culture and values was harder than it had ever been before.
- What are you looking forward to post-pandemic?
Post-pandemic, our marketing leaders are most looking forward to attending concerts and events, as well as in person gatherings. They are also looking forward to seeing what new digital marketing strategies and opportunities continue to grow in this ever-changing space.