Common Challenges, Uncommon Solutions: How Our Clients are Adapting to the New Normal
In March 2020, we shared some tips and tricks for making your work-from-home experience as productive and stress-free as possible. Now, after two months of this “new normal”, if you are anything like me, you are tired of WFH advice articles.
So this month, we reached out to some of our amazing clients across several different industries to learn how they are maintaining, or in some cases, moving their brand forward.
We have insights from:
Joe Weber, Executive Vice President, Humanscale
Tony Wisnewski, Senior Marketing Manager, ZEISS Group
Kim Cassar, EVP Sales & Marketing – Beyond Division, Kayco
Betsy Nilan, President, Get in Touch Foundation
This panel of industry leaders provided us with a unique perspective on how their business is moving ahead during this unusual time.
“In just a short time, we changed the way we do business to allow us to keep up with the unprecedented product demand in the healthcare sector; establishing unprecedented ways to navigate and remain operational at a high level.
We migrated to virtual meetings, using standard video, screen sharing software to allow us to remain productive and fulfill the needs of our current customers and prospects.
As the situation continues to change, our goal is to keep our eyes forward and anticipate what to expect next. We’re in the process of elevating virtual meetings by setting up mini TV-like studios in home offices outfitted with products. This new resource provides our sales reps with the ability to duplicate a live showcase of a product demo within a virtual environment.
Due to the specific needs required of the Healthcare marketplace, we’ve placed even greater emphasis on communication, focusing on the following areas:
- Increased communication practices amongst our sales reps, with multiple touchpoints to their contacts.
- Proactive communication to provide real-time visibility to product availability, lead times and trends to customer base.
- Advanced response times; sales reps are literally available 24/7 until further notice
- Increased Executive communications via twice monthly Town Hall meetings with the entire organization to keep them connected and abreast of all that is happening from a Humanscale Corporate perspective.
As we look forward, we know there will be more challenges ahead. We will need to remain nimble and work to continuously adapt our methods to fulfill the needs of our clients, here in the US and around the world.”
Executive Vice President
“When quarantine hit, everything stopped: travel, trade shows, budgets. Take a breath, and start rallying your troops. You may not be able to give of your budget, but can give of yourself. To your team, and your audience. Be Creative, Be Honest, Be Genuine. Create a conversation with your consumers and make sure to support them, wherever they may be found. In doing so, you’ll find yourself busier than you’ve ever been, we certainly did. And our audience has grown faster than before.”
Senior Marketing Manager
Subscribe to the Y&C-produced podcast, ZEISS Full Exposure
“As the country shut down and we were directed to ‘stay home to stay safe’, we knew everything was going to change. Our first order of business was changing our marketing approach in real-time. We shifted our focus away from in-store promotions to a full digital execution with a slightly different voice and tone. Our voice was still true to our brand of course, but my hope was to stay ‘real’ during these hard times. We also wanted to be a resource for our community. We shifted our social media content to offer helpful tips on how to make easy recipes with items people already have in your homes. We started talking about staying healthy but rewarding yourself with a treat now and then. One of my favorite posts that we created was for our Mighty Sesame Tahini Bars. At 100 calories, these bars make for a smart snack but the flavor and texture are truly indulgent. Our post said, “You made it through 4th-grade math today, you deserve a Tahini Bar”. This hit home for me since I’m learning that I am a terrible 3rd-grade teacher and that the moms and dads out there deserve not only a little reward but deserve a little break in their day.
We also moved our focus to e-commerce. We increased our spending on Amazon advertising and we’ve seen sales triple in the last eight weeks. We worked closely with the digital teams of some of our major grocery accounts to ensure that our products were available on their digital platforms. As consumers avoided trips to the supermarket we knew we had to keep our brands top of mind in the places they were shopping, which meant digital.”
EVP Sales & Marketing – Beyond Division
Listen to Kim’s Interview on Y&C’s podcast, Brands that Matter
“The Get In Touch Foundation has shifted messaging to be self-care focused since that is what people can relate to right now during the COVID-19 crisis.
With regular doctor visits being put on hold, it’s really important to be your own health advocate and perform regular breast self-exams from home. We want to emphasize that we are here as a resource to give people some normalcy and routine, at a time they need it the most.
Leaning into this positive self-care messaging, and taking a step back from direct fundraising for right now allows people to still be engaged and empowered through our authentic voice.”
Get in Touch Foundation
Listen to Betsy’s interview on Y&C’s podcast, Brands that Matter
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for maintaining a healthy business these days, the throughline shown here by these Y&C clients is all about being nimble and remaining open to radical change. Embracing the unknown can be terrifying. However, from the unknown often comes great things. Stay healthy.