18th December 2020
Casting my mind back to February this year, I distinctly remember my wife coming home from a meeting where she’d been given insight into the scale to which Coronavirus might disrupt things. She used the word ‘historic’, and I scoffed.
Little did the rest of us know how much the world really would change this year. It might feel like things will go back to normal at some point. Maybe it will. But I’m pretty sure normal will look different.
Have Mac, will travel/WFH…
I’m so grateful and fortunate to be in an industry that (a) was able to keep working throughout, including from home in the middle section of the year and (b) that has potential to play a key role in many other industries’ recovery, helping them communicate change and difference in new and dynamic ways.
For many years my marketing strategy has been ‘do nothing, and hope opportunities magically appear’. It turns out that this is not a recommended strategy and benefits nobody.
2020 was certainly not a write-off for us. Actually, we even got some work directly as a result of the pandemic which was a huge help. But we’ll also count significant cost – we’re losing one of our main long-term clients due to redundancies and operational changes, for example. We’ve had to change tack a little which has forced us out of our comfort zone. For many years my marketing strategy has been ‘do nothing, and hope opportunities magically appear’. It turns out that this is not a recommended strategy and benefits nobody. (“No s**t, Sherlock…).
No more drifting
Yes, it has worked for me in the past (although perhaps not quite as starkly as described). We’ve been able to count on some wonderful people, recommendations and repeat work to keep us busy. But as a strategy, it leaves you open to risk. And drifting.
Drifting is something I don’t think we can really afford to do anymore. Can any of us? Could many, before? As someone involved in branding and communication I’d never recommend it, yet it’s what I did myself – by default, I suppose.
Setting a new course
We’re approaching next year differently, getting some great support from some super mentors. With a better idea of our ideal kinds of clients and audiences we’ve begun to invest in reaching them more effectively. We’re taking some risks and even looking at growing the team. It’s exciting. And quite scary. But mainly exciting.
Drifting is something I don’t think we can really afford to do anymore.
Many people are looking forward to 2021 simply because it marks the end of 2020.
Will world events be different just by virtue of a new calendar beginning? Unlikely. Further restrictions will be likely due to the pandemic (and the UK’s controversial three-house bubble system over Christmas), and there’s always Brexit to keep us on our toes (but at least we’ve got our fish…).
But new year is always a wonderful enforced pause: a marker, and a natural restart point. Here’s to a few drinks, lots of chocolate, and a bit of time to unwind. And after that: 2021, we’re coming to get you.