It’s been a crazy year for all marketing leaders and business owners, but what about if you are both? In this article, Kathryn Strachan Managing Director of Copy House Ltd, shares her experience at the helm of her content marketing agency.
Let’s be honest, 2020 certainly wasn’t an easy year. Between COVID-19, the economic slump, Brexit, and so forth, the business world was rocked to its core.
Regardless of sector, marketing agencies and departments were vulnerable to these changes too.
While the Copy House team is fortunate enough to work in the technology & FinTech sectors, I still learned some key lessons from navigating a marketing team through a crisis.
4 Key Lessons From 2020
1) Your Team is Your Biggest Asset
While other companies were making redundancies and pulling marketing budgets, I was busy looking for a solution. Having just hired a new team and starting to scale Copy House, I stubbornly refused to let anyone go.
Rather than look for the exit, I looked for solutions. New ways I could reposition our services, how we could help clients navigating this difficult period and where there were opportunities. After all, there’ll always be opportunities in every rain cloud.
Our hard work and sheer determination allowed us to keep our team and continue building our biggest asset — our people.
2) Onboarding & Working Remotely
After the initial panic had subsided, the technology and FinTech sectors realised that maybe it wouldn’t be as bad as initially thought.
It was around this time that I started to hire again. Since March, we’ve welcomed four new people onto our team. Some of these people I had met before COVID and some I interviewed and onboarded online.
Company culture is something I spend a lot of time thinking about. Getting through COVID wouldn’t be possible without a strong team, which meant that I needed to quickly integrate our recruits into the team and create a workplace culture where everyone was pulling towards the same goals.
Clear communication, expectations and measuring performance on output proved vital here.
3) Remote Working at its Finest
Before COVID, I spoke at an event on championing parental leave and diversity in the workplace. After the talk, a member of the audience approached me to tell me how his company struggled to support a father who had a long commute and wanted to work from home as they couldn’t trust he’d get much done with the kids in the background.
I keep thinking about this conversation as that’s exactly what all parents have had to do over the last months. It’s been impressive to watch parents work split shifts and make it work (yes, even with kids at home).
Remote working is one trend from COVID that I hope sticks around for a while. I’ve always been big believers in supporting employees to work remotely and have proven that our team can work from anywhere in the world.
While I think it’s important to have a centralised location and dedicated time to be together as a team, I’m still an avid believer in remote working and enabling people to live their best lives.
4) Investing in Our Marketing
One of the smartest things I did during COVID was hiring a marketing manager and investing in our own marketing.
Marketing agencies typically have a Cobbler’s shoe problem, where their own marketing is neglected in favour of clients’ work.
Yet, marketing fuels brand awareness which in-turn drives leads and allows your business to thrive.
Before COVID, I tried to hire a new business developer, but it simply didn’t work without marketing. You need your marketing in place first, then add a sales function and you’ll have a perfect storm.
Now is the ideal time to invest in your marketing: publish thought-leadership content, build online relationships with prospects and showcase your company’s strengths.
Looking into the Future: What’s Next for 2021?
COVID has undoubtedly created a lot of disruption during 2020, but it’s also created many opportunities, especially for marketing and digital transformation. I believe that we’ll start to see many of these opportunities come to fruition during 2021 as the dust from COVID settles.
Over the next year, I believe we’ll see the rise of personal branding and ghost articles, increased personalisation and an even greater need for deep customer insights, and greater emphasis on search intent as Google’s NLP algorithm continues to get smarter.
While many of these trends aren’t exactly new, I believe they’ll come into their full glory over the next year.
Hear more from Kathryn
You can learn more about Kathryn and her agency Copy House when Ian spoke to her on the podcast…
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Find out more about Copy House at www.copyhouse.io and they can help you start the new year off right with a kickass content marketing strategy.
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