Managing relationships in the age of Covid-19

Keeping Your Clients Happy During Coronavirus

How to Maintain your Client-Agency Relationship During a State of Emergency  

Written by: Isaac J. Park

Americans are taking Covid-19 seriously. The streets are still humming in New York City, but mostly as a result of grocery store and wine store runs (this writer may or may not be in one of those lines). Here at Kworq HQ, our team is working from home for the next two weeks, in hopes that the city’s collective efforts help confine coronvirus’s spread. 

We’re staring down an extraordinary period here in the U.S., but agencies and clients alike have a large toolkit to address any upcoming challenges. 

Inside-of-Home 

In China, Dentsu Aegis Network surveyed businesses, where 14 percent reported they were shifting ad spend away from offline media. With more people staying at home, clients might reconsider their out-of-home campaigns, which might have less impact for the foreseeable future.

Social-distanced Social

Seeing that many more are self-quarantining, businesses might want to revisit their social ad spend. Agencies, meanwhile, might consider what campaigns that tell a brand’s story through public service. So a home goods store, for instance, could create a social series on cooking recipes to help out newly remote workers. Or, a famous vodka brand could inform people that their product isn’t an appropriate ingredient for hand sanitizer.

IRL to Alternate Reality

There’s no getting around that conference cancellations across the country will hit experiential marketers. To work around the impact, agencies should work with clients to create contingency plans, including postponing events to later in the summer or fall. More novel is the potential to digitize some of the experience. Kworq, for example, is moving some of its clients to live streaming to supplement or entirely replace conferences. 

Maintain Clear Lines of Communication

We mention this just because almost everything now hinges on nonverbal communication—at Kworq, we’ve prepared our team’s remote work stations, and created ground rules around online comms. For clients, it’s business as usual on our Slack channels and emails. 

And for our clients specifically, our offer of openness still stands: slack us when something is nagging at you in the middle of the night—just don’t burst into our studio in the next couple weeks 😉  

Don’t Lose Sight of the Long Term

Conservatism prevails in times of crisis and uncertainty. Agencies and clients alike should continue thinking about their long-term marketing strategies. Revamping your website to capture increased online quarantine traffic is unrealistic for the immediate quarter; revamping in anticipation of any long-term shifts in consumption after the worst is over, however, is not only prudent, but potentially vital. 

Temporarily losing facetime with each other, and your customers, shouldn’t let you lose perspective of everyone’s sacrifice. Take that time to re-evaluate what matters most to you, either as an agency or brand, and remember those priorities might (and should!) change each day. If there’s ever a time to be there for each other, now’s it!


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