I was staggered to see that my last blog post was back in May. In some ways that reflects the internal shift in focus required by all during what was some massive upheavals within both the media industry and our own company. It’s nice to finally come up for air.
I guess everyone who works in this industry has felt the effects. Layoffs have been abundant in media companies and across the board we have witnessed adjusted business models, pricing structures, staff skill sets and services. Ultimately organizations have been forced to reflect upon their own best practices. Change has been the most common theme over the last 6 months.
Just Media was no different. We lost two key staff members – long term employees who we miss greatly. But when client spends drop – in some cases by 90%, any organization needs to adjust to survive. Thankfully we are now back hiring again and able to take advantage of some great talent to boost our teams expertise. Adding new blood is a fantastic way to re-energize – new ideas, different experiences and fresh thinking – challenging the conventional thinking and creating new angles to attack and deliver upon existing client goals.
Client wise it’s also been a roller coaster ride. Early signs in 2009 showed big budget cuts and the inevitable shift of dollars to ROI and lead gen – almost to the exclusion of all other media activity. That’s tough for all. Small budgets as we all know don’t take less time to manage. I lost count of projects that got planned only to get cut at the last minute when quarterly figures didn’t match expectations. That frustrates everyone – clients and agency – everyone feels like they are stuck in the mud with wheels spinning.
However in the last few months things have changed. We have picked up some major wins – Hitachi Data Systems, Trinet HR services, Juniper Networks, Webroot and Stephens Bank – and whats interesting is that ALL are asking for assistance to develop strategies, plan and run branding and awareness campaigns. A return to true marketing perhaps?
So as analysts predict an end to the recession, companies appear now to be rushing to claim market and mind share from competitors. All realize the window for this is short and anyone who is sleeping now will miss one of those rare post recession openings to win and win big….
Maybe the real ride is only just beginning – buckle up….