Buyers on Covid-19 Learnings and How the Pandemic Has Changed Their Job
23 December 2020

Originally Published in Adweek by Jason Lynch & Kelsey Sutton

As part of Adweek’s Year in Review coverage, we asked many of the industry’s top executives to look back on 2020 and reflect on the biggest things they’ve learned since the pandemic, what about the business has changed permanently because of Covid-19 and how their approach to their job has changed as a result of this year’s events.

Earlier this week, we shared insights on those topics from the television execs who oversee broadcast, cable and streaming outlets, as well as TV ad sales chiefs. Today, we asked buyers to talk about how Covid-19 has changed the business. (Next, we’ll also hear from analysts about the same topic.) Here’s what they had to say:

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since the pandemic?

Geoffrey Calabrese, chief investment officer, Omnicom Media Group: It’s hard to narrow it down to just one, so let me share the two that stand out as equally significant:

It pays to act as if tomorrow is today—the pandemic has shown that the future was much closer than we thought. It triggered shifts in consumption habits that ordinarily would have taken years and transformed many of our clients’ business models, making it clear that agencies have to build their offer around the assumption that tomorrow is today. Taking that approach is the reason OMG was able to pivot so quickly and effectively when the crisis hit.

Crisis is the ultimate test of a partnership—the word partnership is used daily in our industry, and prior to the pandemic I probably used that word too loosely. I say this because the pandemic revealed the difference between partners and vendors. When the country shut down, we all had to deal with the ramifications of the pandemic and the impact it was having on our clients’ business. We learned that partners were the ones willing to work with us hand in hand to help our clients, while vendors dismissed the reality we were all facing and dug in their heels. The work with our partners was uplifting, and I can wholeheartedly say that it won’t be forgotten.

Read more here.

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