After entering Phase 4 in New York City, companies are optimistic about seeking a new economic and social balance. Broadly speaking, many companies are moving from a partially in-office business model, while others who have been out of the office reopen their physical doors when they come out of the COVID-19 lockdown again. A large majority will be challenged to reconnect with their existing customers and successfully reach new prospects while at the same time maintaining a safe work environment for their employees and customers.

Federal stimulus loans will also run out by the end of the year with no replacement in sight, and the upcoming presidential election is creating uncertainty in these troubled times. Companies will budget to survive as they consider navigating these virgin waters, requiring renewed resilience, flexibility and brand engagement. strategy and create greater efficiency. One of the main takeaways that is clear is the need for essentialism and delivering a clear ROI.

There are several factors to consider when adopting an essentialist business model.

First, it is critical to clearly understand the mechanism of "success" for one's customer base. Edge initiatives and support services have become less relevant and must be phased out in order to be able to operate more efficiently. Moreover, the demands of the market have shifted with a digital focus that is platform bound. One cannot simply stick to principles that can stunt the growth of a business. Companies that will thrive in this climate are quickly adopting the importance of representing their core value propositions.

Proactively initiating change will create brand connectivity for both customers and employees, building mutual trust and commitment. Checking and updating branding and corporate marketing materials to reflect the current business climate will also benefit an agency's ecosystem. Companies will be seen as more strategic and informed, while customers will appreciate pragmatism. Conversely, materials promoting an all-in-one, all-in-one approach don't lack the focus and lack the specificity that customers seek when scrutinizing their time and budgets more than ever.

Certain companies may choose to adapt to a limited customer. base while others will see this period as a unique window to expand their market share. While many industries respond to instability by reducing their workforce, others have chosen to change their prices, contracts and payment terms. These strategies can change a competitive landscape and convert it into greater market share. Ultimately, companies will have to continue to evaluate the unique needs of their business model and make sound decisions that will mitigate risk and loss.

The typical menu of Earned, Ownership, Influencer, and Activation Services must and will be rethought. Marketing dollars will be carefully measured for a direct link to business development. This includes keeping track of budgets and their specific link to customer acquisition. It is basically a disentanglement of mixed spending to clearly delineate results. The world of influencer programs can be dramatically affected.

Technology is also an important part of essentialism in today's market. Each company has a unique approach to improve efficiency. Our agency has re-equipped desktop computers with cameras and moved our network to cloud storage. Using virtual communication tools, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack, has not only helped us adapt to social distance requirements, but also maintained collaboration and synergy in the office. Many of our internal and external meetings are conducted via video calls, keeping those lines of communication intact. The net effect is more conscious decision-making when interacting with team members.

The state of the post-COVID-19 economy is unpredictable. However, brands can show renewed efficiency and clear communication, which will increase trust in their existing customers and attract new prospects.

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