#TTLPresents : Changing your Digital Strategy and Approach due to COVID-19

As part of our #TTLPresents digital webinar series, we were delighted to be joined by Paddy Moogan, Co-Founder of digital marketing agency, Aira, based in Milton Keynes.

Paddy and his team at Aira are no strangers to the #TTLPresents stage – we are always keen to hear from them and the fantastic work they do.

Paddy touched on a subject that many of us, both agency and client side, have had to centre our working lives around in recent months, and most likely the weeks and months to come – Changing your Digital Strategy and Approach due to COVID-19’.

Paddy Moogan discusses Changing Digital Strategy due to COVID-19

Making Decisions 

Not only is Paddy making leadership decisions for Aira, but also marketing decisions in partnership with their clients.

Like many of us when asked by a client or management – What do you think of this? Should we do this thing? – we need time to think, analyse, ideate and respond.

The same goes when COVID-19 struck. With budgets being questioned, limited resources due to furlough and little time for scenario planning, businesses and brands needed to act fast and respond in the right way; considering risk, results and budgets. This is where decision making has a part to play.

What does digital strategy planning look like during a pandemic?

We all agreed with Paddy that there is an element of uncertainty around this question.

For one, none of us have had to live through a pandemic before. Nobody has all the answers.

But what we can do is explore the information and data we have at our disposal, identify the opportunities and challenges, and take from there.

Look at what hasn’t changed

  • Digital marketing channels are still there – and it has never been a better time to leverage them
  • People are still searching for stuff online – in fact more time is being spent online!
  • Algorithms are being updated – and we can’t ignore those!
  • Your product and service may not have changed fundamentally – what made it great, still makes it great!
  • COVID-19 has also allowed many to enhance their offering [‘At Home’ dining services provided by restaurants for example]

Look at what has changed

  • Review customer behaviour insights, regularly
  • Consider team, resources and budgets, and plan scenarios
  • Consider the change in culture and productivity – what has the impact of remote working meant for your organisation?
  • Stakeholder expectations will have also changed as a result of the pandemic

You can view Paddy’s slide deck and a video of the webinar below.

You can also read more of Paddy’s thoughts on this topic on Aira’s blog.

Join us for our next webinar, featuring The Tomorrow Lab’s Head of Digital Strategy, Jess Orr, where she will chat about ‘Marketing that Matters in a Client’s World’, on Wednesday 5th August, 10am.

Register here for free.


Your Questions Answered…

As part of the webinar, there was an opportunity for participants to ask questions. Below are some that we covered off with Paddy.

1..With things changing so much on a daily, weekly and monthly basis – is there a good way to track spending trends?

  • “The main places I’d recommend checking are Google Trends, which gives a good overview of breakout searches which may be relevant to your business or client.”
  • “If you work in Ecommerce, I’d recommend keeping an eye on rising retail searches which are usually updated every week or so. They also have a specific section for Coronavirus related trends which are more general and good to keep an eye on.”
  • “This is the McKinsey report I mentioned which has a bunch of interesting data, including which retail categories are growing or declining in popularity around the world. I think this is updated every couple of weeks.”


2. We’ve been using TikTok a lot more, but is it a big player for advertising yet?

  • “I’m a little old to understand TikTok! But I definitely think that it has the potential to become a big player in digital advertising. We haven’t run any campaigns for clients just yet and have recently started looking at their ad’s platform.”
  • “My current view is that we need to take an objective view of whether it can add value to our clients or not – we shouldn’t be jumping on it just because it’s the new, shiny and cool platform. This happened in the early days of Facebook and led to a lot of spend which was wasted and not measured effectively.”
  • “My advice would be to keep an eye on the platform features and importantly, the analytics side of things. If you think that it’s a good platform to get in front of your target audience, then it should be explored more.”


3. In terms of your own experiences through this ongoing pandemic, if you could go back to when it began – what would you do differently [if anything]?

“This is a super interesting mental experiment to play with. For clients, I’d go back and push them harder on a couple of things which we already knew, but have become even more important and even vital:

  • Diversity in channels that send them traffic. Over-reliance on one channel can be risky for a company and this has been magnified during COVID when many companies have had ad spend cut or have had to cut back on PR activities. Having a diverse set of channels across digital which can all send good traffic is more important than ever.
  • I’d also take a closer look at clients who have very thin margins and tight cash flow. Those companies who are struggling the most right now don’t have much cash behind them to ride out the storm and have been hit by cash flow issues. This isn’t easy to fix but if I could go back and tell some clients this, I would.
  • Worst case scenario planning. We all think about worst-case scenarios, but I’d go back and actually plan for them and have ready-made plans or processes that can be rolled out easily to help make sure that my company gets through the uncertain times.”