Just like everyone else, March 2020 changed our work environment, processes, and strategies. Early on at Toolbox Studios, we focused on how to market, sell, and lead through the crisis—not become a victim of it.
Our positive mindset helped us do amazing work for our clients—including an 80% response rate at the height of lockdown (listen to webinar below). We worked smarter than ever before and learned a lot about our strengths and abilities. Our three biggest internal takeaways for success-in-2020 were communication, problem-solving, and agility.
It’s important to know that we really love sitting around our big conference table and working on our individual projects… together. It’s part of our culture and a throwback to our early days when we had our one-room office. Cece jokes, “Why have I given you offices if you’re all going to be in the conference room?”
We work very collaboratively, constantly bouncing ideas off each other, and triple-checking strategic plans, implementation, and deadlines. The sudden shift away from the big conference table and away from each other felt extremely quiet and very un-Toolbox-like.
Our #1 takeaway was finding a way to communicate and maintain our healthy collaborative spirit. Daily meetings became our lifeline to our work, our clients, and most importantly to each other. We even started a book club and are currently working through the most recent release of David Meerman Scott’s “New Rules of Marketing and PR”.
How do you help a client reach their target audience if that target isn’t going to an office? What if that client doesn’t have a well-established digital presence? If COVID-19 taught us nothing else—in marketing terms—it was the critical need for digital capabilities.
We found creative solutions around direct mail and delivery obstacles. We optimized websites to improve ranking. We strategized Google Ad and paid social campaigns. We developed and implemented social media strategies, promos, contests, and giveaways.
Our #2 takeaway was to keep collaborating. Our clients had problems, and we overcame them through collaborative creative problem-solving.
All that hard work in Q42019, and Q12020 to develop marketing strategies for Q2, 3, 4 went out the window. Our clients had to pivot, and we had to help them stay relevant in the midst of cultural shifts in politics, social justice, and health safety issues.
We moved to an OGSM (Objectives, Goals, Strategies, and Measures) model to help our clients track the effectiveness of marketing plans. This gave us the immediate facts needed to make adjustments as necessary.
Our #3 takeaway was to stay agile, informed, and quick to act. It became our new mode of operation.
If You Are Looking for Help
Our CEO, Cece Smith led a webinar on “Opti-Channel Marketing” for executives in the Print Industry. Hosted by our strategic partner MindFire, Inc., it showcases one of our recent marketing strategies that garnered an 80% response rate. There’s also a great Q/A session at the end. We encourage you to give it a listen and give us a call. We are here to help.