Please describe your job: What do you do?
I’m the marketing campaigns manager at Laundrapp, a home delivery laundry and dry cleaning app. As well as being responsible for brand and customer insight, my focus until recently was offline marketing campaigns – print, out of home and experiential mainly.
Since Covid-19, my attention has shifted to additional digital marketing activities and working on internal projects such as the launch of our refreshed customer apps and website.
How has your typical day been impacted in the short term by the pandemic?
Like many organisations, our team has gone from working in an open plan office where everyone is within shouting distance, to working alone from home five days a week. It’s been strange as we have had quite a few new starters join the team – including senior managers – and there are people I’ve been working with closely for months now who I’ve never met face to face.
The first few weeks of lockdown were a bit of a whirlwind as we pivoted and adjusted our operations and marketing strategy to adapt to the new situation. But now that we’re in our stride, I’ve enjoyed the benefits that working from home brings. I get the equivalent of a 10 hour day back per week due to not having to commute, and I’m more productive as a result. I’ve also been able to spend some of the time I’ve gained back exercising, gardening and cooking, which has been a real treat.
While overall I have enjoyed working from home, I do look forward to being able to have time back in the office. It is particularly helpful when working on projects as part of a large team. I also miss not being able to meet and build relationships with external groups that I’ve been working closely with, such as suppliers and agencies.
What are your favourite tools and techniques to help you get your work done at the moment?
Quite simply, I have a Google Doc which holds my daily to-do list and I employ the 1s, 2s and 3s method. This is where I mark each item on my list as either critical (1s), important (2s), or a task that needs to remain on the radar but shouldn’t be touched until the 1s and 2s are complete (3s).
Not only does this method help with prioritisation, it’s also useful for managing the expectations of my manager and assessing my workload. If an item has remained a 3 on my list for a long time, does it need to be there at all? If it’s really required but there are other responsibilities that are more pressing that I have to focus on, should I consider delegating the task to make sure it gets done?
What trends have you seen in the last few weeks in your sector?
While we were fortunate to be able to continue operating our core business in London and other major cities during lockdown, a number of our smaller partner cleaning facilities had to suspend their operations. It’s been great to see many of these facilities reopening as the weeks go by and, despite summer usually being a quieter time of year for us, we’re seeing an upward trend in orders.
What changes are you making to help your company connect with how people are feeling and experiencing the pandemic?
To help protect customers and drivers, we introduced contact-free delivery of items, and all of our drivers are following strict hygiene procedures. We’ve also added additional cleaning options, such as a high temperature wash for clothes, bedding and other home items.
We know that the pandemic has affected our employees in a lot of different ways and each person’s needs can be very different. We’ve re-opened our offices for those who would like to return and are suggesting they come in for two to three days a week initially to allow an easier adjustment to returning to work. However, we’re also flexible and review everyone’s needs on an individual basis. Some employees, for example, live with elderly parents who are more vulnerable, and so we’re allowing these members of the team to continue to work from home for the foreseeable.
Which companies have impressed you during the pandemic?
I’ve been impressed by the number of companies that have adapted and have been using their resources to provide additional products and services that they didn’t offer before. For example, using their delivery fleet to deliver food packs or other supplies when they may have previously sold an entirely different product.
What advice would you give a marketer right now?
It seems to me that there are two types of businesses during the pandemic: those that have been essential during lockdown and therefore have been able to thrive, and those that are the opposite. For most businesses it will be a challenging time as both customers and investors tighten their purse-strings, and you may find the marketing activities that used to succeed no longer perform. Ultimately many of us are in the same boat, and in these unprecedented times we need to be ready to be agile and try something new.
Things to think about may include: How can you diversify your product offering? If your business is service based, what changes can you make to the customer experience to make sure it works well in the new normal? Is there a new customer segment that needs your product more now than they did pre-COVID-19?
What does long-term planning and strategy look like now at your company?
Our technology road map and investment in our core operations looks very similar to how it did before – we’re still very much working on ensuring the product is the best that it can be. In terms of our general business goals, we’re reviewing which markets or locations make the most sense in terms of growth, and I think a lot of this will depend on what happens to consumer behaviour when summer ends, and as we enter 2021.