Charlotte Gregson

Please describe your job: What do you do?

I head up the UK & Ireland business for COMATCH – Europe’s leading curated online marketplace for top-tier independent management consultants and industry experts. We use proprietary technology to match consultants with clients in need of external support.

Scarcity of talent and demand for flexibility are causing more organisations to adopt new resourcing approaches, and our network of over 10,000 professionals can support them on a project-by-project basis. Since 2015, COMATCH consultants have been used on over 2,500 projects, encompassing strategy, operational improvement, digital transformation, finance and organisation topics.

How has your typical day been impacted in the short term by the pandemic?

There is no such thing as a typical day – the variety is in part what makes the role so interesting. The difference between now and pre-pandemic is that I am juggling homeschooling a seven year-old and entertaining a toddler whilst on calls throughout the day. Like every parent during this time, it has been the definitive balancing act.

Though, I’ve always been a night owl, which is a good thing, as it is the only time for peace and quiet to focus on getting things done. If I’ve managed my day well, I’ll also attempt to fit in some exercise!

What are your favourite tools and techniques to help you get your work done at the moment?

With so much uncertainty at the moment I have found the headspace app has been invaluable these past weeks – meditation made simple – even 10 mins a day really does make a difference – less stress, more focus, better sleep!

Which companies have impressed you since the outbreak?

Not so much in terms of companies but I’ve seen some good examples of compelling leadership styles; during the coronavirus crisis I have observed those leaders who can encourage trust and embrace relatability to be succeeding even in difficult industry operating environments. One, for example, is Marriott International’s CEO

What changes are you making to help your brand connect with how people are feeling and experiencing the pandemic?

Our proposition has always been very people-focused so we have been doing even more of what we do best – creating touchpoints for people to connect. We have been running webinars for both our clients and consultant network on topics ranging from supply chain to managing personal finances. We have also been able to offer free support from our network to NGOs and social impact businesses that needed help as a result of the pandemic.

What trends have you seen in the last few weeks in your sector?

It’s early days but there are some green shoots of recovery. We have observed our clients move from crisis management to thinking through proactive strategies for managing the ongoing situation. But I will temper that slightly given we are into the summer months. Although a market recovery from September has been mooted, the reality of a second lockdown then or shortly after also needs to be taken into account.

What advice would you give a marketer right now?

If I look at our own business which – like many others I’m sure – has had to slash marketing and PR budgets… this means working closely with sales business development teams. It also means focusing more than ever on core customer groups with a clear and simple message about what ‘you can do for them’, along with a clear call to action to avoid getting lost in the noise.

What does long term planning and strategy look like now at your brand?

The unprecedented nature of the pandemic and its widespread impact means that businesses have to be agile – for us that means weekly leadership meetings and more frequent communication. It is important to revisit our scenario planning on a regular basis in order to allow us to take effective decisions about the business.