Justine O'Neill, Analytic Partners

Please describe your job: What do you do?

I am a Director of Analytic Partners’ Client Engagement Team in Europe. I manage a large team of Consultants and Analysts and I manage the relationship and insights to some our largest EMEA clients. At Analytic Partners, we help some of the world’s biggest brands turn data into expertise through high-class technology and services, in order to strengthen the brand-customer connection and ultimately drive competitive advantage for them.

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

Personally, my typical day is pretty unrecognisable to what it was from before, as a parent to two toddlers, balancing child-minding and working full time has made this among the most challenging months of my career. Only the continuous support, flexibility and empathy of my colleagues, partners and clients have made it possible – my hair is a little greyer and house a lot more untidy!

From a business point of view, I am happy to say that we managed to adapt, evolve and thrive in this situation the same way we put it at the core of our strategic advice to clients. Six months ago I wouldn’t have thought it would be possible for us to move to all working remotely and keep up or even increase productivity.

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

We are no longer afraid to turn the camera on – the true power of video conferencing is coming into its own. I think voice only calls may become a thing of the past as we are all enjoying making that visual connection with our remote colleagues and clients. (Even if it just to meet their new puppy or witness their children demanding another glass of milk).

As easy and obvious as it may sound to others, like the sharing and simultaneous editing of documents, simple collaboration tools within Microsoft are being used to their full potential now.

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

We help brands to strengthen the brand-customer connection even in disrupted times. That means listening even closer to our clients’ needs and adapting our models to truly support them. With ever changing marketing budgets and plans alongside significant uncertainty we have had to pivot to help our clients be more flexible and turn around insights quicker to help me the new (and ever changing) targets and KPIs.

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

Within our clients, we have seen 3 distinct phases, crisis, stabilisation and revitalisation, each with their own unique trends. At the start of the crisis there was a lot of panic (whether their business was up or down). As we moved into stabilization plans began to be solidified, and we are now approaching revitalisation where brands are now looking to still meet some of those goals and targets that they set back in January.

We’re also seeing a constant need for innovation amongst our own industry: marketing mix models rely heavily on past data, but everyone is now pushing more towards present/live data to adjust to the current crisis.

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

It’s very much focussed on our people. I have seen countless examples of people in our teams going above and beyond to help both colleagues and clients in these challenging situations by adapting work flows and thinking outside the box. We’ve also managed to continuously develop our own technologies. This time has accelerated our innovative thinking and is proving to be a powerful driver for tailored client solutions that take the current, unprecedented situation into account and turn it into future, long-term success for our clients.