Rachel Lyall

Please describe your job: What do you do?

I look after marketing for EMEA and APAC at Mediaocean. My core focus is to drive growth in these regions which means I help our local revenue teams reach the right people and ensure our marketing activities support the customer journey. I do this through Account Based Marketing, PR, content, events, lead generation, and more.

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

My role has always involved working with teams based all over the world – I’m no stranger to video calls! So for me, the biggest change has been pivoting away from physical marketing activities. We’ve always hosted webinars, but we’ve had to shift to entirely virtual experiences, and that’s meant a lot of work finding new ways to keep our content engaging.

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

In our space, it’s all about TikTok at the moment. For me, what’s interesting about TikTok is how it has grown during the pandemic and where it sits in the media landscape. Most of the big social platforms are about connecting with friends and family, while TikTok is pure entertainment and viral content.

What advice would you give a marketer right now?

Offer useful insights, be genuine, and get creative about connecting with your audience. At the end of the day, there’s a human behind every single purchasing decision. Even in B2B, there is room to be witty and real.

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

We all have a lot more emails at the moment. Instead of going back and forward over email I prefer jumping on a video call. Not only is it much quicker to get things done, but it also helps me feel more connected to people.

On video calls, you have real conversations where people mention things they just wouldn’t put in an email. Sometimes it’s the smallest thing that helps speed up a project, facilitates an introduction, or fills in that missing piece of information you need.

Which companies have impressed you during the pandemic?

I was impressed by brands who shifted their attention to support the community in meaningful ways. I loved seeing brands like HSBC and Barclays get involved in the BBC’s The Big Night In appeal. They raised substantial amounts of money for those impacted by coronavirus.

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

Truly connecting with people, especially at a time like this, requires listening before you speak. Everyone is experiencing the pandemic differently. For some clients, we’ve hosted virtual lunch and learns, happy hours and quizzes. For others, we’ve sent newsletters with insights and best practices unique to their businesses.

In our broader communications, we’ve spoken directly to the issues going on around us – we knew that communicating as though things are normal wouldn’t connect.

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

Marketing budgets usually get cut in a recession, and brand-building activities are often the first to go. We’re purposefully investing in this area as we know it will pay off in the long term.

That said, a lot of our plans have had to move from annual to dynamic plans. Who knows what will happen in the next six months? So, we’re continuing to listen to what’s going on around us and adapt accordingly.