Over the past week, we’ve been asking marketers what trends they are seeing in their business and how they are coping with change wrought by coronavirus.
Today we speak to Oren Greenberg, on-demand CMO and founder of growth marketing consultancy Kurve.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
I work as an on-demand CMO. My clients are a mix of top-tier corporates and VC backed businesses. I help build scalable, predictable growth marketing engines across B2C & B2B.
Which companies have impressed you since the outbreak?
New Balance did a great campaign “Made shoes yesterday. Making masks today”.
Burger King with their notoriously brilliant CMO and his “Whopper de la quarantine” campaign bringing the idea of a feast to your home despite it being a commodity (I’d rather go Hawksmoor than BK or McDonald’s personally). Uber Eats helping out independent restaurants is great.
What changes are you making to help your brand connect with how people are feeling and experiencing the pandemic?
I’m not privy to talk about what my clients are doing in terms of changes to their brand in detail. But my advice to them is to align their product with the situation in a meaningful way as per Uber Eats. One of the startups I invested in, Fatlama, for instance, helped the NHS build a system to help their delivery system. That is meaningful and not just superficial marketing fluff.
How has your typical day been impacted in the short term by the pandemic?
The only real difference in my day to day has been that I’m having less coffee and face-to-face catchups. But my clients have been impacted in a variety of ways, some more intensely than others meaning they require more support.
I’ve usually got a lot more enquiries coming in, circa 3-5 a week and that’s gone quiet.
What trends have you seen in the last few weeks in your sector?
I’ve seen a mix of trends hit different businesses. A drop in adspend across the board for the majority. Some are struggling more with the operational complexity while younger businesses are handling it better. There is certainly an increase in ecommerce businesses focusing on household items as well as online education-providers and hardware manufacturers.
What are your favourite tools and techniques to help you get your work done at the moment?
My tools and techniques haven’t changed, I’ve been a digital native for the past 17 years. I’m an Asana & Slack Hog. I’m really enjoying parabola.io which is a nice UX/UI for ETL work for setting up automation. Since my day is a mix of strategy (I’m a NED on a few smaller businesses) and tactics for larger businesses, I try and keep sharp by being as hands-on as I can.
My go-to for reading is Econsultancy, Raconteur, Gartner, CMO from Adobe, McKinsey and a myriad of specialist growth marketing blogs.
What advice would you give a marketer right now?
Considering that 9/10 marketers are delaying campaigns the truth is that providing advice in this time is tricky. If you listen to, say, Mark Ritson’s advice, which is sound, marketers have cheaper CPM and more of people’s attention to be able to build a brand during precarious times.
Now, convincing one’s FD/CEO of doing that if the core product is less desirable and ROI isn’t aligned to the year’s target makes that an impossible reality for most businesses. Except those thriving or with vision and a hefty cash war chest.
What does long term planning and strategy look like now at your brand?
I don’t think long term planning is viable. The closest we get to across the myriad businesses is scenario planning while following closely to adapt. A lot of businesses are overwhelmed with the operational complexities at the moment and damage control – it’s all very quick and sudden so long term planning isn’t quite on the agenda as of yet. It falls into stage 3 of this simple model:
- Respond – deal with current situation < where most businesses are currently.
- Recover – learning and improving on the current.
- Thrive – tap into new opportunities.