Alf Insight: The On Brand podcast live event

We’re living through unprecedented times and uncertainty is the only sure bet. Despite that, some marketing trends have continued unabated and agencies are still having to grapple with some of the existential threats they were faced with before Covid-19.

For instance, we know that agencies are having to do far more on behalf of clients, often with far fewer resources. That has only been exacerbated by coronavirus. The same is true for issues relating to investment in tech stacks, where the debate around building proprietary tools versus buying off the shelf has been intensified by the impact of Covid-19 on finances. The reality is that many issues haven’t gone away or even been put on hold by the crisis – they’ve been accelerated.

One of the most pressing issues for brands – and their agency partners – is still customer acquisition. Discovering new potential audiences has always been a challenge and, with the DTC market upended for the foreseeable future, it’s only become more of a headache for agencies under pressure.

That all means that, while there are significant challenges for marketers, there are commensurate opportunities, too. Audiences are seeking relationships with brands, and expect them to cater for both ‘the new normal’ and for the return to usual service when it arrives. They may be unprecedented times, but the lessons about building audience relationships are universal.

To discuss those trends, and to determine where there are still opportunities for agencies, Alf Insight is producing a special podcast series to support agencies. Featuring insight from industry veteran Rory Sutherland, the On Brand podcast features Bloom & Wild chief executive officer Aron Gelbard and Google’s marketing director.