As agencies and entertainment marketers finding themselves having to pivot amid the coronavirus pandemic, one thing remains certain: relationships, above all else, are key to operating business as usual.

“Pick up the phone, make a connection with people, and [form] that trust… If you put business aside, it’s people doing work with other people,” Tony Kadillak, executive director at Thornberg & Forester, said on Tuesday during Promax’s live webinar, “Agencies in Action: The Art of the Pivot.”

David Edelstein, executive director at Trollbäck+Company, says relationships matter now more than ever. Rather than relying on email, the current circumstances have encouraged real-time conversations with clients.

“It’s not as much about making sales calls as it is about making connections with people,” Kadillak added. “That’s what I think will drive all of this.”

Relationships are important for agencies, but so is marketing, said Danixa Diaz, executive producer and business development at iartists. So when should agencies change their strategy from building relationships to getting back to work? Edelstein says that time is now.

“As long as we show empathy, we have to get back to being as normal as we can be. Keep our doors open and keep moving forward as best as we can,” he said.

But before reaching out, there are some key questions to ask yourself to verify your intentions and qualifications for the client. Don’t just reach out because you want new business, Kadillak says. Evaluate your services and quality of work before approaching a client.

“All of the same rules apply with or without this virus affecting our lives,” he said. “I always ask myself: ‘Have I done my homework and am I offering something they need? Why should I care and what’s it in for me?”

“I believe in being a specialist, not a generalist,” Diaz said. “You can have services in your agency but they are all related to the entertainment industry… I’m a believer in winning without pitches. Specialize, specialize, specialize.”

Agencies should also work with their clients to look into the future, discover new ways to gain revenue, and grow their businesses, Diaz said. Especially in today’s climate where innovation is virtually limitless.

“The question is, how do we adapt more virtuality and technology to our lives? Because everything in our lives is going to change from now on,” Diaz said.

“In times like this, we become very innovative and creative to touch the lives of everyone who is working,” Edelstein said. “It’s a very difficult time, but it’s going to send us on the right path toward what’s coming in the next 10 years.”

Promax’s next live webinar, Marketing for Networks: PSAs to Promos During a Pandemic, is this Thursday, April 9 at 1:30 p.m. PT. Registration is now open.

Check out Tuesday’s full webinar featuring Kadillak, Diaz and Edelstein:

Tags: coronavirus covid-19 promax connect

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