Generator VP of Communications Strategy Erika Cramer was a featured guest panelist at the recent InMarket Digital Marketing Summit. Along with panel colleagues, Erika offered her POV on how our agency adapted to the extraordinary events of 2020, what the new environment means for client relationships and practices, and lessons learned to drive growth and success – for the agency and our clients – as we continue forward into 2021. Below are excerpts of Erika’s comments on the panel.


How did the agency adapt its media practices to 2020? 

Flexibility and staying on top of things in that ever-changing minute-by-minute, day-by-day situation, which has not happened in recent years. Constant monitoring of what the reaction was to media and the changes in media consumption. Evaluating our clients individually to see how their business needs were changing so that we could put our best foot forward as it related to their marketing effort was one thing, and acknowledging the consumer part of it as well, because the business needs had changed but also the consumer needs, so how can we remain relevant?


In terms of consumer behavior, how did you identify changes and learn something worthwhile from an advertising perspective?

One of the significant things was the amount of time that people were spending in their home, so anything out of the home was not a way to reach them. Tapping into what was in the home and how people were consuming media; a shift in the amount of time they were spending in front of a digitally connected device, especially for those who had been commuting or had to work outside of the home and then were coming back. There were always ebbs and flows in device usage. The line blurred as people were just staying at home so much more, so we had to consider, “How do we reach these people while they’re in their homes all the time?” Whether it’s on their desktops, TVs, or connected devices, which they were spending a lot more time with.


How do you maintain the agency sense of culture and collaboration with the work from home that we got thrown into?

The culture of being on video is something that has become part of everybody’s everyday lives even outside of work. Across those many months in 2020, that’s how people were connecting with family and friends in general, so the idea of purposefully bringing together the agency over video became a social occasion and we still have those just as we would have them in the office, whether it’s our frequent ‘Town Hall” meetings or a gathering for a special occasion, or holiday event. It just becomes second nature as an extension of how people live, so we’ve been really lucky to have that familiarity from a work perspective as well, within our agency.


Have you started a conversation about returning to the office in 2021?

The conversations have started but I don’t think anybody knows for sure what that looks like until enough people are vaccinated and comfortable to support that. But just like our conversation about changes in consumer behavior, I can’t imagine that we’ll return to the way it was pre-COVID. Lifestyles have changed, the way we work has changed. We need to look at it with a fresh perspective instead of just doing what we have been for years and years.