Industry is In a State of Flux: Johanna McDowell, IAS

Take up the opportunities, behave as you normally would but do more rehearsing so that the technology does not trip you up!

IAS
Johannesburg, Sudáfrica
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Johanna McDowell
Founder and Managing Director IAS, Johannesburg
 

First, please tell us a little about your business.  

The IAS is a pitch consulting company and we also manage client agency relationships.  We are part of the AAR network of intermediaries.

How has your business changed since the pandemic? Have you held any virtual pitches and if so, what is your assessment of them? 

Yes, we have done a few pitches during the pandemic.  Generally, they have been very efficient and time positive.  The agencies and the clients have adapted well to virtual pitching.  There is no question, however, that face to face meetings are better in terms of building rapport.

What’s your view of the state of our industry, both now and in the short-medium term? Where is the opportunity?

Industry is in a state of flux on different levels.  Agencies are seizing the opportunities to adapt and those that do will see great success.  Some are not adapting as well as others - they will close or be merged in with others.

Do you have any tips for agencies invited to pitch in these socially distanced times? 

Take up the opportunities, behave as you normally would but do more rehearsing so that the technology does not trip you up!  And stick to your times!

What would your advice be to a brand that wants to give its marketing strategy a caffeine shot?   

By and large, brands will stay with their current agencies as the risk to change in such uncertain times will be too great.  But - it will be worthwhile to look at some other agency players who might have some innovation and innovative ideas that could work with your target audiences.  Be open to see those innovations and meet those agencies without feeling that you are betraying your agencies of record. Also, use the opportunity to negotiate with your current agencies for output based costings instead of resource based retainers - agencies will be more flexible.