21 ways to innovate at speed during Covid

In a year for the books, 2020 has challenged us all to pivot at pace. With change comes the potential for growth - and during lockdown, we've seen brands innovate at breakneck speed, producing clever campaigns that previously would have taken months in mere days. 

Last week, we brought leaders together from brands who have found inventive ways to engage with their consumers through the crisis. In a conversation hosted by our Chairman, Craig Inglis, we learnt that ideas come from many parts of the marketing ecosystem, and that the key to successful marketing during the pandemic is to have humility and curiosity and to build teams outside the four walls of the office.

Lynette Pang, Chief Marketing Officer, Singapore Tourism Board 

lynette pangSpeed trumps perfection. There’s merit in analysing the situation, but execution needs to be fast 

In today’s world, creativity is democratic; it doesn’t just belong to the brand. If the brand belongs to the people, let them tell the story

We often think about marketing as push, but we now have to think about it as a pull. In a world where we can't have physical events, how do we bring that experience to people around the world?

In Singapore, we love order and planning and perfection. We had to reframe and think about freedom in the framework - to create strategies, but give the details flexibility to move

We are going through a revolution right now with the coronavirus and I’m hopeful it's a renaissance

The lust for travel will never disappear, but travel will become a commodity for consumers. In the travel industry, it's on us to raise the bar despite the constraints.

Whilst digital and social innovation is all-important right now, you must think about the experience on the ground post pandemic too. How do you retell your brand story in person?

Mark Sandys, Global Head of Beer, Baileys,
Smirnoff & Captain Morgan, Diageo 

mark sandysYou can bring your brand to life when you create an emotional experience. At Diageo, our brands help to mark important moments for our consumers

At Diageo, we have moved away from the neatness of an annual plan and budget and began to market in ‘real time’ - this gives us ability to respond to the changing times at speed

OGCD - Only Guinness Can Do. This is the internal threshold that we use to constantly innovate. If we can imagine an idea being executed by another brand or it reminds us of a previous campaign, then it’s not right for Guinness.

Search your brand's hashtags on social media. You can see how people are interacting with your brand and marketing important moments throughout the seasons.

With all of us working from home, we have a Zoom sized window into people’s lives. Part of being a leader is to encourage your teams to say when they need a little time out

Leaders must face reality and give hope. It's their responsibility fully understand where we are today but what we can do to make it better

Listen harder and follow harder what is happening to the consumer, externally and be ready to respond. You don’t need a million dollar ad, but ten 100K ads so you’re more ready to respond

Rob Newlan, Global President, Virtue 

rob newlanMoving from a marketing mindset to an entertainment mindset is crucial. Entertainment in its purest form is creating value between consumers and brands

Adaptability is at the core of how we must work now and we shouldn’t lose that even after the pandemic.

Over the course of the pandemic, our relationships with clients have become stronger and even at speed, it's crucial to solidify the brief

There is more forgiveness in the current situation. Mistakes become learnings that are built on - things go wrong and people want to learn and grow rather than put it in a box and forget about it

Leadership comes from saying what you do and don’t know. Have the honesty to admit that you are on this journey with everyone and you will garner their support along the way

Find the marriage between experience and youth. The next generation of creatives can’t be left on a shelf whilst the pandemic affects us.

The radical change we need to drive will be found in the different corners, the places we don’t see ourselves.