Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Reasons to be Cheerful: the transformative energy of the pandemic for agencies

As the coronavirus pandemic has quickly become the new normal, NDA wants to celebrate the positives of our current situation.

We spoke to James Clifton, Group Chief Executive of MISSION, an AIM-listed group of 11 creative brands, including krow, Bray Leino, Story and April Six, to discover the silver lining he thought we should be celebrating.


What, if any, positive long-term impact on the media industry will coronavirus have?

The industry has proved that it can deliver multi-faceted, multi-market campaigns whilst working remotely from each other.

Agencies should take this transformative energy and maximise on all the new opportunities that will emerge going forward.

What positive impacts on long-term consumer behaviour shifts will it have?

Consumers will reappraise their relationship with the brands to which they have been most loyal.

How have they behaved during the crisis? Have they reflected their values or acted with selfish intent?

This inevitable shake up of an individual’s brand portfolio will create significant disruption and accelerate the adoption of purpose-led organisations.

What positive impacts have you seen on how your business operates?

It’s not really positive impacts but a confirmation of the changes we made to our business in Q4 2019 when we repositioned The MISSION Group. Our operating model of collective specialists supported by best in class shared services has enabled us to adapt swiftly and effectively.

The coronavirus catalyst to remote working excites me as finally we have de-bunked the myth of 9 to 5 office based working being the most effective model.

What have you been most heartened about in how your staff, partners, customers or clients have reacted to the new normal?

We have long standing and deeply held client relationships – more than half of our clients across the Group have been with us for five years or more – so first and foremost it’s about how we can be there to support them.

The agility, aptitude and camaraderie that’s been shown from everyone within MISSION from day one has made me immensely proud.

What technologies have you been most impressed with during this new situation?

Sorry to state the bleedin’ obvious but I think it would be disingenuous to say anything else – Microsoft Teams has been a lifesaver.

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