Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Reasons to be Cheerful: Chloe Gilman, Director, Northern Europe, Xandr

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to dominate our lives, NDA wants to celebrate the positives of our current situation for our industry.

We  asked Chloe Gilman, Director, Northern Europe, Xandr what was keeping her smiling.

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

COVID-19 has meant a significant and accelerated shift for businesses to focus more on digital channels. Whilst the digital industry has been growing steadily, the pandemic has fast-tracked this and businesses need to ensure they are focusing not just on marketing but on ecommerce and digital experience. As part of this we will see consolidation of marketing spend onto digital channels as well as the growth of digital channels such as digital audio, VOD and of course Connected TV.

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

With the pandemic meaning more consumers are shopping online than ever before, this has accelerated ecommerce and online platforms. Whilst the shift to ecommerce was already happening, COVID has potentially accelerated this trend by five years. This has given rise to smaller businesses who are able to grow an online presence, where they may not have budget to open a shop.

Alongside this the flexible working economy has changed which has had a knock-on effect for companies who can allow their employees to work remotely vs the traditional office expectation. Consumers are now able to lead a more flexible lifestyle, meaning a better work/ life balance. With physical stores closed, we have seen a rise in adoption for online services such as gym classes, mental health apps as well as meal and cooking plans.

This change in how and where people will work will have a long-term effect on consumer consumption of digital mediums such as OTT streaming services. Short term, COVID has accelerated the boom of these businesses such as Netflix, HBO Max and Disney+, however long term we will continue to see these growing consumption habits as people have the flexibility to spend more time at home.

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

At Xandr we have seen positive impacts from flexible working. With the necessary precautions of working from home during the pandemic this has allowed the business to see that we can do well (if not better) when not physically located in an office. Post-COVID we will be looking to strike a healthy balance between managing the benefits of being in the office and the benefits of being at home.

No doubt there will be much more flexibility on when and where we work on the whole, with employees proving that remote working can be done anywhere.

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

The pandemic has meant employee & family wellbeing (whilst previously was important) is at the top of everyone’s agenda. The team, as a collective, are much more mindful of everyone’s personal situation, and rally around each other to provide support.

What technologies have you been most impressed with during this new situation and do you think coronavirus will hasten their uptake or development?

There have been a few technologies which have really impressed me during this time. The first is communication software, companies that enable video conferencing and broadcasting have really stepped up their game to meet the needs of remote working.

Whilst this is not a new technology it has been pivotal to the success of the majority of service based businesses to everyday lives. And it isn’t just for work, gyms and personal training, online classrooms for school children and virtual catch ups – it has enabled a new normal for many.

BBC Lockdown learning has also been a great example of using technology to support and help parents and children, at home. From creative ways to help students study to resources for parents to tap into, this has been a huge help for families across the UK.

*Xandr is a client of Bluestripe Communications, owned by Bluestripe Group, the owner of NDA.