Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Reasons to be Cheerful: Our separation is bringing us closer together

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

We spoke to Ryan Cook, VP Sales, UK, Teads, to discover what reasons he had to be cheerful.

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

Admittedly, it’s hard to identify a tonne of positives when so many businesses are struggling. But if we look to the long term we can perhaps see the quality and respectfulness of advertising improving.

We are observing brands adjust their content at speed. It is impressive how agile advertisers can be when adapting messaging to fit current context.

Perhaps, in future, TV channels may move away from locking in bookings and penalising cancelations. There may be more flexibility on booking and adjustments.

I also believe, based on the success of employees working from home, there will be a growth in flexible working which will reduce office space costs for companies in large cities.

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

Given how quickly things have changed over the past few months I don’t think anyone is feeling particularly good at predictions at the moment.

However, I found it interesting and encouraging that consumers in a study by Lumen and Nielsen seemed not to mind being served ads as long as they were respectful of the times and potentially helpful. 

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

The business, as always, remains agile. We are tracking more things than ever and spending quality virtual time together more than ever.

Last week in the UK our sales team had 250 video conference calls with the aim of getting closer to clients than ever. It’s an amazing opportunity to work in a much more intimate way with our clients.

When else would you be invited into the homes of CEOs, managing partners and directors, planners and traders alike?

Our separation is bringing us closer together and studies are showing we are less concerned about personal financial welfare than we are about local and global economic issues. 

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

We have been not only heartened – but also humbled – by the support of our people. Our staff are doing their best to look after those with less resources or less family nearby.  Even though we are a global company,  it’s great to see co-workers uniting together and supporting each other as if we are a start-up.

Every email starts with, “How are you?” versus,  “Can we get a meeting about XYZ?”. And every call ends with, “Stay healthy!” versus, “See you at lunch.” 

Strangely enough, in a time we have never been physically further, the emotional and educational connections are stronger and tighter than ever.

There is an increased level of connection and desire to share knowledge. So much so that it might occasionally feel like a bit of an overload. But everyone wants to learn and to  share information – we all want to be at the top of our game. 

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

It goes without saying that video conferencing programs like Microsoft Teams and Zoom are massively supporting companies like ours and allowing us to connect.

We’re able to host everything from individual meetings to large 500+ person webinars. It’s great to see how stable these technologies are when we need them.

Additionally, we are seeing our own company look at new things and use our technology in incredible ways. By scanning 100M+ articles on a daily basis we can accurately look at content consumption and growth.

We are seeing 173% increase in news consumption and 186% increase in health-related news. Platforms like ChartIO help us visualise this and partners like Grapeshot assist in our findings.