Marketing In Times of Recovery

Marketing In Times Of Crisis has changed its name to Marketing In Times of Recovery. It's still a bi-weekly interview-led podcast series featuring inspirational built environment business leaders but more with a look to the future. We’ve had to weather crisis’ before and podcast listeners hear lively conversations, jam-packed with hints, tips and takeaways that you can apply to your business now. Hosted by Ayo Abbas, Founder / Consultant, Abbas Marketing. Subscribe now, rate, review and help us to spread the word.

https://www.abbasmarketing.com/mitc-podcast

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episode 14: Ep 14: One Tip Special Compilation Episode [transcript]


As an end of year treat and to hopefully spur you on into 2021, here's  a special compilation episode of my Marketing In Times of Crisis podcast. Each of my guests gives their one tip at the end of their podcast interview. 

Marketing In Times of Crisis has been a special project  that I, Ayo Abbas, launched during lockdown.  I wanted  to shine a spotlight on a diverse range of built environment voices sharing their hints, tips and experiences of delivering marketing and communications in times of uncertainty.  

Thanks to all of my 15 guests across 13 episodes: 

#13 Global & Internal Communications and Campaigns with Vanessa Talbot-Brown, Buro Happold

#12 Winning Work Through Lockdown with Digital Marketing with Amos Goldreich 

#11 Networking, Social Media and Running for RIBA with Sumita Singha

#10 Branding and Marketing as an Investment with Renee O'Dobrinak, Hawkins Brown

#09 Branding, Employee Ownership and Communications with Daire Hearne, Make

#08 Communications, Community & Context with Julia Nicholls, Squire and Partners

#07 Clients, Business Development and Campaigns with Helen Shea & Christine Baltas

#06 Smart Cities, Branding & Digital with Rick Robinson, Jacobs

#05 Architecture, Marketing & Communications with Celeste Bolte, Bowerbird UK

#04 Strategy, Technology & Digital with Pascale Scheurer

#03 Communications, Relationships & Collaboration with Helen Gawor, GKR Scaffolding

#02 Strategy, Agility & Change with Liz Earwaker, AECOM

#01 Community, Authenticity & Purpose with Rachel Bell and Rob Sargent, Stride Treglown

Rate and review the series
Oh and of course please feel free to rate and review the series as it helps more people find us. 



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 2020-12-15  20m
 
 
00:05  Ayo Abbas
I'm Ayo Abbas, a
00:05
marketing consultant who
00:08
specialises in all things built
00:08
environment. I launched my
00:11
podcast series Marketing In
00:11
Times of Crisis in July this
00:14
year. And I've now published 13
00:14
episodes. It's been an amazingly
00:19
fun project for me to do. And
00:19
I've learned so much, and I've
00:21
had some really inspiring
00:21
conversations. Anyway, as it's
00:25
coming to the end of the year,
00:25
and people are planning for
00:28
2021, I thought I'd take a
00:28
chance to look back and reflect
00:32
on the one tip that each of my
00:32
guests suggested at the end of
00:34
their episode. Hopefully, this
00:34
will provide you with some
00:37
inspiration for the forthcoming
00:37
year. So, I've grouped them all
00:40
together in terms of topics and
00:40
themes. So here goes, you get an
00:44
idea of how they collectively
00:44
viewing things, and hopefully
00:46
will help you going forward.
00:46
Firstly, if there ever was a
00:51
buzzword for this year, the key
00:51
one for me in marketing terms
00:54
has to be the word authenticity
00:54
and purpose. Here's what my
00:58
guests had to say about being
00:58
true to yourself, starting with
01:01
Rob Sargent or Rachel Bell, my
01:01
first guests from structure
01:04
down.
01:12  Rob Sargent
For me, it's
01:12
thought or authenticity is mine.
01:17
Just you have to be absolutely
01:17
authentic about what you're
01:19
doing. It's not something you
01:19
make up. It's not, you don't sit
01:23
in a room and kind of come up
01:23
with buzzwords, and it's got to
01:27
come from the heart. And it's
01:27
got to be honest, it would be my
01:31
take on it. Rachel, do you have
01:31
anything you'd like to add to
01:34
that?
01:35  Rachel Bell
No, I think that's
01:35
a really good one, the fact
01:37
that, you know, be yourself be
01:37
true to yourself, I think from
01:41
my side there is a whole take on
01:41
sort of health and well being
01:47
and, you know, working together
01:47
and actually, we're gonna see so
01:51
many different work thoughts
01:51
over the next, if not, year and
01:58
beyond. So, the works of
01:58
ecosystems developing between
02:02
home and hubs and offices, and
02:02
just then how you gather people
02:07
together. And what people then
02:07
want to talk about, and how you
02:12
talk about it. So I think in the
02:12
fact that there will be
02:16
potentially less big events,
02:16
there may be the odd kind of
02:21
large gathering, and actually,
02:21
you'll make more of it then, and
02:24
so forth, you know, those need
02:24
to be really thought through and
02:29
considered, because that's going
02:29
to be the real value that people
02:32
feel about get getting together
02:32
and connecting together at those
02:36
opportunities.
02:37  Rob Sargent
Yeah, it's events
02:37
with purpose, isn't it? If
02:40
you're getting people together,
02:40
it's got to really go, do you
02:43
know what I really, really,
02:43
really want to go to that, and I
02:46
can see a benefit of being with
02:46
others, and therefore I will do
02:51
everything I can. I'm happy to
02:51
do a bit of travel I'm, and I
02:55
think, yeah, that's my other.
02:55
Probably one I'd like to add is
02:59
purpose. So authenticity,
02:59
purpose, and flexibility, I
03:04
think is
03:06  Ayo Abbas
why flexibility?
03:07  Rob Sargent
I think because you
03:07
don't know what's going to
03:10
happen. That's the other thing
03:10
that we you know,
03:16
we all got it? Well, there
03:16
isn't. There is a known we are
03:19
going to be leaving Europe at
03:19
the end of the year as well. So
03:22
there are all sorts of cards at
03:22
play, you know, you
03:26  Ayo Abbas
No,
03:29  Rob Sargent
who knows what's
03:29
around the next corner?
03:32  Ayo Abbas
Then on to Episode
03:32
Three with Helen Gawor from GKR
03:35
Scaffolding,
03:36  Helen Gawor
Just be authentic.
03:36
It's, people see through
03:43
marketing messages, and
03:43
particularly at this time, and I
03:47
think, there's a lot of evidence
03:47
to prove that actually keeping
03:51
your marketing and your
03:51
communications going through
03:54
difficult times, does pay
03:54
dividends, it's I mean, the, the
04:00
economic recession we had back
04:00
in 2008, I was on the different
04:03
side of the fence, and I was
04:03
working in media and advertising
04:05
at that time. So I was in a
04:05
slightly sort of different side
04:08
of things. But we saw ad spend
04:08
decrease, however, the brands
04:13
that did continue to advertise,
04:13
did see that payoff over the
04:20
next 12 months in terms of sales
04:20
and brand awareness and those
04:24
sorts of things. So, so I think
04:24
if you can find a way to be
04:28
useful and relevant to keep that
04:28
presence up, but do it in an
04:33
authentic way, and don't try and
04:33
use this particular situation as
04:39
a way of leveraging yourself.
04:42  Ayo Abbas
And then on to Julia
04:42
Nicholls from Squire and
04:45
Partners who gives her take on
04:45
authenticity from episode eight.
04:48  Julia Nicholls
I think I'm sort
04:48
of repeating myself but it's
04:51
still it's be authentic to the
04:51
core values of your practice. So
04:55
yeah, look again and focus on
04:55
what is true to your brand,
04:59
rather than following any press
04:59
opportunity. And I know it's
05:02
really hard at the moment
05:02
because, you know, the market is
05:05
tricky. And you know, everyone
05:05
is fighting hard for every scrap
05:08
of work that's going. But I
05:08
think you've got to make sure
05:11
that you're sticking to your
05:11
core values and to see PR and
05:15
comms as a natural extension of
05:15
your organisation, and also the
05:18
people within it. So don't force
05:18
yourself to sort of fit somebody
05:23
else's mould, talk to people
05:23
within your company about,
05:28
what's essential to them,
05:28
because the conversations and
05:31
opportunities for editorial
05:31
thought leadership may well come
05:33
out of those conversations
05:33
internally. And if you don't
05:37
know them, and share them, then
05:37
you don't know what those
05:39
opportunities are. And I would
05:39
say as well just keep your
05:43
digital presence going, you
05:43
know, throughout this whole
05:45
period, digital has just, become
05:45
more important than ever. And I
05:51
think that even if you're you
05:51
feel like your projects, and
05:55
whenever are quite quiet,
05:55
whatever you have, whether it's,
05:59
you know, site photos, models
05:59
that you've made, opinion pieces
06:03
about things that are happening
06:03
in the industry, are you taking
06:06
inspiration from other places in
06:06
the world, or you know, what's
06:09
happening in other cities or
06:09
anything, any content that you
06:13
can think of, look at other
06:13
people's feed, see what people
06:18
are doing, because I think that,
06:18
you know, you can stay engaged
06:21
and have a sort of continuity of
06:21
feed, even you feel like, Oh,
06:25
we've only got five projects.
06:25
And we can't continuously talk
06:27
about, there'll be lots of
06:27
things you can talk about if you
06:29
really sit down and think about,
06:29
you know, your values.
06:33  Ayo Abbas
And finally, we
06:33
finish up this section with Rick
06:36
Robinson, Episode Six, he
06:37
looks authenticity and
06:37
transparency.
06:40  Rick Robinson
I think
06:40
transparency and honesty are
06:46
things that are achievable with
06:46
much broader reach online than
06:52
previous types of communication.
06:52
I can think of a great example
06:57
of an urbanism conference, which
06:57
had a panel discussion featuring
07:02
the Chief Executive of one of
07:02
the mass housebuilders. And the
07:07
audience gave this person a
07:07
really tough time because they
07:09
were attacking the quality of
07:09
their developments, the quality
07:12
of the environments, they
07:12
created. This person, apparently
07:16
I wasn't there, I heard about
07:16
it, but broke down and said to
07:19
the audience, look, I got into
07:19
this business and made it the
07:23
biggest business I could because
07:23
I grew up in a really, really
07:26
rubbish, estate in a really
07:26
tough bit of a city. My
07:31
childhood was blighted by the
07:31
environment I grew up in, I've
07:35
made it my life's mission to
07:35
give as many people as I can, a
07:38
better chance than I got. If
07:38
there's something about the way
07:41
that I'm doing it, please tell
07:41
me and help me learn from it.
07:43
But please don't criticise my
07:43
motivations, because they're
07:46
quite honest ones.
07:48
And, you know, I
07:49
saw at this, you know, the
07:49
people who had been that who
07:52
told me about it, they'd been
07:52
really, really struck.
08:02  Ayo Abbas
Next up, in terms
08:02
topics, and especially in the
08:05
light of the year that we've all
08:05
faced, there have been some that
08:07
have fared better than others.
08:07
So in this segment, we look at
08:10
listening and empathy. To kick
08:10
us off, we have Vanessa
08:12
Talbot-Brown from Episode 13.
08:16  Vanessa Talbot-Brown
Read the
08:16
room
08:18
and listen to people and then
08:18
adapt quickly. Don't sit around
08:27
and contemplate too long because
08:27
people move on really quickly.
08:33
And what I mean by reading the
08:33
room and listen, is that you
08:37
have to be empathetic. So, you
08:37
know, your question was
08:41
specifically around this crisis.
08:41
So I think what it's highlighted
08:47
is that there is a lot of
08:47
inequity, and people are
08:51
struggling in their in different
08:51
ways. Or they might be enjoying
08:55
this new way of working, you
08:55
know, less commuting, etc. So
08:59
it's really highlighted
08:59
different levels of privilege.
09:02
So you have to be empathetic in
09:02
the way that you communicate and
09:06
not making assumptions. Um, and
09:11
I think
09:12
this is very random I don't like
09:12
about events and stuff. What I
09:17
think is quite funny is that
09:17
obviously we're all learning
09:19
pretty quickly. Don't set up
09:19
Zoom calls and webinars, you
09:24
know, 3pm on a Saturday, no one
09:24
wants to do it. pretty
09:30
exhausted, staring at our
09:30
screens.
09:33  Ayo Abbas
Then we move on to
09:33
Exec Coach Pascale Scheurer from
09:36
Episode Four.
09:37  Pascale Scheurer
So there's a
09:37
really important one, I think,
09:39
which is that this is this is
09:39
not normal times. It's pretty
09:44
obvious to say that almost after
09:44
three months of lockdown, we can
09:47
start to feel like this is
09:47
normal, but it's not. And I
09:51
would say the main thing is
09:51
don't come across as being tone
09:55
deaf in your communications
09:55
about the issues that people are
09:58
having. So you know, I see it
09:58
quite a lot in online marketing,
10:03
you can see that people are
10:03
doing a marketing campaign that
10:06
was set up pre-COVID. And those
10:06
emails are still rolling out as
10:10
if you know, with absolutely no
10:10
reference to the crisis. Yeah,
10:15
it was strange enough in in in
10:15
March, when that happened on
10:18
April. And you can see that
10:18
communications had been planned
10:23
in advance and hadn't been
10:23
updated. Yeah, it came across as
10:26
being really tonedeath. And it's
10:26
up to the inexcusable if that
10:32
still happening now. But the
10:32
other thing is that you also
10:35
can't be just focusing on
10:35
crisis, crisis management, and
10:41
not thinking ahead, you know,
10:41
for the next 18 months, but it
10:46
is about relationships, and it's
10:46
about building goodwill, what
10:50
can you offer people? How can
10:50
you support people? Yeah, being
10:53
a good being a good citizen of a
10:53
company in the community,
10:59
recognising that the community
10:59
has has huge problems, and you
11:03
know, we're on the same storm,
11:03
we're not in the same boat. So
11:06
if you're doing okay, then it
11:06
would seem pretty tone deaf to
11:10
be going out and announcing
11:10
your, your latest planning
11:15
approval, or your latest
11:15
competition win or something,
11:18
knowing that a lot of other
11:18
people are really, really
11:21
struggling and people are losing
11:21
their homes, people are losing
11:24
their loved ones. You know, it's
11:24
important to be to be very aware
11:29
of that, and all sorts of, you
11:29
know, things that have been
11:35
happening recently. It's, I
11:35
genuinely think it is hard for
11:40
marketing departments to
11:40
navigate what they should be
11:44
saying should be doing. But it's
11:44
got to be genuine.
11:48  Ayo Abbas
It's got to be
11:48
genuine. And actually, I think a
11:49
lot of it's got to be direct.
11:49
Like, I think actually, a lot of
11:52
it is actually picking up that
11:52
phone and talking to somebody
11:56
and actually going, how are you
11:56
and having that conversation? I
11:58
don't necessarily think it is a
11:58
big broadcast message going out?
12:02
And we're just fantastic.
12:02
Because it's kind of it just
12:05
doesn't feel right.
12:07  Pascale Scheurer
Absolutely.
12:09
I think the messages that are
12:09
going out anything of the
12:12
companies, I see that I
12:12
appreciate what they're doing in
12:14
their in their work, which which
12:14
doesn't necessarily come across
12:17
as just a marketing message.
12:17
Yeah, actually, where they are
12:21
promoting other people promoting
12:21
other companies promoting
12:25
charities, etc, they're showing,
12:25
you know, good work around,
12:29
they're showing their values in
12:29
a different way, by using their
12:32
platform to promote other
12:32
organisations. And you know,
12:38
it's nice to see when, when
12:38
people are going the extra mile
12:43
in an authentic way. Yeah, so
12:43
they're not saying I'm just
12:46
doing this, but it's all about
12:46
me. They are actually genuinely
12:52
trying to be a good citizen. And
12:52
I have not will go with that
12:56
will go a long way people will
12:56
remember companies that behave
12:59
badly, particularly towards
12:59
their employees. Wetherspoons,
13:03
Sports Direct people do
13:03
remember those things sometimes
13:07
for a long time. And, and also
13:07
when you think like you said
13:11
about employer, employer
13:11
branding, how you deal with
13:18
redundancies is going to leave
13:18
a legacy.
13:22  Ayo Abbas
And finally, we
13:22
finish with Helen Shea and
13:23
Christine Baltas. From Ashhurst
13:23
and Evershed Sutherlands, who
13:27
talk about keeping close to
13:27
clients.
13:30  Christine Baltas
The one thing
13:30
companies need to do to market
13:33
themselves, I would say,
13:33
generally, but especially now,
13:37
is to sell the benefits to your
13:37
clients. So focus on your
13:40
customer and what they get out
13:40
of working with you. But also,
13:44
in this current climate, I would
13:44
try and hold on to marketing and
13:48
communications teams, they are
13:48
the ones that create value and
13:51
will help see you through these
13:51
challenging times.
13:55  Ayo Abbas
Brilliant. And over
13:55
to you, Helen, what would your
13:56
one tip be.
13:57  Helen Shea
Yeah,
13:57
I mean, I fully support
13:57
Christine and that there's a lot
14:00
of truth in that. And I think
14:00
for me, to add to that would be,
14:06
you know, just keep close your
14:06
clients, it's that simple. And
14:11
keep, just keep close to them,
14:11
keep listening to them, talking
14:15
to them, you know, ruminating
14:15
with them, offering them
14:19
solutions or, you know, finding
14:19
out what's making them tick at
14:22
the moment, what's keeping them
14:22
up at night, you know, just just
14:24
keep in with them.
14:32  Ayo Abbas
Onto the next topic
14:32
that we're covering, which is
14:34
figuring out our goals, our
14:34
services and our value. To start
14:37
with. I've got Daire Hearne from
14:37
Make Architects, which was
14:39
episode nine and then she's
14:39
followed by Renee O'Drobinak
14:43
from Hawkins Brown,
14:45  Daire Hearne
I would say be
14:45
very clear about what it is
14:48
you're trying to convey. Keep it
14:48
simple, but keep it real.
14:52  Renee O'Dobrinak
Okay, so I
14:52
think number one out of
14:55
everything is clarifying what
14:55
your goals are like, what does
14:59
success look like? For you,
14:59
because not, you know, nobody
15:02
has the endless budget that
15:02
you'd want to spend on stuff
15:04
like this. So, you know, you
15:04
really have to be succinct about
15:08
what you want, and how are you
15:08
going to achieve it? And whose
15:11
help Are you going to get to
15:11
achieve this. And this could be,
15:14
you know, asking an external
15:14
consultant, like your good self
15:17
Ayo, or hiring somebody internal
15:17
like me, you know, who, and we,
15:23
we will give you different
15:23
things, right, you know, an
15:25
external can give you, you know,
15:25
a different perspective on Oh,
15:28
okay. So, you know, you might be
15:28
lacking this and this and this
15:31
skill set, and how, so why don't
15:31
you consider hiring somebody to
15:34
do this, but I can help you with
15:34
this type of collateral, as an
15:37
example, or, somebody in house,
15:37
you know, work, we are going to
15:42
be as good as how well we
15:42
understand your work. So, we
15:45
kind of have to get bedded in,
15:45
we want to get to know you, um,
15:49
you know, and talk to us, you
15:49
know, we, as I said before, at
15:54
our best I think we're, you
15:54
know, the creative critical
15:57
friend who works with you to,
15:57
create wonderful bits of
16:02
collateral and content for
16:02
people. Yeah, and right now,
16:06
like there's an entire ocean of
16:06
the sort of, you know, endless
16:09
hues of grey and indulgent,
16:09
inaccessible writing, and that's
16:12
such an easy trap to get into,
16:12
but I think, now that we aren't
16:17
able to go to awards ceremony
16:17
you can't go to these parties,
16:20
you know, and, talk up your next
16:20
client, for example, so really
16:24
be silly not to think about how
16:24
we look and talk and walk in, in
16:30
your practice,
16:31  Ayo Abbas
then we've
16:31
got to Sumita Singha from
16:31
Episode 11.
16:34  Sumita Singha
So I think,
16:34
wherever you are, whether you're
16:38
new starter or already have a
16:38
practice or in the middle of it,
16:43
I think the one tip you have to
16:43
be and I say this to everybody
16:47
literally is you have to be true
16:47
to yourself, you know, you have
16:51
to think, what am I skills what,
16:51
what can I do best? What is it
16:56
the world needs from me.
17:03  Ayo Abbas
And now on to our
17:03
final segment of tips, which is
17:06
very much about looking forward
17:06
to the future. We start with
17:10
communications consultant,
17:10
Celeste Bolte from Episode Five.
17:14  Celeste Bolte
I think my one
17:14
tip would less be about
17:17
marketing themselves and more
17:17
about get your house in order.
17:22
I'd say plan and give, plan and
17:22
create good foundations. Now.
17:28
Obviously, look at what you're
17:28
doing, assess what you've
17:31
already done and assess where
17:31
you are. And then find a way to
17:35
make that better, because that's
17:35
what a lot of studios are doing
17:39
now and your competition is
17:39
going to be trickier.
17:43  Ayo Abbas
And now we move on to
17:43
Liz Earwaker from AECOM which is
17:47
Episode Two, where she talks
17:47
about agility and empowering
17:49
your teams on the ground.
17:51  Liz Earwaker
Remember that
17:51
you've got multiple facets and
17:54
multiple tools, your disposable
17:54
dispose at your disposal. Yeah,
18:00
that you can use effectively at
18:00
any point. So it's not about you
18:05
know, the CEO, talking and
18:05
projecting what he thinks you've
18:10
got a whole army of marketers
18:10
out there. And I'm not talking
18:13
about you and me, Ayo, I'm
18:13
talking about all those people
18:15
on the ground that they are your
18:15
constant face the business. So
18:19
you know, always use that your
18:19
army really to help communicate.
18:24
And that means you know, you've
18:24
got to be quick to talk to them.
18:29
And let them understand what
18:29
you're doing as a business quick
18:32
to give them the tools, whether
18:32
that be using social media or
18:35
quick to give them you know,
18:35
events, let me run them online
18:40
events, as I said, quick to give
18:40
them things that they can use
18:42
they can use to continue having
18:42
those conversations. So yeah,
18:45
you know, and at the end of the
18:45
day, you've got to make sure
18:49
that you've got a brand that you
18:49
can fall back on to do all this
18:51
a brand that really does fulfil
18:51
that promise really, you know,
18:55
surviving that is, is is
18:55
surviving any recession, any
18:59
crisis, anything, you've got to
18:59
have really good values.
19:02  Ayo Abbas
Then finally, we
19:02
finish up with architects Amos
19:05
Goldreich like with his rallying
19:05
cry for us or
19:08  Amos Goldreich
market market
19:08
market.
19:11  Ayo Abbas
Fantastic
19:12  Amos Goldreich
a really, really
19:12
seize the moment. It's an
19:15
exciting time. Scary. There's a
19:15
lot of unknowns, not only here,
19:22
around the world. But there but
19:22
it's I think it's exciting time
19:28
and there's a lot of
19:28
opportunities. And you just need
19:32
to prepare a bit. You can take
19:32
chances. They're not hugely
19:40
expensive, and you can quickly
19:40
modify and find find, find your
19:44
niche. And if you don't try, you
19:44
will never know.
19:48  Ayo Abbas
Anyway, it's been a
19:48
crazy year I've launched a
19:50
business, launch the podcast and
19:50
achieved lots and lots in
19:53
between. I hope you've enjoyed
19:53
listening to my podcast this
19:55
year. And it's giving you ideas
19:55
about how you can take your
19:58
built environment marketing
19:58
forward. Please do. leave us a
20:01
review if you've liked what
20:01
you've heard, and look out for
20:03
what we've got to share next
20:03
year. And here's to 2021.
20:12
Thanks for listening to the
20:12
latest episode of Marketing In
20:15
Times of Crisis. If you want to
20:15
know more about things mentioned
20:18
in the episode, do look at the
20:18
show notes which will give you
20:20
more information about where to
20:20
find us and also about our show
20:23
website. In the meantime, I hope
20:23
you enjoyed it and have a great
20:27
day. Bye