Well, 2021 was more endurance then enjoyment and let’s face it, we could not have started 2022 worse than last year, when, having had Christmas cancelled and New Year thrown out of the window, we were back to home schooling and working from home with the prospect of a cold wet winter ahead.
As a business, we found that people didn’t have quite the same drive as they did with the first lockdown; clients and consumers felt a little more defeated than defiant and the country’s stoic camaraderie faltered.
Initially, with the first lockdown, the challenge was exciting and innovations and ideas made a real difference but in 2021 it was different; we had been here before and going back was hard. Then the new challenges hit us: Brexit, the Suez Canal, supply problems, delivery issues, not to mention Covid testing, getting ‘pinged’, isolating, restrictions etc. Furthermore, the shortages began – and we’re not talking pasta and loo roll this time but timber, metal, car components, paper and of course, petrol.
I think in 2021 more than ever we felt the true power of the media; whipping up a storm when they see fit, distorting out-of-context figures and telling you only what they want you to know. BUT there were still plenty of positives and again we saw the strength of our clients’ businesses; their ability to adapt and the value of our relationships with clients and media owners which meant that we could find opportunities when things felt a little bleak. In fact, yet again we had many clients who achieved record growth, lower marketing percentages and launched new products in 2021.
With regards to our own marketing, we adapted too, running more email campaigns whilst people were working from home and switching to mailouts as people returned to offices.
- We ran more DM campaigns than emails for consumers as their inboxes filled up and open-rates halved.
- We increased the proportion of inserts that we ran in subscription titles as the volumes of subscriber bases soared.
- We introduced more clients to TV than ever before, peaking in the post-Christmas burst with 6 campaigns running in that week alone.
- We increased our spend in National press having a record year in a number of national press titles.
There will be more ups and downs for sure. Whilst the challenges will change, I feel confident there will be plenty of them and when we are out of the Covid woods there will be the fall-out to contend with which we will have to do at some point….so try to embrace the challenges and enjoy overcoming them, spend as little time as possible sulking about the situation as the faster you adapt the better it will be. Roll with the punches and come out stronger.
So, what can we take forward to 2022?
There will be more ups and downs for sure. Whilst the challenges will change, I feel confident there will be plenty of them and when we are out of the Covid woods, there will be the fall-out to contend with, which we will have to do at some point.
My advice is to try to embrace the challenges and enjoy overcoming them. Spend as little time as possible sulking about the situation as the faster you adapt the better it will be. Roll with the punches and come out stronger.
Here at AJ we pride ourselves on ideas and insight and working harder than our competitors to find the opportunities that help our clients – and us – grow. If you fancy a chat, then please get in touch..