I made the decision to bet big on myself late last year. I was determined to start my own marketing consulting business because I am passionate about building a team that can help brands and agencies maximize their digital media efforts through technology, data, and strategy. This was, of course, just a couple of months before our new reality set in. Who knew a global pandemic would suddenly force most of America’s workforce to leave their offices for work from home situations – or worse -become completely benched – as we fight the virus’s spread as a nation?
I did the predictable thing after my last day at the job – took a nice, 3-week long vacation to “recharge the batteries,” visited family, and intentionally omitted work from my vocabulary to prepare myself for the exhilarating and demanding journey ahead into entrepreneurship. The weeks that followed my return to the US were surreal. From my return on March 5th to today, I have gone from casually strolling around NYC, offering in-person meetings to prospective clients and meeting friends for happy hours, to being confined to my apartment and working from a repurposed side table in my bedroom with my laptop perched atop a box of protein shakes I ordered “just in case.”
What has also happened has been an amazing amount of work and momentum that I don’t think would have been possible otherwise. Meetings that would have previously taken weeks to get were more readily scheduled because all those other meetings on the calendar that could have been an email were suddenly just emails. People with long commutes were finding new hours in their day. Those who previously might have been afraid to work for a scrappy startup were willing to take the risk.
Most importantly, the way that people communicate has changed. Connections are being made over video calls that previously meant a crosstown cab during rush hour or a 30 minute train ride. The quality of human connections being built via digital channels is quickly increasing as we get increasingly comfortable with our new way of communicating.
In the past, when I had a video interview scheduled with someone, I inherently felt that the quality of that conversation would be lower than if that person had come in-person. Today, I can say with great confidence that I have formed full friendships with people I’ve only met through a series of video conference calls. I have participated in a virtual class that I initially had marginal expectations of, but now consider one of the best learning experiences of my career.
This shift in the perceived value of digital connection is seismic. Marketing as a whole is changing as we speak, and brands will need to quickly adapt to the new normal being created by this pandemic.
The pandemic also hasn’t stopped Google’s plan to eliminate 3rd party cookie access, CCPA’s enforcement, or most importantly, consumers’ desire for better transparency surrounding privacy practices and use of their data. The pandemic has, without a doubt, added even more pressure for marketers to maximize their media efforts to achieve growth for their brands. It has also created more opportunities for immediate, high-value engagement and trust-building with consumers across digital channels.
I launched Spring & Bond knowing that the face of advertising was already changing – the stakes have just been raised higher due to a novel pandemic. There has never been a time where marketers needed more guidance on the rapidly changing consumer behaviors, advertising technologies and privacy regulations, which are all converging at once.
I have felt a tremendous amount of support from my family, friends, colleagues, and clients, and I am so excited to see what the rest of 2020 brings for Spring & Bond!
Elizabeth is a digital media veteran with over 15 years of experience across the media and advertising technology ecosystem. 2 parts tech nerd, 2 parts strategist, and 2 parts product wizard, she approaches all marketing challenges with a tech- & data-first approach.
Most recently as the VP, Head of Platform for PulsePoint, Elizabeth helped revolutionize digital marketing for health and pharma brands.