Mike Abel, founding partner and CEO of M&C Saatchi Abel takes some time out of his busy schedule of running his company remotely and remaining connected to his 350 staff and clients, not only in South Africa, but across 26 countries in Africa to chat to us. Not only does he share some key insights into the marketing and advertising industries in today’s turbulent market, but he also shares his own journey of founding M&C Saatchi Abel (and the history of the name and brand) with us.
Mike has a long and varied history in the marketing, advertising and communications industry. From his early days of working in his father’s retail shops in Port Elizabeth to running one of the most successful agencies globally.
Take some time to listen to the podcast (and please share if you gained some insight or feel like a friend or colleague will benefit from a different perspective. In these tough times – sharing is indeed caring!
Some key insight for brands and companies to remain positive and connected
- From a consumer’s perspective – they want you to connect directly with them and share content that resonates with them.
- Be entirely honest and authentic, in times of trouble you can’t take the ostrich approach – get out there and communicate and talk to your consumers.
- If there are embers – never breath on them, rather work to contain the fire and eventually put it out – this comes from being honest and speaking directly staff and consumers.
- If trust is broken between a company and its consumers, you must deal with it directly. Trust once broken is very hard after the fact to rebuild. If you are always honest and authentic and make a mistake, you own the mistake and say what you have done to fix it.
- Every problem is an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve from it.
- If you did not have a crisis working plan in place in the event of “your building burning down” how would you continue to operate your business? In this time of Covid-19 many were not prepared, but we now have the opportunity going forward to ensure that we have a remote working plan in place.
- Continue to engage with your clients on a regular basis – yes, its hard but fortunately with technology you are still able to see them and connect – be it virtually.
- Be helpful, patience, optimistic and keep your sense of humour.
- This is an incredible time to do things differently and innovate.
- Be brave and put people first.
- Now is the time to put strategies in place that can help us all come out of this economically viable for the future.
- Help find a new way forward
- Take time to pause and reflect on how you have done things in the past and what you can do today and tomorrow to make it better.
- Let’s look at earnings and be realistic – the people who do the most earn the least, whilst celebrities earn ridiculous salaries – lets be realistic and value the people who really do the work and pay them accordingly.
- Share your insights and key learning’s – lets all grow together and build this country.
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