WARC, the global marketing intelligence service, released its latest report that focuses on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on strategy, across headcounts, budgets, and the role of strategy during the crisis. The report is based on a global survey of strategists that was fielded during the months of May and June 2020. It also addresses what long-term changes might result in a year that has caused significant disruption to the industry.
The respondents of the report fall into one of two groups. The first group consists of optimists who believe that the impact of Covid-19 was a positive event for the industry while the other group sees the impact as negative. The key reasons for these feelings are highlighted below –
THE OPTIMISTS TABLE
Strategists have been crucial to the pandemic response and have had the chance to shine
COVID -19 is disrupting the industry and creating new opportunities
The crisis has shown the value of a strong, credible brand vision
THE PESSIMISTS TABLE
Staff cuts highlight the paradox of strategy in 2020
Cutbacks threaten the next generation of talent – including the push for greater diversity
The crisis has accelerated the shift to short-termism
The role of strategy is experiencing a paradox this year. The pandemic has presented strategists the opportunity to showcase their skills and talents, as clients are in need of sound advice to help change their direction. But the cuts to strategy teams have been in common and furthermore are anticipated.
This is the paradox. At a time when strategists are reporting high levels of influence, their numbers are being reduced.
Strategists are busier than ever
The Influence of planning increases
Covid-19 has demanded new strategic thinking