2020 Year in Review
Following the success of our From the Experts webinar series, we wanted to provide you with this content through another channel to make it easily accessible and digestible for our audience.
Here you will find a summary of our latest webinar “From the Experts: 2020 Year in Review” hosted with our good friend Shannon Seastead, Sr. Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications at OSG.
What Was the Biggest Impact Covid Had on Our 2020 Plans?
Like other major events in history, a majority of us remember exactly where we were when we heard we were going into lockdown. Some of us were starting our first day on the new job, while others were in the middle of planning their Q2 initiatives. In an instance, our worlds were rocked and everything we thought we knew about our job, security, and health took a complete 180.
Many of us needed to pick up new skills and open our minds to ideas we didn’t usually rely on. Webinars, podcasts, and social media definitely took the spotlight in 2020, and while these might have been initiatives we dabbled with previously, they certainly took center stage these past 10 months.
Making sure employees were taken care of, both in a mental and physical capacity, was the top priority. A close second, and something that generally takes precedence, was our customers. Most of us can agree that it’s the customer first, but in trying times, it’s imperative that your employees are in the best possible position to continue doing the job comfortably. Once we were able to check that off the list, it made connecting with customers in a much more significant and meaningful way that much easier.
What Did We Change in Order to Adapt?
The way we used to communicate with our customers and prospects was significantly impacted. Gone were the days we could pick up the phone, dial the corporate line, and route to the relevant person we needed to speak with. In 2020, unless mobile numbers were provided, we had to rely on digital means of communication. Our emails were immediately flooded with noise with everyone trying to get to the top of the inbox. Once again, we saw social media taking a big role in the way we communicated. You’d be surprised how many deals can close by initiating meaningful conversations through LinkedIn and Twitter.
What many organizations used to position as a brand awareness vehicle suddenly turned into a proper social selling and revenue generation channel. It has provided an outlet void of background noise, without being too invasive.
Shannon Seastead, Sr. Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications at OSG, had to take the time to reshuffle priorities and understand where the team’s focus should be, and that was on different technologies and new ways to connect. As she mentioned “we looked at our social outreach, knowing that this was a channel we would heavily rely on to connect to the right people at the right time. It’s been not only really successful but a lot of fun, too! We’ve been able to establish and maintain the same connectedness we’ve had with our customers just in a different way”.
What Are Some of the Biggest Success Story of 2020?
It can sometimes be hard to look at the positive side when the world is going through such turmoil, but it’s also extremely important. Though 2020 brought on many, many hardships, there were also positives to come out of such an unstable year.
For Shannon Seastead, those successes came in the form of launching a company rebrand, without any face-to-face interaction with her team. While they had to delay the timeline by a few months, once they were able to gather all of their collateral it took a couple of days to “figure out how to work together, separately, and pick up right where we left off”. Luckily, with technology at our fingertips, they were able to launch right on time with their new timeline, and even incorporate a brand new webinar series. As Shannon puts it “this was part of the whole digital transformation that aligned with Covid-19, and it was really satisfying to accomplish this goal in the middle of a global pandemic”.
For Colin Day, Managing Director, EMEA and APAC at Oktopost, it was starting his first day at Oktopost the same day England was placed under strict lockdown. For him, being able to lead his remote team, some of whom he has never even met in person through “phenomenal growth in 2020, with expectations to do the same if not larger in 2021” has been his own personal success story.
And for me personally, it was challenging to pick up tasks out of my comfort zone and day-to-day workload, like running this successful “From the Experts” webinar series. Being resourceful and making myself available during a time where I felt utterly helpless was a very satisfying feeling. Even more so to be able to see the success the webinar series has been for our audience.
What Can We Look Forward to in 2021?
While we don’t know what this new year holds for us, and now being hyper-alert to anything that can throw us off our axis, there are certainly some trends that are here to stay. We can all agree that social media has been the main disruptor of 2020, proving success across the board, from brand awareness to selling. And it shows no signs of slowing down, either.
As companies see the proven success of work from home life, fewer and fewer employees will be prompted to return to the office setting. Once again, giving social media the spotlight to shine and be a powerful channel for meaningful conversations. As Colin Day puts it, “in 2021, it will no longer be called social selling. It will be called just selling as it has now become an integral part of the modern-day sales engine”.
While unpredictable, tumultuous, and downright uneasy, 2020 still provided all of us with a wealth of knowledge. We learned how to work from home successfully, how to leverage technology in a forced digital transformation, and how to be resourceful and creative to stay afloat. I’m sure I’m not alone in welcoming 2021 and seeing what new opportunities arise from the ashes of 2020.