I’m not going to lie. As we’re building timelines for new client engagements, I love seeing 2021 dates. And whether my optimism about turning the page on 2020 is manufactured or misguided, I’m feeling hopeful.
One thing 2020 did provide in spades was the opportunity to approach our work differently. Agency reviews—historically face-to-face, involving plane rides and hotel overnights, 30 people in a conference room—morphed (seemingly overnight) into streamlined tech marvels that still captured strategy, creativity and culture.
Another coup was the surprising efficacy of virtual pitching. Winning agencies thoughtfully addressed client needs, showed the breadth of what they can do, but didn’t try to be everything to everyone. They built rapport and chemistry across screens—criteria we previously thought could only be assessed in person.
Finally, I think about how often, pre-2020, I’d point to the “continually evolving” nature of marketing and advertising as a hallmark of the industry. Perhaps to the extent that it didn’t mean much anymore. Well, this year, it did mean something. In a year of true tests, marketers and agencies showed just how resilient, creative, adaptive and nimble they can be.
Happy holidays. I look forward to moving ahead with all of you in 2021.