Page 38 - Adnews Magazine May-June 2021
P. 38

                          Taking the pulse of CMOs
At first, brands and their marketing teams took blows when the pandemic arrived, but quickly switched to attack, seeking advantage and a path to growth.
In this article, we speak to CMOs and take an early peek at top line results from the inaugural AdNews Marketing Pulse with Hearts & Science, a look at how brands large and small are responding to COVID-19 and an increasingly complex, yet fragile and constantly changing, environment.
Catch CMO Ryan Gracie thinks himself fortunate he doesn’t live too far from the office.
“I spent almost every day that I could within the office last year, except when the government man- dated we all stay at home,” he says. “Some days it was myself and the cleaners, and on other days there may have been five or 10 people.
“I prefer to come into the office. I just like to get up, get to my desk and slide into my work. I just feel far more productive than I do when I’m at home. So I’ve been coming in the whole time.”
But that’s not the case with the majority of his team. “There are plenty of my marketing team who I did not see for months on end,” he says.
Just as COVID-19 was starting to creep into Australia, Catch was employing. “During the real lock- down period of COVID-19, we onboarded more than 100 people into head office,” says Gracie.
“That was a very strange period where we were bringing new people into the business without actually physically meeting them. Trying to assimilate them into teams who had a history in the business.”
At the same time, it felt like the whole of Australia had jumped online, buying groceries, looking for goods normally picked up in person on Saturdays.
“There was certainly an increas- ing demand for online and it looks like there’s been an increase across retail in general,” he says. “From about late March, April last year, we saw a big increase in people jumping online and purchasing, and they hadn’t purchased online before.
“It has really picked up from about here on in.
“Catch was one of those bigger brands that people were more aware of. So when people were searching around for those essential items, we were very readily discovered.

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