Meg Travis, Director, Global Head of Marketing for Iron Mountain Entertainment Services, on getting creative with remote working, why more companies are turning to archive content, and making the most of blocking and tackling during lockdown.
Firstly, tell us about your role and how you’re navigating the ‘new normal’ since the virus hit.
At IMES, we spent the first two or three weeks just making sure we are properly protecting our employees and our customers while continuing to provide the essential services our customers depend on us for. The work we do often involves working with physical assets – media or equipment or priceless personal artefacts.
We need to be able to continue to show up for our clients as the guardians of these assets, so it was most critical to ensure our people are safe, and then to communicate to our customers and the public that we are safely open for business.
All of our employees who can work from home are doing so, and we’ve gotten really creative about how we continue to do our jobs from home, especially those who are digitising assets. We’ve set up mobile studios for some of our engineers so they can continue to work remotely!
We’ve heard from our clients that they really appreciate both that we’re taking all precautions and also are able to continue supporting them for critical projects during this time.
What technology are you finding most useful to do your job?
Zoom is the obvious but also true answer. So much of my work is about connecting with people and sharing messages with them – when we can’t do it in person, I’ve found videoconference is a not too far distant second. One major benefit is obviously that you can record and transcribe meetings so others can “attend” too, which you certainly can’t do with an in-person meeting.
How have you had to pivot your marketing approach and investment to take account of the pandemic?
Marketing and sales in our industry is highly relationship-driven, which means taking advantage of in-person events to connect with customers and prospects and share a dialogue about how to best meet customer needs. During the initial “pause” after the pandemic hit – when we spent a couple of weeks regrouping and making sure we were all oriented to the “new normal” – we took stock of our planned priorities for 2020.
It became an opportunity to address some basic blocking and tackling (e-mail lists, social media, sales materials) for marketing and sales enablement that we’ve never had the time to do before, since we were always on the event calendar treadmill. Although it’s obviously really hard not to be able to connect with our customers in person as we’re used to, we’re now focusing on content creation, social and web presence, and globalising our marketing and sales materials which will position us for a fast start once everyone is safe to get back out in the world again, which we can’t wait to do!
IMES is all about preserving our collective cultural heritage – is that more important than ever given the current situation?
It is. We have seen a significant uptick in customer requests to digitise content in their archives, to meet the increased consumer demand for digital or streaming entertainment during this time when so many are confined to their homes.
That’s true for our customers across the board but especially in broadcast and sport where new programming has slowed to a trickle, so many organisations are turning to their archives to find iconic content (games, shows) that audiences are hungry to watch again with current seasons being cancelled.
Is there one new marketing tactic you’re hoping to test out when things return to ‘normal’?
During this time we’re working hard on building out content that demonstrates what we see as the importance and urgency of properly preserving entertainment content — not only older physical tapes and hard drives but also digital media that need to be properly catalogued in order to be findable – and monetised – down the road.
I’m hoping that when we do get to share this content with the industry, we’ll be in a better position to capture leads and potential customer interest, and be able to follow up on that interest in a more timely and relevant way (ie personalised and automated – perhaps as a drip email program) than we have before.
And finally, what campaign has really caught your eye in the last few weeks and why?
The State Farm Insurance ad that ran during the airing of Michael Jordan’s documentary The Last Dance on ESPN was quite simply awesome. A GREAT use of genuine “fake news,” technology, and some elements of levity and surprise that are badly needed right now!