We have had a Q&A session with Brian Byer, Vice President & GM at Blue Fountain Media, a Pactera EDGE company.
Byer shared his valuable insights into how different sectors have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and how they have been doing during the post-COVID-19 era. He also informed us about their business development plans for the last quarter of 2020.
Q1. The last two quarters have been challenging for the world. How has Blue Fountain Media team been faring? What’s next for them and for your agency?
These have been extremely challenging times globally and luckily our team fared well and is stronger than ever! The agency continues to grow and our team continue to become more imaginative each day. We all miss each other and the daily interactions that happen naturally in the office but out of an abundance of caution, our offices still remain closed in NYC.
To help stimulate and continue the daily interactions that happen naturally in the office and are vital for workforces as strong as ours, we created a virtual card game. The ‘cards’ are available through Microsoft Teams and encourage small talk and/or ice breakers across four key categories -‘Fun Makers’, ‘My Life In Quarantine’, ‘Alright But Seriously’, and ‘BFM, What’s That?’ (which is a little more personal for our Blue Fountain Media team members)! Anyone can play – just search ‘Blue Fountain Media’ in the Giphy app on the messaging platform you’re using and select a card to send! Alternatively, you can see them all here.
Q2. What challenges did you meet during the COVID-19 outbreak and how did you overcome them? What do you advise the ones facing the same?
We have always had a disparate, global workforce and flexible work from home policies. When COVID-19 became a reality, closing our headquarters was still an extremely tough decision to make. We mandated all employees continue to dress professionally and attend meetings on Zoom, Teams, GTM, etc with their video-enabled. We saw an initial drop in our business as a result of COVID; however, we have now come back stronger than ever. My advice to anyone who has yet to manage a business through a downturn is to know that recessions and depressions have happened many times before and the economy has always begun to grow again.
Q3. Thankfully the majority of the digital agencies were already equipped and trained to work remotely. So during the outbreak, they were all able to work from home. However, we assume that you have clients from different sectors that are not familiar with online meetings. How do you manage video calls instead of in-person meetings with them? And how do your customers feel about it?
The vast majority of our clients are tech-savvy and working from home as well. While many of them don’t participate using video, they certainly appreciate seeing their agency team on video and clients often times get excited for the opportunity to use the video chat feature on Zoom. We also use a tool called Mural for virtual white boarding sessions with clients. We start meetings with a quick tutorial on the use of the tool and it ensures everyone is on board and able to use the tools at the level we need in order to facilitate a successful meeting.
Q4. What were the top three remote working tools which your team has been using, internally or externally, during the outbreak? And what are your thoughts on them?
Zoom: Great for video calls.
Teams: Great for chat and file sharing.
Outlook: Email / calendar are still alive and well in 2020.
We may be apart for now, but we are more connected than ever.
Q5. What industries are your clients mainly focused on? How has COVID-19 affected these industries?
We work with a wide variety of different industries and even those most affected by COVID have been able to benefit from increasing their investment in a solid digital platform and presence.
Q6. The companies which have survived the first few months of the coronavirus outbreak have been getting back to business. We would love to hear your observations and experience regarding actions by different sectors during the post-COVID-19 era.
One of our best and longest partnerships has been with Baldor Foods, they deliver farm to table provisions to restaurants up and down the East Coast of the US. As you can imagine, a lot of their clients ran into extreme trouble due to COVID. We were able to work with Baldor to create a B2C delivery business that has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few months, using their existing infrastructure. You can read about how we were able to help them quickly pivot here.
Q7. Digital marketing is evolving every day. And digital agencies are the ones who need to adapt quickly so as to success. With this fact in mind, can you mention some of your investment plans for business development in Q4?
We are building a practice around enterprise Content + Commerce frameworks such as AEM & SAP Commerce. Additionally, we are making large investments in tremendous AI talent in order to help our clients execute on the next wave of technology innovation.
Q8. As an effect of the coronavirus pandemic, investments in digital marketing have been rising, which promotes higher competition between digital agencies. Considering all these, what are your plans to promote your business in the last quarter of 2020?
We plan to continue doing amazing work that delights our clients and drives client referrals. Otherwise, we intend to stay the course with our marketing dollars.
Q9. How does being a DAN member contribute to your agency’s success?
DAN has been a great long term partner for us. I wish all of our partners were so proactive and provided us with as many opportunities for growth as DAN.
About Blue Fountain Media
Blue Fountain Media is a digital agency based in NYC. By creating lovable experiences that merge imagination and technology, they help brands move from now to next.