We have had a Q&A session with Sandy Fleischer, the Managing Partner at Pound & Grain about digital transformation.
He answered our questions regarding the effects of COVID-19 on different sectors, how Pound & Grain is supporting their clients during these unprecedented times, and how they keep their agency culture alive while working from home:
Q1. Digital transformation for companies and brands has become almost mandatory in a very short time. As a digital agency, how are you handling this process? Can you please share some concrete examples elaborating your digital transformation process?
For us, there’s never really been a need for a ‘transformation’ period as we’ve always operated in a digitally native environment. Our clients vary from telecommunication and packaged goods to apparel and even pet food, so we’ve been guiding them through their own digital transformation with projects like digital campaigns, integrating e-commerce and digital communication strategies with consumers.
Q2. Can you share some precautions you have taken to continue business as usual during the COVID-19 outbreak?
With offices in two different time zones, Pound & Grain has always been a Zoom, Slack and GSuite-friendly workplace. Our entire staff is extremely comfortable collaborating, communicating and creating in the virtual space so when COVID-19 hit, our 2 offices simply became 35. In terms of specific precautions, our physical office spaces in downtown Vancouver and Toronto are officially closed until further notice, but the work hasn’t missed a beat. We’re still meeting regularly with our clients (albeit over Zoom calls now) and we’re still pitching new projects.
The mental health of the team and maintaining a great culture is still a major priority so we meet daily for the Pound & Grain Morning Show, where a different team member takes the agency through a personal presentation. We’ve found it to be a great way to collaborate, converse and make sure everyone is doing okay each day.
A Pound & Grain nautical-themed presentation pictured above
Q3. What industries are your clients mainly focused on? How has COVID-19 affected these industries?
From tech and digital communication to moving services and high-end athletic apparel, we have a range of clients in different industries. Some are affected more than others, but for the most part, it’s about communicating clearly with consumers about the state of the brand and the industry overall.
Q4. What are your insights into digital transformation within different industries? How do you think they will evolve?
In our experience, different industries adapt at different speeds, but it mostly comes from necessity. Whether it’s transitioning over to an e-commerce model, or overhauling media spends to focus more on digital and social media channels, we find that most brands are speeding up their efforts to become more accessible to their consumers. In terms of specific evolution, we see the transformation of the term ‘digital’ becoming more and more synonymous with communications and marketing in general.
Q5. Companies are now investing more on various digital channels. Based on your know-how in digital marketing, which sectors should focus on investing in which digital channels?
In our experience, it pays to know who your audience is, how they behave and what they believe. Once there’s a clear understanding of who a brand wants to communicate with, then we can develop a channel and communication strategy to introduce the brand to this audience. There’s going to be a new channel or a new audience brands want to reach, but we always find it’s more valuable to study the audience before investing media dollars into TikTok advertising for example.
Q6. After the COVID-19 crisis, it is expected that the need for digital agencies will increase. Companies will invest in digital more than ever. In this case, why do you think they should partner with your digital agency?
We’ve been helping brands go to market digitally since Pound & Grain was founded. Our category experience is vast and digital communication is embedded in our company’s DNA and culture. We’ve helped brands with a clear understanding of what their goals are, as well as brands with little to no experience – we simply enjoy helping.
Q7. Are there any practices that you have adjusted during COVID-19 that you would like to continue after this crisis ends? (e.g. remote working)
While things are still fluid, we are definitely talking about how COVID-19 will change the way we work going forward. We are re-evaluating our physical workspaces, and how often we need to be there. Another thing we’ll take a hard look at is travel. We still see it being necessary on occasion, but at the end of the day, we can take the money we save on things like rent and travel and reinvest it adding more value for our clients, then that is awesome.
Pound & Grain WFH desk gardens pictured above
Q8. How does being a DAN member contribute to your agency’s success?
Now more than ever, we are reliant on staying connected with the community, and we’ve found that DAN helps us do just that. It connects us to potential customers, talent, and even virtual events.
About Pound & Grain
High-level strategy and creative thinking; delivering results and connecting audiences. Pound & Grain is a fearless digital agency that hustles hard to make users happy.