As we all work through the various impacts of the novel coronavirus – from the depressing and the serious to the merely inconvenient – it's vital that as much industry and business as is safe and possible continues. When thousands are dying, it can seem trite to even consider this, but it is not only important in terms of us having a vibrant post-virus world; IT is an important contributor to sustaining our lives and communications today, and also a vital element to finding ways to overcome the virus.
But that business-continuation demands some very different approaches and thinking; therefore, whenever possible over the coming weeks I'll be asking executives from IT vendors and partners to discuss their thoughts around the marketing changes, challenges, and - yes - also the opportunities that this pandemic is creating. I've called this series "Marketing in Challenging Times" - that's not to skirt around the issue of COVID-19, but to acknowledge the fact that the "challenging times" are likely to extend well beyond the point at which the pandemic is controlled, contained, or beaten...and also of course perhaps some of the lessons-learned and silver-linings-discovered will continue as well. Everyone brings their own perspectives to these conversations; as a minimum we hope they are cathartic, and at best they might provide a new idea or inspiration.
Jonathan Martin, CMO at Hitachi Vantara, has spent the last few months gradually coming to appreciate the efficiencies and effectiveness that are possible in a home-based working model. And certainly he and his team have had plenty to deal with - no more so than switching from myriad global events that produce the vast majority of the companies leads, to a market where everything is - and relies upon - digital engagement. And it's that last word -- engagement -- that is consuming much of Jonathan's focus right now...after all, no-one wants a deluge of dry, turgid content - whether it be digital or not! He emphasizes both the data science exercise to get the right information to the right person at the right time, but also the qualitative -- almost vendors-as-media-houses -- exercise to ensure that the presentation of that digital material is done with the optimum mix of education and entertainment.