May 18, 2020

Times are a changing


Times are a changing

It’s as old as the pyramids. When times are tough, the first thing is to go is marketing budgets. Marketers and media agencies almost sit in anticipation of the impending blow. The unfortunate reality is that this is when an “engaging and present brand” is needed the most. Which is why agencies and marketers have to be creative on how they fight for their place amongst the uncertainty, try to create some organised chaos and remain relevant with engaging content. 

In our April newsletter we mentioned some good news stories on brands that had extended their value propositions into providing additional or new products or services, such as Pernod Ricard and Anheuser Busch. There have also been some creative solutions coming from the event and conferencing realm as well. With live events and conferences taking a massive knock globally, brands have had to rethink how they can drive customer engagement more specifically in the B2B space. Now, more than ever, a holistic digital marketing strategy becomes a necessity for all companies. 

Certainly one of our most colourful interviewees to date has been Richard Mulholland. This Rock and Roadie turned entrepreneur; Richard Mulholland is the founder of presentation powerhouse Missing Link. He has written three books, Legacide, Boredom Slayer, and Story Seller and is a global public speaker that in 2019 alone spoke in 26 countries on six continents. Mostly though, he's a husband, dad, brother, son and uncle. Definitely our kind of guy. 


Amidst COVID-19 Richard and his team at Missing Link came up with a way to reinvent the conferencing and presentation game, seeing that this was their main bread and butter. This gave birth to their webinar series which kicked off in March which looks at how businesses can repackage their in-person events. The webinar covered:

  • Understanding the capabilities of your video conferencing tool
  • Tips to keep your audience engaged
  • Tools to improve the experience

The idea is that whether your company has gone fully remote or is dealing with companies that have, you can still deliver meetings, pitches and conferences to your audience, wherever they may be, with impact. And Missing Link is all about impact. 

Mi9 reached out to Richard to pick his brain on how to move away from traditional in-person events, chat about conjecture probability theory (the man is all about theories) and other wonderful lessons. Click here to enter the mind of this boredom slayer

Another interesting event was The Change the World and Unite 2020 event which was transformed into a digital conference targeted at not for profit social enterprises, community organisations or small businesses that need to make their marketing budgets go that much further. This is Australia and New Zealand’s biggest Digital Marketing Summit for people making a difference and was held over three days with more than 50 speakers. All in the digital space, with speakers volunteering their time and expertise to help not for profit and small businesses during this time of uncertainty to help reach their target audiences without breaking their budgets. Categories for the event included social media, not for profit, marketing, risk and crisis management, small business and social enterprise and mental health and wellbeing. The speaker line-up was impressive with Lee Cockerell from Disney who spoke about How to Lead in a Crisis, Jeff Sieh – How to Create Engaging Social Media Content and Dan Cockerell – How to Create Culture and Some New Friends, just to mention a few. 

To learn more about this event visit:

There has also been some amazing contribution on the agency front with advertising agency Stanley St giving a shoutout to all local businesses around New Zealand. The agency, which is also a local business, understands the trials and tribulations that other local businesses are going through and have very cleverly created free toolkits that local businesses can use to advertise their brands. These toolkits are easily available for download at

The agency has also been proactive in utilising their internal and external knowledge base by creating a comprehensive 43-page framework for marketers and companies on how to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. They cleverly outline the five pandemic stages that one would go through and outline their model based on what they call the 3 Ps: Pivot for lockdown (immediate); Prepare for eventualities (short-term) and Position for recession (long-term).

Source adapted from Stanley St Marketing Through C19 Crisis and Beyond, Slide 2

The framework is exceptionally well crafted, outlining key imperatives to focus on within each “P”. Prepare, for instance, talks to scenario planning, the focus on digital, reassessing customer needs, service as an experience and experimentation. 

Whilst there is nothing in the document that any good marketer will not know, it’s the application of the thought process during a crisis situation that is emphasised and it provides clarity of thought to guide the marketing fraternity or a brand owner.  The full document is freely available for download here and is definitely worth a read or to keep on hand as quick reference or sanity check…

Source adapted from Stanley St Marketing Through C19 Crisis and Beyond, Slide 40.

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