Thriving Through a Pandemic: 7 Lessons

It’s hard to believe it’s only been four weeks of Work From Home (WFH). The good news is that at many companies, this ‘Plan B’ for daily operations is working well. It’s certainly true at my workplace, Digital Trends. We’re still producing content, delivering our advertisers’ KPIs, and productivity remains high as we learn some illuminating lessons about what’s truly essential to our business and what’s not.

I’ve often told my staff that 20% of what we do every day could go away and it wouldn’t matter to anyone. Only we would miss it. A lot of what we do at work is like muscle memory: things we’re used to doing even if we don’t need to. Stuff that isn’t contributing to anyone’s goals or ultimate gain.

Now as we’re switching to WFH, it’s the perfect time to become aware of what we’ve stopped doing, what’s expendable. Any behaviors that don’t help us get from A to B, we can leave behind in the dust. We are resilient, we are gathering positive takeaways from this experience, and we can be proud of ourselves. Here’s what we’re doing to keep revenues and spirits high as we adjust to our new reality.

Prioritize personal safety first. Stay away from people, places, and things that can negatively impact the health of yourself or the people you love. Togetherness is paused for a while, and that’s hard, but it’s okay and it’s definitely necessary.

Keep external dialogue going. Please keep communicating authentically with your clients and agency partners. Some businesses will slow and some will stop. But others will ramp up. We must continue to be the best partner to our clients and their agencies. This has kept our business healthy, which we’re all incredibly grateful for.

Pursue new business. Do not be afraid to reach out and see what you can do to help new partners. Our publication is a safe haven for ads because we fit well into this crisis. We’re an info resource for tech that makes people more productive and healthy at home. Our audience consists of smart, tech-savvy business professionals who are also the centers of their social circles. We’re leveraging these good attributes for any advertising partners looking to have impact in a noisy marketplace, even during this pandemic.

Center ecomm. WFH is the new normal for us, at least for the next few weeks. And it’s the new normal for most of the rest of the world, too. Brands need to pivot to a digital world where ecommerce is the only commerce option. Lean into this and succinctly share with partners how you can deliver buyers to them since we’re only engaging people online or via social media.

Monitor and monetize traffic. As a result of our fortunate positioning, our traffic is skyrocketing right now. If your traffic is booming, be sure you’re looking at every conceivable way to monetize each impression coming at you. Put a special emphasis on video, where it counts the most!

Focus on keywords. If you’re harvesting a surge in traffic, work with your executive team to better understand where and how you might block words that advertisers are adblocking. We’ve confirmed that this has affected our programmatic open exchange, and we know it affects our direct partners. If you find any advertisers blocking any words, collect them now and create a plan to mitigate possible negative effects.

Do a little housecleaning. We’ve also been working to clean up the efficiency of our UA to keep costs down, and to switch our DMP. This upset in operations has become the catalyst to make the jump formal, official, final and complete. Take this opportunity to clean up any loose ends like this that you’ve been dragging on.

Nobody wanted or expected this pandemic, but since it’s here, resolve to work through it by being a great partner. Above all, keep doing what you’re doing and stay safe. Support each other. It’s going to be a long Spring, but if we handle it right we can come through stronger than ever.