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Colin Lewis is a long-time friend of Econsultancy and columnist for Marketing Week. He is CMO of OpenJaw Technologies, a travel tech firm, putting him right at the heart of current disruption.

Here’s what he had to say…

Please describe your job: What do you do?

CMO of OpenJaw Technologies, a travel tech firm with clients such as British Airways, ANA – All Nippon Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Four Seasons, AVIS, Hainan Airlines

How has your typical day been impacted in the short term by the pandemic?

As you can see from our client list – some of the biggest names in global travel – my day has been hard hit in 3 different ways – we knew about the problem due to having Chinese clients before most, we had to adjust to working from home earlier and our European clients began to realise what was happening later than Asia.

What are your favourite tools and techniques to help you get your work done at the moment?

This will come as a massive surprise: Zoom, Google Hangout, Whats App and Guild, Email and old-fashioned voice calls – as in actually phoning someone!

What trends have you seen in the last few weeks in your sector?

Collapse in demand, key clients changing long held plans overnight, and huge retreat from planned expenditure.

What changes are you making to help your brand connect with how people are feeling and experiencing the pandemic?

Given our target market is travel brands, we made a decision to find content that worked for our target market initially and use this. As the situation has got worse in terms of travel we have reduced our brand messages – not appropriate at this time.

Which companies have impressed you since the outbreak?

Those who have realised that the role of business is to create value for customer, employees, shareholders – and the wider world in general. These brands have realised that they operate as part of wider world and community that has given them the opportunity to ‘do their thing’. Those looking to ‘extract value’ are now looking stupid.

What does long term planning and strategy look like now at your brand?

No such thing. Anybody who is telling you that they know long term planning looks like in the current climate is spoofing.

What advice would you give a marketer right now?

The theory says that brands who promote during recession are more likely to be in better overall economic shape after C19. However, many brands are in survival mode – cash preservation is all that matters. Asking the CFO to invest in marketing when they are thinking of making payroll is naive to say the least. Marketers need to choose their words wisely at this moment.

The post Marketers on the new normal: Colin Lewis, CMO of travel tech firm OpenJaw Technologies appeared first on Econsultancy.

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