Don Mock 0:19
That’s that shuffling papers.
Rob Broadfoot 0:21
Got a pile of my research notes?
Don Mock 0:23
Well, yesterday, I think we talked about, you know, all the copious amounts of show prep we do. So it’s good to see that you follow it up with a big stack of papers we can shuffle.
Rob Broadfoot 0:31
Yeah, well, I had the internal podcast team do all the research for me.
Don Mock 0:32
All right, good. We’re gonna hit you with some hardcore facts and figures today, pilot. All right episode 18. We thought we’d talk today as everybody else has, but we thought we’d give our little perspective on a two about global plagues and COVID. And sort of how that impacted our business. Maybe positive, maybe negative, you know, it affected a lot of people’s different business. It was crazy. It was say, Oh, my God, what’s happening in the world? Right. But I thought, you know, we have a couple of maybe not necessarily anecdotes.
Rob Broadfoot 0:50
Don Mock 0:52
Anecdotes, did I say that weird? Anecdotes.
Rob Broadfoot 1:09
That doesn’t sound. Hahaha….
Don Mock 1:12
Yeah. Oh, well, well, it’s too late now.
Rob Broadfoot 1:15
Yeah, it’s already out there. We got some anecdotes.
Don Mock 1:17
Outside of once we all got afraid of or once we were stopped being afraid of Oh, my God, the world’s gonna come to an end. You know, how do we keep going? So, yeah, COVID and how it related to @mocktheagency. Ready. Go!
Rob Broadfoot 1:33
Yeah, so I remember. It was March the 13th. Yeah. And I remember that because it was Friday the 13th.
Don Mock 1:41
Rob Broadfoot 1:42
And one of our employees had one of those tearaway day calendars on his desk.
Don Mock 1:47
Rob Broadfoot 1:48
And I’ll never forget the image of March the 13th. That Friday the 13th. And that was the day.
Don Mock 1:52
It’s funny I can see it from here, from where we’re recording. You can still see the calendar because it’s still over there.
Rob Broadfoot 1:57
it’s still over there? It’s still on the 13th?
Don Mock 1:58
It’s still on the 13th. Yeah, I told everybody don’t “don’t touch it.” And for further color commentary on it. It’s one of those trivia of the day calendars.
Rob Broadfoot 2:08
What’s the question?
Don Mock 2:09
You know what the question is?
Rob Broadfoot 2:10
I have no idea.
Don Mock 2:10
The question is, “what is the active ingredient inside the tires that NASCAR cars drive with?” I just screwed up how to ask that question.
Rob Broadfoot 2:21
The active ingredient in the tires?
Don Mock 2:23
Yeah. What did they inflate the tires of NASCAR with?
Rob Broadfoot 2:25
Don Mock 2:26
That is correct. The answer is nitrogen. Yeah.
Rob Broadfoot 2:29
Yeah. It’s like the only gas I know. Yeah.
Don Mock 2:33
But it’s still up there. Yeah, Friday the 13th. And that’s the trivia question.
Rob Broadfoot 2:33
I wonder why it’s nitrogen?
Don Mock 2:37
And that’s the day that we sent everybody home. Talk to you in two weeks.
Rob Broadfoot 2:41
COVID had been buzzing for a little bit. Yeah. Everybody was just trying to figure out what in the world was going on? And yeah, Friday the 13th was the day that we told everybody here. Don’t come back to work on Monday.
Don Mock 2:49
Rob Broadfoot 2:54
We’re going home. And we’re going to sort of figure this thing out.
Don Mock 2:56
Yeah, grab your computers and go.
Rob Broadfoot 2:58
Yeah. And that started a just a strange time. I think for everybody. For us specifically it was. I’m one of those… I’ll tell my side of it. I’m one of those people that never. I don’t work at home very well. Like I did when I was in college I could never study in my dorm room. I had to go to the library. I had to go somewhere to go to work or focus or do whatever. And so I decided I was gonna keep coming into the office. My wife works at home. All the dogs are at home. All of a sudden, all the kids are at home. There was a lot going on. So it’s like, okay, well, as long as nobody’s here. I’m gonna keep coming to the office and coming out.
Well, and we were still getting FedExes in mail. And I mean, there’s still like a need for someone to show up.
The world is still going. And, I remember it. So for the first. It’s kind of all a blur. Yeah. For the first couple of weeks. It was like, This is great. This is awesome. And I wasn’t wearing shoes, walking around blaring music, yeah, just kind of work in and do stuff. But then, I would imagine, and it’s not like this, but it’s like, solitary confinement, where all of a sudden, after a period of time, the walls kind of start closing in a little bit. And there’s no one to talk to here, and you start to go a little crazy. So there was definitely some times where I went a little crazy. But throughout it all, I stayed in the office. I think you were out. I think it was like three months?
No, It wasn’t not that long.
Don Mock 4:29
It was four to six weeks. I think maybe more on the six week side of fliers. It felt like forever.
Rob Broadfoot 4:33
Felt like years.
Don Mock 4:35
Yeah, I set up the home office. Obviously, like everybody else. We got the kids at home. We had kids doing virtual school and closets and all sorts of crazy stuff, dogs barking and conference calls and whatnot. But then it was a I’m the same way I can’t work from home. I mean, I like the light switch. I might work and then I flipped the light switch to turn the lights off. And now I’m at home, you know, and that blending of the two for me wasn’t necessarily the most beneficial. So, you know, camped out at home for six weeks or so, and then it was like, dude, I’m coming back, like, and we’ll just kind of stay away from each other just in case. But because I think, yeah, and then it was just the two of us for quite a long time. But I think the point of today’s Convo is, things still kept going, you know what I mean, work still kept going, no interruption in service to clients, you know, and I think one of the anecdotes, I can’t even say that word, it’s like, the third time of bumbled it. Was that hilariously enough we at the very beginning, we had plane tickets, if you remember this to go visit a client, or not even a client, yet a potential new client that we hadn’t even signed yet. And it was, well, gosh, what do we do? Right? And it was kind of really the beginning. I mean, we had done some, you know, screenshare, and some presentations and things like that before, but we ended up kind of going into, dare I say, pitch mode? Yeah, like via, like, you know, zoom and whatnot. I cancelled that trip, because nobody was flying anymore. Certainly, that was a concern. And, you know, kudos to us, I guess you could say it was we, you know, we actually landed a pretty big fish during the pandemic. It was weird for everybody. It’s weird for them too yeah, we’ve never actually met you. You know, I mean, we talk all the time, and we see you, you know, through cameras, and zooms, and whatever else. But yeah, you know.
Rob Broadfoot 6:19
I remember that. And we went on to do a really cool campaign for those guys. That was awesome. A lot of fun to work with. But I remember when we got the assignment, and we were putting together pitch creative. I remember being in here in this room, and everybody was remote, and I think this sort of speaks to like, our industry. When you’re working on creative, it’s such a collaborative kind of, we’re talking about ideas, and we’re looking over each other’s shoulders. So now how does this work? And not being in that environment? For the first go round was difficult. So weird. I remember being in here not being nice on the phone to people like these ideas aren’t good. And just having a bad day. But it was weird. Working on concepts completely independent, isolated, not being able to share them. Yeah, I think especially in this industry. But we got through it, and it was great. And it totally worked. And we got that account. Yeah, it was great.
Don Mock 7:19
Well, we’ve mentioned how our business is based on efficiency. I think part of that collaborative nature is more a little bit more efficient. You could argue in person sometimes, right? So we’re a big fan of in person we grew up in person. I mean, we grew up our director, copywriter teams together, that’s even in the schools, how you partner together, you know, so all of a sudden, now, boom, we’re all scattered, and we’re all isolated, it was a different way to sort of approach it, you know, and it was not necessarily as efficient being on zooms and phone calls versus just standing in a conference room together, looking at the same thing at the same time.
Rob Broadfoot 7:53
Ya and it’s all the things that you that, you know, when you’re collaborating with somebody and talking about ideas and things, zoom, fine, you can see people but you don’t get to read the language, the body language is different, totally different experience. And then to add to that, the technical challenges of sending large files, gigs of things. I mean, we had to rework our servers and do all the things that everybody had to do from a business perspective.
Don Mock 8:20
Well it is a little different, versus I’m sending around Excel docs or whatever. Oh, here’s a working three gig video file that I’ve got a backup and upload. I mean, there’s that that just time constraint, right. So yeah, I think that was kind of an interesting, I mean, a little bit challenging, but also a good thing. You know, in terms of that, we crushed that assignment, got that client, you know, everything was good. So anything else?
Rob Broadfoot 8:45
A testament to the human spirit.
Surely to overcome?
Don Mock 8:50
Any adversity, right? Advertising always overcomes adversity. Well, where there’s an opportunity, there’s always going to be an ad.
Rob Broadfoot 8:55
Don Mock 8:57
Any other thoughts about how COVID Potentially changed our business? Not necessarily or advertising as a whole? If you have any thoughts or whatever?
Rob Broadfoot 9:05
I think that, you know, a lot of industries and still today, I mean, two years later, the debate rages on about tele working. And, you know, people have really strong feelings both ways. I think for us. Collaboration is pretty important. Yeah. We don’t have a huge staff. So it was easier for us to kind of manage that. But collaboration is important. So when the time felt right for us, we encourage everybody to come back. And again, we’re not talking about dozens upon dozens of staff so it made it a little bit easier. And I think everybody was ready to come back. Yeah. I mean, I think in this industry to people value that partnership, and that camaraderie.
Don Mock 9:50
Yeah, there’s no there’s no blanket statement across the economy that I mean, you can say, hey, the New York Times wrote an article about the efficiencies of not commuting and how much more percentage wise you’re more productive and all that kind of stuff. You can’t necessarily draw a conclusion to that across every single industry.
Rob Broadfoot 9:51
Don Mock 9:58
So which is interesting. However, that being said, One offshoot is we did have an employee relocate permanently out of Atlanta. And she’s a fantastic employee and still on staff and it works absolutely fine, right? Because we did have that, dare I say, forced trial run? Right? Where everybody was at home? And I just said, dare I say, and let me point out that my wife has repeatedly said, after listening to this podcast that I say, dare I say a lot.
Rob Broadfoot 10:35
Well, that needs to be the name of the podcast. We need to rename the podcast dare I say.
Don Mock 10:40
Because I’m like, No, I never say that. And then I just literally caught myself saying, dare I say, so that must be that I need to put that on a t shirt. Right?
Rob Broadfoot 10:46
Dare I say.
Don Mock 10:47
Rob Broadfoot 10:48
I think that, you know, pre pandemic, if you’d asked us how we felt about having a remote employee or an employee in a different location, we would have said no.
Don Mock 11:01
Rob Broadfoot 11:03
If for no other reason than then collaboration is critical to what we do. But yeah, that changed that. And I think we were both a little bit nervous about it. Yeah. But at the same time, like, yeah, willing to, I mean, you had eight, you know, nine months of proving things are getting done the wheels of progress are turning and going down the road.
Don Mock 11:22
Yeah, and like all success stories, I mean, the employers need to hire great people, and then trust that they are there for the right reasons that are doing a good job.
Rob Broadfoot 11:30
I think it also helps, you know, we’ve talked about this before, but we generally, people that we hire, because the size that we are, we need independent thinkers, and we need people who are great with time management and we need all of those sorts of things. So I think that probably helped that situation, work out well.
Don Mock 11:51
Oh, for sure. For sure.
Rob Broadfoot 11:52
So yeah. So we’re back in the office. And it’s great to be back in the office.
Don Mock 11:54
It is great to be back.
Rob Broadfoot 11:55
I mean, it’s nice to be back. It’s nice to chat and do all the things that we do and yeah, and get the work done.
Don Mock 12:01
I think I mean, those are the two big stories that I can think about when it relates to how COVID impacted our business. I think from a client perspective, if we think about it from that side, there is no real easy way to answer that, because our clients are so varied by industry. The way COVID affected them is so drastically different from manufacturing, to services to products, you know, there again, they went through the gamut as well. And just our ability to be nimble and service them the way that each individual location or client needed for a quick pivot based on their business for COVID.
Rob Broadfoot 12:34
But I think also too, you had depending on the businesses, but the reason that specific client that we landed during COVID and the reason that worked so well is because you had so many companies that stopped. COVID hit and they went whoa, alright, we’re not marketing. All budgets, frozen. Everything happened. Except for those who recognize Oh, no, now, that everybody’s pulling back now. Now’s the time to go forward. And they recognize that right out of the gate. I mean, never even thought about stopping. Yeah, exactly. And so I think that’s an interesting lesson. And it’s different, because you’re right. If all of a sudden you had massive supply chain issues, and you couldn’t make your widget. Don’t go try and sell your widget.
Don Mock 13:17
And that did happen to certain to a certain extent.
Rob Broadfoot 13:18
And that happened to a lot of people. Yeah. And that made sense to pause. Yeah, you know, but but I think in different industries, there was a little bit of fear and people not knowing what to do. So they stopped and, you know, those that soldiered on?
Don Mock 13:30
Well, I have no idea if that’s true or not. So we’re gonna have to run this through the crack research team shuffling the papers that you’ve got, but we used to say that anecdotally, there we go. I’ve said it for the third time now was that the brands that advertised during the Great Depression, we’re still the number one brands today. I don’t think that’s true. Now, I think we used to joke about that 30 years ago, but it was like the old trusty dusty, slightly Ivory soap. Yeah, potentially cornflakes and things like that. Right? Those that stayed the ship through the… Stay the ship? that doesn’t even make any sense either. Stay the course.
Rob Broadfoot 14:04
Stayed the course.
Don Mock 14:05
Yeah. They navigated through the Great Depression, you know what I mean, came out stronger on the other side. But again, you need to have bandwidth to be able to do that.
Rob Broadfoot 14:12
Don Mock 14:13
You know, no one size fits all approach to that.
Rob Broadfoot 14:15
I’m just glad my kids are back in school.
Don Mock 14:18
I think they are too.
Rob Broadfoot 14:20
I think they are too.
Don Mock 14:21
I think most kids are.
Rob Broadfoot 14:21
I think everybody’s glad that the world is back. It’s different. The world has changed for sure.
Don Mock 14:26
Yeah, for sure.
Rob Broadfoot 14:27
But yeah, that was a little look at how COVID impacted our business here.
Don Mock 14:32
Yeah. All right. I think that’s it for the day.
Rob Broadfoot 14:34
Yeah, that was uplifting.
Don Mock 14:36
Yeah, we’ll be positive on the next one. I will This wasn’t a negative one. Well, this was you know, it was just hey, how did how did it affect us? You know, I think, it was interesting getting a client that you’re never in the same room with. We have clients all over the United States. I mean, we’ve always had clients out in different places, you know, but to go through the entire cycle, I think was unique for us, right? Because a lot of times it is beneficial to sort of get into same room together especially at that getting to know you phase.
Rob Broadfoot 15:03
To me I think the craziest part of all that was learning that COVID was fake.
Don Mock 15:08
Oh no, oh no, not at all. But people are gonna think that they’re serious now. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not serious. Yeah, we’re gonna have to edit that part out.
Rob Broadfoot 15:16
Get your vaccines, kids.
Don Mock 15:17
Oh, boy. We’re getting into some hot button issues.
Rob Broadfoot 15:21
All right, everybody. Thanks for tuning in. As always, you can find us on the interwebs at mocktheagency.com and on the socials @mocktheagency and leave us some comments and thoughts.
Don Mock 15:32
Alright, thanks, everybody.
Rob Broadfoot 15:33
Don Mock 15:34
Yeah, yeah, give us a topic you’d like us to talk about.
Rob Broadfoot 15:37
Here’s a funny soundbite. See you guys.
Don Mock 15:41