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As governments across Europe announce their post-lockdown plans, people are slowly starting to dream of a sunnier life. This hazy optimism may well keep us going through isolation but how might we prepare for what’s coming. For every CEO who is banking on a potential economic boom, there is an economist with a grim outlook. Many of us in the creative industry who struggled through 2020, will be wondering how much need for our skills there will be, or will creativity have become a nice-to-have luxury.

The good news is that business needs us, be it hospitality, retail or any other sector that has been radically altered by the pandemic and business-as-usual-thinking does not apply anymore.

Whenever pubs do reopen, drinkers will be lining up three rounds at a time to minimise visits to the bar, which will make for pretty long queues of (hopefully vaccinated) people. What is the innovative service solution to getting the new customer service right?

The thought of shopping might be anxiety inducing right now, is it possible that shoppers might soon expect a radically different approach to product display? Something that limits their exposure to the next contagious devil’s spawn.

Governments might find it even more difficult to maintain discretionary services and balance the books.

Where a pre-pandemic response may have been to slash and burn, what is the solution in a society that is now far more aware of its neighbours? Who will be the creative thinker that will encourage central or local governments, who are inherently uninventive, to change the way they service their communities?

The world has changed, the creative industry can be certain that opportunities won’t come in the same shapes or sizes. It is only the agile creative who is able to spot new openings and trends, in order to adapt what they offer. You can already see this happening with branding agencies starting to provide social media content for their clients. And with moving image producers growing their creative teams to go direct to end-clients, cutting out traditional (and less agile) advertising agencies in the process.

As lockdown is lifted, we are going to get busy. Afterall, it is creative thinking that clients continue to come to agencies for. From redefining customer journeys to advising local authorities, from creating new products and reinventing existing ones, creativity will play a key role to economic survival.

There is much to do.

Author: Wybe Magermans, as originally published in MarComms News