The future needs courage – by Mohammad Baalbaki

The Bold Agency co-founder says Covid-19 has only accelerated what was happening anyway

By Mohammad Baalbaki, co-founder and ECD of Bold Agency

No doubt that today is different than yesterday, and tomorrow is still uncertain for many. It is no different for the Saudi market than any other market in the world.

Today ad agencies and design shops are facing a new reality. They are struggling to maintain their businesses with high cuts from clients and overheads that will eventually lead to a high degree of talent movement, between firing and hiring. Ultimately, this will reshuffle the whole industry landscape. New forces will arise, and others will fall.

Is it the Covid-19 effect? Partially yes, but this isn’t the only reason. The world economy has been changing, and with-it industries are re-shaping. This change, for example, forced some big networks like WPP to apply a cosmetic change on their business strategy bringing about mergers that will eventually sustain the business for a few more years.

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 effect will not get any better soon, and the markets will need years to recover, so there is no way back, and what used to work in the past will not work in the future.

So, Covid-19 only accelerated the pace of change and drove people to adapt to a new norm of remote working. Today agencies should change in the early stages and start re-shaping their model. The smart ones will be able to maintain and sustain their culture remotely, manage their flow of work, and maintain their revenue stream, and this will definitely help them find opportunities and quickly expand to new markets. It is the latest model of the communication industry that we are witnessing and it will last for a reasonable time.