Keith Kennedy: How Marketing Leaders Can Help Their Firms Successfully Evolve Post-pandemic

January 28, 2021

Keith Kennedy: How Marketing Leaders Can Help Their Firms Successfully Evolve Post-pandemic

Keith Kennedy: How Marketing Leaders Can Help Their Firms Successfully Evolve Post-pandemic

Before the Coronavirus outbreak put the world on a massive halt, many companies had no other means of carrying out their daily activities remotely. In fact, industries that were entirely dependent on real-time face-to-face business proceedings had to make a complete turnaround by adopting lockdown measures.

No doubt, as a marketing expert or business owner, you may have a hard time trying to cope with the many changes that your company had to face during the first wave of the pandemic. The events that occurred due to the COVID-19 have proven that crises produce both short-term and permanent changes.

In this episode of Rediscover Marketing, we had another remarkable interview with one of the best innovators you could find in Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Planning. As a top-talent in the industry, our guest—Keith Kennedy—has shared some successful marketing strategies examples that he believes all companies should start implementing.


Keith Kennedy’s work experience

After graduating college with an engineering background, Keith moved on to work for several firms where he’s excelled as a professional services marketing and strategy expert.

Keith’s talent cuts across several aspects, including marketing strategy, finance, talent acquisition, business development, public relation, and design. He collaborates with the marketing and strategy team to ensure that they stay on track and deliver on their goals.

As the current Vice President of Strategy at Mancini Duffy, located in New York, he works with shareholders and company leaders to identify and develop new strategies that propel growth. Mancini Duffy is a tech-driven design firm that focuses on architecture, planning, and interior design.

The company takes pride in the various landmark projects achieved since its inception over 100 years ago. One such memorable project is the renovation of Peloton’s first headquarters, from a make-do conference room that Keith describes as the “New York City equivalent of a Silicon Valley garage,” to a 50,000 sq. ft. workplace that projects the company’s long-term pursuit.


What was your most notable learning in 2020?

Many businesses have gained a profound knowledge about what works and what doesn’t during the crisis-laden year. Yes, we know that the year hasn’t come to a close just yet, but we decided to ask our guest to share the most important lesson his firm learned.

Keith stated that transitioning from their typical hyper-collaborative work environment to remote work on short notice was worthy of mention. What’s more, they had no prior experience of working from home.

In fact, he alluded to “the most intensely collaborative project,” which had over 200 team members, five client developers, and 45 consultant firms across several disciplines from mechanical engineering to acoustics and plumbing, to name a few. Completing such tasks remotely is challenging.

It was also complicated in terms of strategy and marketing. The lack of in-person conversations made it hard to properly read their clients’ body language, further affecting the ability to close deals.


Leveraging available data for company success

Since it first started as Thomas Bruce Boyd Architect in 1915, Mancini Duffy has spearheaded the design of famous buildings. This has enabled the firm to gain a lot of reputation as a leading design firm in the industry.

Something that we find impressive about this company is how they’re able to integrate some of their past successful projects with contemporary ideas to produce exceptional work. By doing this, they’re able to improve on both the past successes and failures.

We’re sure that this method is what distinguishes them from their competitors today.


Keith’s niche marketing tips and strategies post-COVID

Without a doubt, there have been significant shifts in the way that companies approach marketing strategies today. Old habits probably die hard, but if you’re willing to see your business scale beyond the hurdles of the pandemic, you’ll need to force yourself to drop those habits and adopt new ones.

Advice for marketing leaders in Q4 2020 and Q1 2021

  • Keith recommends that business leaders start realizing what changes will be permanent and those that are only short-term. As the business world is evolving, you will need to align your firm to fit these discoveries.

For instance, as a corporate interior firm, Mancini Duffy can begin to look into how to prepare traditional offices for safe resumption. They can do this by redesigning and renovating interior office spaces to ensure proper social distancing.

  • As a firm, ensure that you pick a stance within your industry and stick to it. Wavering from one decision to another won’t do you any good in the long run.
  • Be open to learning new things from other industries, but this should not affect your primary goal. Keith gets his creative ideas from Harvard Business Review and Medium.


How marketing leaders should approach planning efforts for 2021

We have to admit that we were stunned by Keith’s response when asked for his recommendations to help marketing leaders to plan for the coming year.

According to Keith, planning six months ahead is practically useless for any company. The truth is the world changes in a flash, and we have experienced this first-hand with the recent virus outbreak.

He also mentioned another example of how Google’s algorithm can literally change overnight. For firms that bank on ranking first on Google’s search engine results page, it will spell catastrophe if Google’s algorithm changes in the blink of an eye. And it does happen!

Add that to the millions of other things that change, and you’re probably never going to get your plans right.

Now, don’t get us wrong. Keith believes that firms should have what he calls a ‘mountain-top’ goal. This is a major goal that your company sets out to achieve in three years. However, he advises that you break this down into quarterly or half-year plans.

One thing to bear in mind is that while this may change when you eventually get there, only agile firms willing to evolve will be the most successful.


What do you think of Keith’s approach towards marketing strategy? Let us know in the comment box below.



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