While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption in both the advertising industry and the day-to-day lives of consumers, we have finally made it to Q4. In many verticals, spending patterns are starting to return to normal, and collectively, our focus is starting to shift towards the holidays, which remain as important as ever for many businesses globally. 

In this edition of Insights from the Buy Side, we talk with Alex Andreyev from Matterkind as he provides his perspective on key lessons learned this year, and how the agency business is navigating the current economic climate. 

Alex Andreyev
VP of Advisory Services at Matterkind

Alex Andreyev leads advisory services at Matterkind, helping marketers evaluate their technology, process and strategy, while identifying opportunities and future proofing their business. Alex and his wife purchased a log cabin in northern Jersey last year, and they've been lucky to bunker there since mid-March.

OpenX: How has your day-to-day business changed as a result of the pandemic?

Alex Andreyev: Many of our clients are spread across the country, so things haven’t changed much from a remote standpoint, although face to face meetings beat virtual ones in my view.

OpenX: How has COVID impacted your overall business? Have certain verticals been more impacted than others?

Alex Andreyev: COVID has expedited some questions marketers have asked themselves for a long time regarding the effectiveness of their media. Companies that have a healthy balance sheet have been able to further invest and future proof their business while taking advantage of the vast media opportunities that exist today, especially in Advanced TV. Companies in a more challenging financial position are homing in on the most effective media. From an advisory standpoint, we’ve been engaged more on helping streamline processes, finding ways to be more agile and maximizing effectiveness of media efforts and measurement. 

OpenX: How are you as an agency navigating through the current economic climate?

Alex Andreyev: I’ll let our partner agencies speak for themselves as many have done great work across the board (e.g. UM launched an innovative Demand Forecaster). At Matterkind, we’ve relaunched our brand and brought a lot of new solutions to the marketplace that we’ve been quietly working on over the last few years. One such solution (shameless plug) is Maturity Canvas, which we developed to help understand individual client marketing infrastructure gaps and areas of opportunity. So while it hasn’t been easy for us or many of our clients, we’ve taken this opportunity to work harder and maximize the support and value we drive for our clients and partners.

OpenX: What do you predict to be the new normal for agencies and when will you get there?

Alex Andreyev: I believe there’s going to be a significant push on effectiveness, measurement and data democratization. We’ve all long pushed for measurement to be balanced and tied to business success, but I believe leading agencies and advertisers will maximize the holistic measurement of performance that is also tied to specific business results. 

OpenX: Has COVID made you rethink what you look for in technology and publisher partners?

Alex Andreyev: At Matterkind, we have our own technology built and powered by Kinesso, but we also partner with 3rd parties to successfully deliver on our client business. In my opinion COVID hasn’t changed this view, but rather further uncovered how great some of our partners are in working with us on mutual solutions to deliver against client goals and solutions. I also feel this has made us a lot more human and collaboration is easier than before.

OpenX: What are you most looking forward to when the lockdown is over?

Alex Andreyev: Oh man, I miss sports. I just want to grab a beer and celebrate a goal for NYCFC at Yankee Stadium with my friends. In-person might be a 2021 ambition, so I’ll just take a goal on TV and a beer with friends at a 6 foot distance.

Thanks for joining us for this month’s edition of Insights from the Buy-Side. Be sure to stay tuned for our next month’s edition!