Captains Blog / April 24

Captain’s Blog: Chapter 4

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We are in week 6 of the COVID-19 quarantine.  I realize that when this is over there will ultimately be a new normal.  It’s inevitable.  Let’s discuss four areas that will change and undoubtedly never be the same going forward.

  1. Payment – On a recent trip last Thanksgiving to Europe, I was shocked at how many merchants took mobile pay and how much safer and easier it was to pay for meals or merchandise with just a tap of the phone.  Currency has been on a slow decline for years and for many good reasons – easy to steal, no points for using cash and it is dirty.  As I was walking by an ATM machine, I thought to myself, who needs cash these days?  I think Tap payments with the mobile phone will greatly expand coming out of quarantine.  We will still use credit cards where Tap is not available, but cash likely has taken another huge hit.  We are going to see the continued rise of PayPal, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Visa Checkout, Chase Pay and Samsung Pay.  Cash will be used less and eventually not at all.  Mobile phones continue to be the key instrument in the lives of consumers honing in on that mobile first mindset!
  2. Remote Work – Prior to COVID-19, the hot thing in office space was the “open concept.”  Companies realized the “open concept” was a great way of saving money in constructing less cubicles and office space and allowed for a better interaction amongst employees.  iFrog Digital Marketing employed an open concept in a beautifully modified building in our Easton, Maryland headquarters. We are proud of the building and absolutely love it.  However, we are a marketing technology company and the remote work has not slowed us down a bit; in fact we have increased productivity.  In terms of workspace, we are looking at ways to social distance between iFrog employees and are even contemplating building out cubicles to add more privacy.  In all likelihood, we will be much more open to some form of remote work on an ongoing basis.
  3. Travel – The trend on airplanes prior to COVID-19 was to squeeze as many folks as humanly possible together in very small spaces to maximize revenue to the airlines.  I honestly don’t think that is going to work in the “new normal” post COVID-19.  Will there be health screening before passengers board the plane? Will we need to wear masks? Will the waiting areas be changed?  How will they manage crowds in TSA lines?  So much has changed in the last 6 weeks and while we don’t have all the answers, it is a safe bet that air travel will certainly look different post COVID-19 and that is something that will impact just about every business and leisure traveler.
  4. Shopping – The one thing that hasn’t changed or even slowed down is the Amazon delivery truck.  In fact, in the automotive space, we saw a much higher quality of website traffic across the majority of dealer sites.  There is evidence that consumers are doing much more shopping online.  While traditional advertising is taking a hit in both print and television, consumers are using their desktops, tablets and mobile phones at higher rates than ever.  This is where iFrog consumer pathing and mobility experience greatly impacts the shopping process.

You may be wondering what we have been up to during this time and what our “new normal” will be.  Of course, our workspace will look different with more space between the team and altered workstations that will be spread across two floors rather than one.  The exciting news is we have created an 18-month roadmap, which we are tirelessly working on to better serve!  This encompasses our plan to implement a single unified technology stack that will allow us to leverage the iFrog AI and Machine Learning across all of the clients’ marketing efforts.

These efforts will give our clients an unfair advantage in terms of their marketing ROI. This technology places iFrog at the intersection of marketing and technology as one of the upcoming marketing technology companies.  Have no fear!  Even though we are adding big time technology and data to power our marketing, our DNA of “Born in a dealership” and “World Class Service” will remain at the forefront.

There will be a “new normal” after the COVID-19 crisis and that “new normal” will push us toward greater evolution.

As always, please don’t hesitate to hit me up 24/7 if you need anything at kt@ifrog.com.

Be a pirate, have a great day and embrace the change!  Never stop innovating!  #ifrogmarketing, #pirates, #borninadealership

Keith Tomatore

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