COVID-19 has had an immense impact on how people do business, so it makes sense that marketers would have to respond rapidly. In a Beet.TV interview, Fiona Carter, chief brand officer at AT&T explored some best practices that brands have used for getting through this period and what some of the long-term impacts will be for how they operate.

The main lesson that the pandemic has echoed is that brands have to work for humans and they must put their needs first.

“Let’s focus on how brands can help in these trying times,” Carter says. “And as we evolve through the lifecycle of the virus, let’s focus on how we can help customers, consumers, and businesses get back on their feet. That really has to be the guiding light of the work we do.”

Avoiding the hard sell should only help to deepen the relationship with customers. Carter added that although this period is unprecedented, there is a silver lining. With no standard formula or rulebook to follow, brands have been forced to innovate, which has led to significant growth in the industry overall.

“We’ve been on a super highway to the future of digitalization and ecommerce that frankly is fantastic for us,” Carter says.

Some examples of this include serving customers via contactless delivery or virtual consultations. Industries have had to reform how they do business in a rapid fashion, and in turn, marketers have had to deliver changes that they have been talking and debating about for some time now.

“I’m thinking about all of the big issues and as a collective with our marketers we’re urging the marketplace, ‘Let’s go and tackle some of those right now. Let’s go and drive reform, let’s break the legacy,’” Carter says.

Some of these issues include not being able to have digital competitive media intelligence across the entire ecosystem, driving the casebook and use case for diversity, greater transparency in the digital ecosystem, changing the timing of the upfront to be more flexible.

“If we don’t get inventive now, we’re not going to survive,” Carter says. “We need to come out of this strong and together for our customers and for the economy.”

This video is part of a series titled Trust in Partnership in a Time of Change presented by WarnerMedia. Please visit this page for additional segments from the series.