In uncertain times, it is more important than ever to share experience, insights and advice with your peers so we can all learn from one another. With this in mind, we are having conversations with members across various sectors to understand how themselves and their teams have been coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, what they have learned from it and how they continue helping their customers.

For the first instalment in the series we’ve chatted to Kevin Kent, Head of Marketing at Laya Healthcare.

MII: Hi Kevin, can you tell us about how have you been adapting your marketing activities during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Kevin Kent: It has been about pausing, thinking and then re-adjusting. It has been really impressive to see how the Marketing team has managed this so quickly. Our only objective is how we can support our members at this time, and as a team and a business that is what each of us are focused on. While we have paused some projects, such as research about to go into field, we have doubled down on others. We have increased direct communication with our members and how we can digitally and remotely support our members, and enable them to access their benefits at this time.

How have you been engaging with your team?

Webex is very much part of our lives now and on Monday we have our first rendition of Happy Birthday via Webex. Interesting, and more practise needed. Staying aligned as a remote team is new for us, but we have maintained our integration philosophy and now do that via calls rather than face to face. Our embarrassing stories of family members gate crashing Video calls have been minimal, but it is early days yet.

What have you learned from a marketing perspective from COVID 19?

Don’t panic. In our market we are seeing changes daily, when our members are looking for certainty. We are adjusting to these changes and keeping the member as the centre of the process.

How have your work practices changed? What will you do differently going forward?

One area we focused on was our structure and how we can support certain parts of the team more. We have increased our resources focused on communication and content creation. Decision making needs to be more fluid, and adapt as our working environment and the broader situation changes.

Has your brand purpose been challenged by COVID 19? How?

Looking after you always is in our name. It is our brand promise to our members. Now is the time where we really show our members what that means, so while these are challenging times, it is a real opportunity for us in laya healthcare to show our members how we add value for them & their families.

What brands or businesses have you admired through this crisis?

I like what An Post have done. While their team keep working, they are reminding us to communicate more, but using post rather than digital. I think it is a great opportunity to reconnect with people, through simpler means and when our lives are being taking over by virtual meetings, a letter is a great way to interrupt that.