The retail sector bore the brunt of the pandemic’s effects, experiencing business closures and economic uncertainties.
According to the World Bank report, the global economy contracted by approximately 5.2% in 2020 due to the economic disruptions brought on by the pandemic. Diminished customer foot traffic led retailers to adjust, either by canceling or scaling down, events in reaction to the reduced in-store bustle.
Amid these challenges, Old City Media, founded by Ray Sheehan, emerged as a robust and adaptable organization. The company’s journey originated in the entertainment industry and later strategically shifted toward events and the retail sector across North America. This adaptability allowed Old City Media to weather the storm to position itself as a thought leader in the industry.
Reflecting a broader trend, over 60 percent of companies adapted by incorporating digital tools and adjusting their management practices. This shift was essential in facing the combined challenges posed by pandemic-related issues such as lockdowns, disruptions in the supply chain, and shifts in consumer behavior. Survival during these challenges was particularly possible for companies that embraced innovation.
Similarly, Ray took the initiative to transform Old City Media from a local enterprise to a globally recognized marketing agency. Ray expressed “The pandemic wasn’t a hurdle; it was our catalyst for innovation, guiding us to reshape the narrative of brand connection amidst adversity.” He established special events that earned him acknowledgment for innovation and leadership.
Under his guidance, Old City Media introduced the GIFT Program in the summer of 2020. The GIFT Program addressed a specific downside of the pandemic that significantly impacted the retail sector. With lockdowns and restrictions, foot traffic in retail spaces decreased, affecting customer engagement and sales.
The GIFT Program, resembling modern pop-up sales activations, provided a solution by prioritizing customer-centric approaches. By creating engaging displays at retail locations and offering customers free merchandise or gift cards, the program not only maintained but enhanced customer engagement during a period when traditional retail methods faced challenges.
This customer-focused strategy helped offset the negative effects of reduced foot traffic, allowing retailers to connect with their audience and boost sales in a creative and adaptive manner. It facilitated significant corporations like T-Mobile, NRG, Renewal by Andersen, and ASPCA. The agency has rewarded loyal customers with gift cards at retail locations.
Old City Media’s over twenty years of experience in experiential marketing became a crucial link between brands and their target demographics. The agency facilitated brand integration through its client network, connecting companies with their desired niche audiences.
Ray expressed, “We sought inventive solutions that sustained our business. We also provided valuable opportunities for our partners.”
During the pandemic and beyond, Old City Media helped retail partners generate extra income. They carefully managed installations in retail spaces showcasing innovation. They offered sponsorship solutions that enhanced customer engagement in a competitive market.
Through decades of experiential marketing expertise, Old City Media became a vital bridge between brands and their target demographics. Its proactive initiatives, such as the GIFT Program, provide inventive solutions and valuable opportunities for partners. The agency’s resilience stands as a compelling testament to the enduring power of creative solutions in transcending challenges and building meaningful connections.
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