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The Challenges of the Past 10 Years

Natural cycles of economies and businesses are characterised by the challenges that shape them as time goes by. Businesses go through various pressures and whilst some do not make it beyond them, others manage to learn, survive and develop important traits of resilience. In this interview article, we speak with the Founder and CEO of MYC, Simon Attard regarding the economic and business challenges faced in the past ten years, what was done to mitigate the risks and key learnings.

The current inflationary pressures

As the impacts and restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic subsided, it became evidently clear that a new challenge would need to be addressed, that of inflation. The crisis caused by the disruption in supply chains and the invasion of Ukraine have had both direct and indirect detriments on the business community at large. The shipping crisis has led to prices tripling, and in certain circumstances going beyond, leading to a scarcity of materials within the local market. This has made the pricing strategies of various businesses locally highly volatile, creating difficulties for both organisations and consumers. 

One of the decisions taken in 2022 by MYC, was to increase the salaries of all staff members. This decision came with a sense of responsibility and sustainability in mind, however to tend to clients in the best way possible, employees need to be taken care of. Increasing the salaries of MYC’s employees does not mean that the agency hiked its rates or that it plans to do so anytime soon. To remain helpful and relevant, the firm cannot be part of the problem. The plan is to continue delivering value by being more aggressive on behalf of clients and come up with more effective ways of optimising their business development. This is the formula that MYC has adopted for the past ten years, not only to survive but to thrive in these difficult times. Such challenges are necessary as they develop resilience, strengthening the business and relationships with existing clients and new ones.

COVID-19

Prior to the pandemic, sustainable businesses were accustomed to growth. When COVID-19 hit, it led to several frightening moments. Many businesses had to take drastic and challenging decisions, on a daily basis. The uncertainty continued to contribute towards the difficulty of these decisions as businesses were impacted. In terms of MYC, I deem us quite fortunate to have a strong, united and loyal team. Even during the toughest of times, the team gave its best and pulled towards the same direction. As the Founder and CEO of this growing company, I will never be able to stress enough how blessed we are. A successful business owes much to its employees, both those who stayed and also others that moved on.

Assisting clients throughout the pandemic 

Businesses that invested cleverly prior to the pandemic had a better standing to navigate through the hardships. Companies that never invested in an online presence were more susceptible to fall to scams which were spearheaded by campaigns making outrageous claims, for example that a website can be built with an extremely low budget and within a few days. Many businesses regret today having trusted suppliers that made unrealistic promises that they could not deliver on. They were damaged not only by the pandemic, but also because of fake advertising. Throughout the course of the pandemic, we have done our utmost to help clients who we deem as partners, with their marketing and business development needs. Although we seem to be turning a page away from the pandemic, the uncertainty remains, and during these times we are steadfast in our commitment to be a genuine partner to clients and together aim to overcome these challenges.

The evolving nature of marketing

Marketing is a consistently evolving field, requiring constant learning and adapting. Although a relatively small and young agency at the time, MYC was one of the very first few firms that was offering digital marketing services to its clients. At the time, the industry faced a shock as it had to transition from the traditional media, something which was a standard. Marketing firms that did not adapt successfully saw their market share erode whilst others also had to close shop. There is also the aspect of competition, with several businesses interacting with their customers and leads through online media. In view of the ever-increasing competition, we always sought to shed light on the unique selling propositions of our clients, prior to the actual media to be used. One of the reasons why we deliver value is because we take research and analysis seriously. We give risk management its due importance, especially when it comes to start-up businesses. Although we give creativity its deserved time and efforts, we ensure that the intended message is delivered effectively. During this phase we determine the best strategies and tools, including the creation of visuals, design, interviews, audiovisual, PR and content writing. Although we have found that PR and content writing tend to be underestimated, in our experience these can be used to remarkable effect. Apart from effectively utilising the related strategies for our clients, most of the agency’s marketing activity is driven by content writing. The activities are undertaken by our own in-house writers and over the past five months we have increased our web traffic by over 70%.

Recruitment and staff shortage

The problem with resources is well-known and impacts businesses across most industries. This phenomenon is not tied solely to the local market but is a global problem. In such a competitive marketplace where good recruits are being courted and sourced by various businesses, employee retention is of vital importance. At MYC, we have always been blessed by finding high quality employees at the right time. The agency has become a recognised brand that is engaged by established businesses, a workplace that employees want to belong to. MYC is proud and honoured to be an employer of choice, with its strategy geared towards sustaining the collective office environment. The agency increases the number of employees on a yearly basis, always striving to deliver better results. This enables MYC to offer a superior and quicker service, through knowledge and experienced consultancy. Following years of careful recruitment, MYC today holds a solid base of employees consisting of like-minded consultants and creatives, hailing from different industries, with local and international experience. Consistent improvement is at the forefront of the agency’s ethos.

As part of MYC’s commitment to provide a better working environment for its employees, the agency will be moving to a new office, which is more in line to the needs of staff members. It will offer a better working environment, brighter areas and outdoor spaces. With that being said, the people are what actually make or break a business.

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