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Ilana Nolte sits down with Walgreens’ Patrick McLean to discuss transforming the brand to meet the needs of consumers during COVID-19

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The COVID19 pandemic has forever changed the relationship between consumers and healthcare.

In this timely fireside chat at the 4A’s Decisions - “Standing at the Forefront of Health: How Walgreens Stepped Up During COVID-19", Ilana Nolte, Chief Transformation Officer of MediaCom U.S. joined Patrick McLean, SVP & Chief Marketing Officer of Walgreens, to discuss how Walgreens reshaped to meet the needs of consumers during COVID-19 and how the pharmacy chain will tackle marketing and media around the roll-out of the vaccine through the launch of Walgreens Adverting Group.

While discussing adaptability and brands responsivity in keeping up with changing landscape Ilana said,

“I think as people are spending more time at home, brands need to adapt and wrap around local communities. I believe tech, data, and digital are allowing us to accelerate that. One of the bright spots in the dark year we just had was an increase in digital behavior and e-commerce. E-markers stated that e-commerce sales grew by 32% in North America in 2020.”

Patrick had the following thoughts on advances around vaccine distribution given the variations in eligibility, roll out and phases,

“By making sure information gets to them as accurately and as quickly as possible. Large portions of Americans are unsure so we are informing and providing facts to the people so they can make their own decisions. Going into communities not only with our physical presence but pairing with local groups that can reach those communities even further and get facts and availability to these people.”

As part of their conversation the following takeaways came up:

  1. Must have your data in a good place. If your data is not usable or if it’s not advanced enough, it’s going to be hard to grow as a brand.
  2. Talent – Try to make sure you get the best talent and retain it. Making sure to have a diverse work force is crucial.
  3. Insights –Be in sync with your customers and be prepared to act on the information you get from them. Customers are loyal to your brand but if you start letting them down, you are going to lose them in a heartbeat.
  4. The way to get things done and the way to accelerate is to empower people.

For more information on the event, click here.

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