We talked to Alexandre Thériault-Lachance on how Hamak relies on the latest technologies and best media buying practices to continuously create, measure and optimize digital campaigns and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Alexandre Thériault-Lachance: Perfectly fine, everyone is in good health. Thanks!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Hamak.
Alexandre Thériault-Lachance: I co-founded the agency in 2014 with my colleague Sophie Girouard. I’m in charge of managing our accounts and supervising our team.
My passion lies in marketing, and the many tools and strategies that make the industry tick. I help local and international companies achieve their business goals by delivering the very best of what digital marketing has to offer. In short, I craft personalized marketing strategies in order to optimize their online assets and maximize their ROI!
Before co-founding Hamak, I earned my bachelors of administration from UQAM, followed by a master’s of e-commerce at HEC Montreal.
How does Hamak innovate?
Alexandre Thériault-Lachance: Hamak leverages cutting-edge technology and digital marketing “best practices” to create, measure, and optimize high-performance campaigns. We’re always looking out for the next big thing in our industry, and we aren’t afraid to be bold in our approach.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Alexandre Thériault-Lachance: Before the pandemic, we had just hired a few new team members and we were looking to expand our office space. As you can imagine, we’ve since put that project on ice. Aside from that, the most major change has been a drastic decrease in casual communication and chatting. To combat the lack of in-person collaboration, we’ve doubled down on our existing platforms (like Asana, Drive, Hangouts, and Meet). Teleworking and flex scheduling were a part of our business before the pandemic, so the entire team was already set up with laptops and was used to working almost entirely online.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Alexandre Thériault-Lachance: In the first few weeks, we lost a significant number of mandates, and we needed to cut down on our staff’s working hours as a result. It was important for us to keep everyone on board, so we redistributed certain tasks to make sure everyone had worked on their plate. When the going got tough, we poured all of our faith into our team: this proved to be a smart move because as soon as the business started ramping up again, they were right there with us.
What specific tools, software and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Alexandre Thériault-Lachance: Our go-to platforms are Asana, Everhour, and Google Meet. They’re the glue holding our remote culture together! As for management skills, I feel like our advantage lies in the fact that we’ve always prioritized flexibility and a remote-first attitude. Our employees have always had the option to work from home and enjoy flex hours – so, when the pandemic hit, we already knew exactly how to manage a remote team. The learning curve was essentially zero. That’s the advantage of being on the cutting edge!
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Alexandre Thériault-Lachance: There aren’t many agencies that can provide our level of expertise under one roof. The fact that we can create content and websites that perform exceptionally well has earned us a very strong reputation within our industry. Despite the hardships we faced at the start of the pandemic, this is exactly why Hamak was able to stay on its feet.
Your final thoughts?
Alexandre Thériault-Lachance: The way I see it, if our business can survive a pandemic, we can survive anything! This experience has certainly served up its fair share of existential threats, but it’s also deeply validated our decision to focus on a flexible work environment from the very beginning.
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