Growing Through Change: What 2020 Taught Me as a CEO

 

2020 turned out to be a very different year than I expected.  

The grocery-retail industry, which we have been part of for decades, experienced a number of changes that we are still in the midst of today. COVID-19 accelerated the shift to digital—both in eCommerce and in the rise of digital coupon usage over the legacy print free-standing insert (FSI)—and omnichannel campaign strategies have become more important than ever as consumers look for new ways to connect while remaining safe and socially distant. These changes have underscored the need for companies to be agile and flexible in order to respond to uncertainty. 

I’ve learned a lot from 2020, especially how to make room for growth and embrace change. At Quotient, we’ve continued to innovate in order to address unforeseen challenges in the marketplace, and I’m excited to see where these new learnings take us in the future.  

Our Focus on Innovation

Amidst all this change, there was considerable innovation. Stores were faced with lines of consumers waiting to purchase basic essentials and out-of-stock scenarios. Meanwhile, the rush to eCommerce grocery drove the urgent need for brands to find a prominent place on the digital shelf and offer value to value-seeking shoppers. Advertisers and retailers collaborated to come up with creative solutions to meet their consumers’ needs. At Quotient, we shifted digital campaign messaging, tactics and channels responding to category-level and consumer-movement changes as COVID impacted various areas of the country differently.

I couldn’t be prouder of our fantastic team throughout all of this. Their relentless focus and long hours of hard work spent in makeshift home offices—while also juggling things like childcare, homeschooling, challenging living situations, quarantine restrictions and more—have left me both impressed and grateful for all of us to be able to unite together under one common goal. A company comes down to its people, and we are incredibly lucky to have so much talent across the board. Our team’s ability to quickly adapt, do what needed to be done to continue serving our clients and working with both internal and external partners while taking care of their own loved ones demonstrates how dramatically they rose to the occasion.  

Thank you also to our partners—to the brands and the retailers we work with—for trusting us and allowing us to support you in bringing essential products, value and services to the country during one of its greatest times of need. People need to have easy, safe access to their everyday necessities, and I’m honored that Quotient was able to play a part in fulfilling that need. I’ll never forget receiving a letter from one of our brand partners, informing Quotient that they consider us part of their supply chain, and thus an essential service, during the early days of the pandemic. For me, this was a proud moment amidst the chaos. 

Success is Rooted in People and Culture 

We are driven by our values at Quotient, and we strive to integrate those values in everything we do. To recognize their significance in our company culture, Quotient employees nominate fellow “Q-Crew” members each quarter for our recognition program, the “Be Greater Than” awards. Each of these nominees is someone who exemplifies our values and goes above and beyond in bringing them to life. Today, I want to recognize the Quotient employees who received a Be Greater Than award earlier this year.  

In addition to an award trophy and company-wide recognition, each Be Greater Than recipient is invited to an annual culture strategy symposium with fellow winners and company leaders to help continue to guide our ongoing culture transformation and development. I believe this to be crucial while we continue building an industry-leading company that puts people at its core. 

New Year, New Opportunities

As we look forward to 2021, I am excited about the road ahead. 2020 has taught me a lot as a grocery-retail marketer, but I’ve also learned a lot as an individual. I’ve seen people come together in times of difficulty, reaching out to take care of those around them. As CEO of Quotient and as a business leader, I recognize that we have the tremendous privilege of influencing the way in which brands and consumers come together to ensure everyone has access to the everyday products they need. I look forward to continuing to find new and innovative ways for us to fulfill that need.  

We are excited to start the year with new possibilities and opportunities, and thank you for taking this journey with us.