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This Global Marketing Agency Keeps its Creativity Flowing Through the COVID-19 Shutdown


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The hundreds of employees around the world who work for MMGY Global share one mission: to inspire people to go places. That laser-like focus is how the company became the world’s largest integrated marketing agency for the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry.

As you can imagine, though, carrying out the firm’s mission became a lot more difficult as a worldwide pandemic broke out, and countries around the world began closing their borders and asking their populations to stay home.

Of course, as COVID-19 unfolds, tourism and hospitality businesses find they need MMGY Global more than ever. Given the firm’s proven track record and unmatched credibility, clients continue calling on MMGY Global for help connecting with their customers—both now and when life gets back to normal.

When travel-industry marketing pros can’t leave their homes

As if the firm didn’t have enough of a challenge trying to create persuasive travel-industry campaigns during a pandemic, the company’s own operations changed suddenly and dramatically due to the stay-at-home orders.

In North America, for example, MMGY had to close all of its locations—in Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Austin, Miami, and others—almost immediately, and transition everyone from their highly collaborative office environments to working from home.

Cloud communications keeps everyone connected

Throughout all this MMGY Global managed to stay one step ahead. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, MMGY Global switched its phone system to RingCentral’s cloud-communications platform. So even though they had to quickly adjust to remote work, MMGY Global’s employees were able to continue communicating just as they always had in the office.

“The great thing was, the switch to everybody using the RingCentral app on their computers and phones at home was smooth,” says Calep Howard, CIO. “Everyone just started picking it up intuitively—how to make and accept calls, how to route, etc. I’ve even heard people say, ‘I’d like to still use this app when we go back to the office.’”

MMGY also found it easy to maintain “front-desk” service for their main business numbers—even though no one was actually in the office. “When all the offices closed, it was a snap of the fingers to redirect all calls on our public numbers to our receptionist here in Kansas City, who could take and forward those calls from home.”

Discovering benefits for a post-COVID return to normalcy

Due in large part to the collaborative nature of marketing and advertising, MMGY’s corporate culture has always leaned toward working in the office, brainstorming in person, and using desk phones to communicate with colleagues and clients.

But the stay-at-home mandate has introduced many of the company’s hundreds of employees to the convenience of a cloud phone system that works anywhere, on any device. MMGY’s senior leadership is already envisioning how this could make the company more flexible, mobile, and productive when life returns to normal.

“We’re seeing people quickly become comfortable with using their laptops and phones to communicate just as they did from their desks at work or in a conference room,” says Chief Information Officer Calep Howard. “I think this is going to improve how people work day-to-day when we’re all back in the office.”

Originally published Jun 11, 2020, updated Aug 12, 2020

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