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New mission: Trust and transformation

Narva set a challenging goal in 2014. In four years, the agency would be twice the size, be a Nordic leader and achieve world-class results.

Now, in 2019, we feel it is time to set our sights even higher. We want to continue building a world-class agency and are motivated by fun and challenging work.

We start our journey into the future stronger than ever. Our offer can easily accommodate demand, we have a strong corporate culture and we have some of the world’s most exciting companies on our client list. We also have a strong employee team.

Following an analysis of our current situation, the outside world and the future, we chose a strategic direction that will allow us to adapt to and benefit from the trends and motivators we see around us. If we are successful, we are convinced that we can achieve – and exceed – the challenging goals we have set for the coming years.

Constant change is the new state of the world. The conditions under which companies, organisations and people operate are changing from day to day. A company like Narva that helps its clients boost their businesses needs to be very pragmatic and come up with new perspectives continuously. All while fiercely struggling to attract and retain the best talent. People work in the same workplace for shorter periods, more are gig workers and the best talent is very demanding when it comes to their own development and opportunities to influence their work.

We also see a world where communication from companies, individuals, politicians and organisations is getting more intense. There is widespread advertising fatigue and as communication becomes increasingly sophisticated, distrust of communication is also increasing.

We have formulated Narva’s mission and new goals against this rather chaotic background.

The Trust and Transformation Mission presents what we bring to the world. We increase trust between people through our work. Narva is a catalyst for change in this ongoing transformation and we help our clients understand its ins and outs and how to act wisely.

But what is really happening in the wider world?

For Narva and for our clients, digitalisation is the single most important area of change. Digitalisation speeds up and transforms processes. Things that used to take hours, days or weeks can now be done in a second. Not so many years ago, there was a morning shift at some agencies that put together press clippings for media reports for the agency’s clients. But digitalisation also innovates services by means of digital communication that creates new opportunities and can be made more accurate.

Today we see how the digital standard XBRL is approaching a breakthrough that will revolutionise how financial information can be presented – without much effort. Opportunities open for new players to crush old business models. At Narva, we have begun using digital tools for crisis training, collecting and analysing sustainability data, digital campaigns and inbound marketing. We see how our clients’ communication strategies and budgets are flowing digitally. The transition to organising your work in a digital communication landscape is a challenge unto itself.

A high level of trust and a strong brand will be ever more valuable assets for our clients. This is a positive trend for a company like Narva. All over the world we see growing scepticism towards companies, politicians and the media. Pubic trust in the political system being able to solve societal problems is declining. Grievance parties are growing stronger. The new media landscape means that trust built up over many years can be crushed overnight.

» We see that companies and organisations are aware that trust is vulnerable; more of them are talking about and preparing for crises. «

Globalisation and new technology mean that crises spread like wildfires far beyond the borders of a country. New technology such as deepfake makes it even more difficult for people to trust that communication is genuine. Transparency makes it more difficult for public organisations to navigate a complicated landscape with stakeholders who have conflicting interests.

Companies and organisations are required to formulate strategies and develop business models with integrated sustainability and must also act responsibly. Never have so many people around the world led better lives. At the same time, there are demands that continued prosperity growth be sustainable. As a result, people are increasingly demanding action and values from companies and organisations.

» There is more talk about how companies and organisations can be more transparent. By also informing others about their negative impacts, they generate trust in the company. «

Business models must be sustainable and circular for a company’s long-term survival. This development is driven by legislators, opinion and cost pressure.

» An increasingly clear connection is made between sustainable solutions and financial gain. There is now data to show that it is profitable to work with sustainability, something that in turn increases competitiveness.”

The communication of the future must be even more relevant, generate more interest and harness the power of people’s engagement. Whether we are the sender, intermediary or recipient, the amount of media, images and messages is growing exponentially. Advertising and message fatigue is increasing among our clients’ target audiences. This is partly due to the amount but also to relevance.

» It’s often easier to be relevant than to reach your audience. «

Algorithms are not yet sufficiently accurate. This makes it more difficult to get attention, create interest and generate engagement. At the same time, people in the new media landscape demand involvement – you can’t just stand by and watch. The emerging media landscape is asymmetrical, which is why Greta Thunberg can get a foot up on all the world’s politicians and energy companies when it comes to the climate issue.

To be successful, it will be crucial for Narva to have a head start on our clients when it comes to knowledge. To do that, we must attract the best talent. This is where we have new challenges to overcome. With the gig economy, permanent jobs are no longer the given standard, and for permanent employees, the average period of employment is decreasing. Being an attractive employer is becoming increasingly important.

We need to constantly learn about, use and relate to new technology. Work tasks but also entire jobs are being automated to a greater extent. That is why it is important for us to develop the kinds of expertise that cannot be automated. Meanwhile, competition is increasing as companies and organisations are often choosing to build or, through acquisitions, develop in-house functions for things that were previously outsourced to agencies. There is also an industry slide in the communications world where non-traditional players are entering new areas.

We must be just as focused when realising smart ideas as we are when showing the way forward in a presentation. Change is happening faster than ever in society and business. The new present state is constant motion. This requires that the time between decision and implementation be shorter with longer or repetitive planning being replaced by more agile approaches.

» We have to be on our toes in a different way and follow external events every day to find fast ways to communicate. One-year plans no longer work, barely quarterly plans. There must be room for flexibility and agility. «

Others will want to be involved in these changes and not just be served a ready-made solution. This presents a great opportunity: Demand for partnerships and co-creation has the potential to create more long-term client relationships.