(Instead I’m diligently battling a beast of a virus that had the gall to attack just in time for Memorial Day weekend — and the best cycling weather of the year – and seems in no rush of departing. A reminder never to shake a hand when you don’t know where it’s been, what it’s been doing or whether it’s clean. Don’t you think we should once and for all get rid of that rude habit and join the Japanese in bowing? But I digress.)
Anyway, I was going to talk a bit about how one agency evolved in light of all the change that’s come our way, and what the industry should focus on to prepare itself for the next few years and beyond.
No one really knows what’s coming, of course. Amara’s Law reminds us “We (may) tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run, but we underestimate the effect in the long run.” That just makes it as likely that we’ll overreact as under-react. Plus there are contradictions to confuse us everywhere we look. Social media continues to grow in popularity, yet TV advertising is more in demand than ever. There are new LBS-based platforms announced daily, but we seem to be reaching check-in fatigue. Facebook knows everything about us while at the same time spurring a growing backlash about privacy. College students can’t go more than 10 minutes without checking a digital device and it’s unlikely that reports about cell phones and cancer will change that.
So we have to carry on. Hopefully we’re not just selling stuff, but adding value and utility, serving communities, and doing something good.
Below is my deck, which never got presented. As is usual for me, there isn’t much information on the slides as I hate cluttered screens. But I’ve included some notes so it might make sense.
In a nutshell, we need to change, or at least consider changing, the following.
Our Mindset: from thinking in terms of audiences to understanding the value of community.
The Definition of Creative: art and copy and craft still matter, but user experience and utility might be even more important.
The Brief: it needs to be as much about inspiring participation as it does about clarifying a message.
The Team: now needs tech, mobile, UX, design even if you’re making ads.
The Process: has to get less linear and more iterative.
The Business Model: social media enables doing good not just making money, and the next generation of consumers will demand it.
The Pace of Change: you have to be able to adapt even more quickly in light of what’s coming.
Sorry I wasn’t able to deliver this in person. Plans are to re-schedule sometime in September. By then things will have changed enough to make at least half of this obsolete. As always, thanks for reading and thoughts, arguments, disagreements always welcome.