Agency: defined as “action or intervention producing a particular effect”. But doing stuff is not enough, when the web’s network effects distort, magnify and transform good intentions and poorly thought out activity.
This whole digital thing is proving difficult for many communications agencies. Cracks are appearing along the lines of the traditional agency model and the pressure for them to be doing something, the novelty of digital and usability v persuasion. There’s lots to think about. For example:
Mike Bracken, GDS: “The Internet has changed everything. Digital is the technological enabler of this century. And, in any sector you care to name, it’s been the lifeblood of organisations that have embraced it, and a death sentence for those that haven’t.”
Craig Mawdsley, joint chief strategic officer, AMV BBDO: “The best strategy for our digital age is usability – forget about persuasion. That was the old world where marketing was easier to do than product or service development.”
Graeme Noble, the executive creative director at TMW: Clients don’t want “to pay for a complex, expensive app that isn’t as good as the free one everybody already uses. Facebook is no longer the hub of digital campaigns, nor do we need engagement the way we once did, or so Facebook tells us. Global brand sites put clients in fear of short-lived campaign microsites.”
Dan Hon has been writing about the tension and the headaches in his newsletters:
“So, let me draw a line. Digital advertising is not products and services. It isn’t. Stop trying to behave like it is. You can’t do both. You certainly shouldn’t be trying to do both if you’ve never done the latter before. And if you’re going to try to do the latter, try to build a product or a service having never done it before, but you’re stupidly cocksure of yourself because you’re “creative” you’ll learn that no, the idea isn’t everything, it’s the execution, stupid, just like the way you spend 3 weeks in an edit suite, only this time it isn’t 3 weeks, it’s potentially *the rest of your life*.
“What happens if or when a Unilever or a P&G adopts a [GDS-style] strategy-is-delivery approach to its FMCG products? Will their rival be able to brand-advertise their way out, our will we suddenly be in a red queen race that leads to, well, better and better products, rather than more and better targeted advertising?”
Russell Davies on marketing and advertising
More usability, less need for persuasion