New Rules Of Engagement Paper
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New Rules Of Engagement Paper

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This is the first of a three part series that hopes to shed light on innovation and the future of the agency. ...

This is the first of a three part series that hopes to shed light on innovation and the future of the agency.

The series will cover three areas;
1. The new rules of engagement: how the Internet has changed the way we innovate and think about creativity
2. Redefining talent: the recasting of roles and personal development within an agency
3. The economic engine: the slow death of the annual fee and what comes next.

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  • 1. Innovation and the future of the ad agency By Mike Parsons March 22, 2010 mikeparsons.net This is the first of a three part series that hopes to shed light on innovation and the future of the agency. The series will cover three areas; 1. The new rules of engagement: how the Internet has changed the way we innovate and think about creativity 2. Redefining talent: the recasting of roles and personal development within an agency 3. The economic engine: the slow death of the annual fee and what comes next. Part 1. New rules of engagement Sydney, London and New York. No matter where I've met advertising agency people recently the overwhelming topic has been 'how to apply innovation to marketing in this digital era'. No more 'what' brands need to do but a shift towards 'how' to deliver it. And clients want it delivered - in a recent Forrester study, 93% of senior business executives cited innovation as a top strategic priority. The perspiration and execution of innovative ideas is the order of the day. With no playbook on offer in the dusty archives of marketing, I have challenged myself to answer this question. I will attempt to define the underlying factors of this new media world. Within that context we can then appreciate the consequent and emerging media territories. But the real business of this article comes in the establishment of the organising principles of marketing innovation. 'Promises finally delivered' Whilst 'recontexualising business' claims may still leave you squirmy, many other promises of the dot.com era have come to fruition, albeit somewhat slower than hoped. Many leading markets have near ubiquitous Internet access and are fast approaching a point where 50% of the population have access to broadband via fixed and mobile services. Smart-phones have equally delivered an explosion in Internet access via mobile devices. In fact, we now see aggressive competition between both Google and Apple to capture location based services market. Underlying many of the richer browsing experiences we now take for granted is Flash by Adobe. Whilst delivering elegant and sometimes hyperactive animation to web browsers over dial-up connections was a triumph, Adobe have delivered something else more significant: video. The ability for Flash to deliver video, in a similar vein to YouTube, now covers over 90% of Internet users. This has meant a seamless user experience in a world of rich video formats from both old and new media companies. 'Innovation and the future of the ad agency' By Mike Parsons March 22, 2010. mikeparsons.net
  • 2. Significantly sitting atop this infrastructure, device and application level developments is social networking. Facebook has more than 400 million active users, half of whom visit the site on a daily basis. Most recently, the site overtook Google for US market share. The opportunity for all consumers to publish, share and collaborate has never been so easy. With consumers now publishers and social becoming a media in itself; the lines of the media world have been redrawn. Paid, Earned and Own media Until recently or pre-Facebook, agencies used a simple collection of paid media tools to reach customers in linear fashion. Regardless of TV or banners, media space was purchased and creative work made. 'Innovation and the future of the ad agency' By Mike Parsons March 22, 2010. mikeparsons.net
  • 3. But we now work with a new media framework: Paid, Earned and Own media. The explosion of services like Blogger, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter over last years has reduced barriers to engagement and interaction between consumers and brands. For better or worse, CMO's find themselves with no option but to re-invent their marketing department and even their own roles. Now they curate a delicate balance between conversation and persuasion. And this is the pressure point where agencies should be coming to the aid of clients. With applications, channels and micro communities in abundance agencies need a new way to think about what they deliver. In a world of unlimited media options we need clear, concise and fundamental questions to ask of the work we do. With healthy debate of these points agencies can be confident that they are delivering compelling marketing and content. The big three; us-ability, play-ability and talk-ability For dot.com start ups and marketing campaigns alike I see three fundamentals to effective integrated media exploitation; us-ability, play-ability and talk-ability. In fact, the best work I've been involved with exploit all three areas. So next time you are taking a brief from client or conducting a final review - ask yourself these three questions. 'Innovation and the future of the ad agency' By Mike Parsons March 22, 2010. mikeparsons.net
  • 4. Does it have us-ability? 'Don't make me think' is not only an enlightening book by Steve Krug but a question to be asked equally of a print ad or a user interface. Everything we create must lead us to the intended task or emotional response. Less is more. Kill the clutter and embrace utility. If you need convincing just use Twitter or watch an iPhone TV ad. Simplicity in practice. Does it have play-ability? Easy to learn, hard to master is a mantra of the gaming industry. But this thinking is so effective when applied to sales promotions and mobile campaigns alike. So when looking for deep consumer involvement ensure an emotive setting and a time investment reward from the outset. Farmville and Mafia Wars, Facebooks games by Zynga combine both us-ability and play-ability to great effect. Does it have talk-ability? It's with the film industry we draw inspiration for talk-ability. We must ask our selves does our work have a consumer facing 'high concept'. The reduction of the proposition down to a few appealing words such as 'Subservient Chicken' or 'Monopoly meets Google maps'. Whilst agencies spend countless hours refining copy and text, consumers offer us a split second of their consideration. Don't waste the opportunity. With your high concept in hand, the second piece to buzz creation is the dissemination. And modern media distribution is based on smart, free, modular content and widgets using open web services. In other words, Facebook apps and widgets on iGoogle. Get rid of the silos and walled gardens and make your media share-able. If consumers now believe that “If the news is important, it will find me” we must enable peer to peer sharing, bookmarking and linking. Explore these three areas and you will find a framework to challenge both your business and creative perspectives. Delivering innovation will be just that bit closer than before. Of course you're thinking 'OK. Who do I hire and how do I make money in this new world?'. But that's for the next two articles. ... 'Innovation and the future of the ad agency' By Mike Parsons March 22, 2010. mikeparsons.net