Our industry is changing at a faster rate than ever before. As technology advances on an almost daily basis, it is becoming clear that what has worked for us in the past, will not necessarily work in the future. We need to stop looking at the world as it was, in order to see the potential of what it could be. We have never had such powerful tools at our disposal, but technology alone isn’t the magical answer; it’s what we do with these new assets that count. Words like ‘content’, ‘storytelling’ and ‘distribution’ become meaningless if we use them for their own sake, without any clear purpose. And, we must draw ever-greater insights from the wealth of data that surrounds us to make smarter, better decisions.
That starts with admitting that we don’t know it all. In fact, we have a awesome of a lot to learn. To fully realise the possibilities that technology brings, we need to look for the right talent in the right places. We have access to the most technology, mobile, data and eCommerce-friendly generation yet. People who fundamentally understand and live the possibilities, because they have never known a world without them. We MUST get better at bringing them into our businesses. At the moment, a great many of these young creators might not even make it through the door under traditional hiring practices, but those attitudes need to change now, for all our sakes.
The tendency to recruit people who look and sound like ourselves is a dangerous habit, and while the lack of diversity in advertising is perhaps less pronounced than in other industries, it’s still a problem. One thing that Advertising Week Europe 2015 made painfully clear is that there is an abundance of talent across gender, race, sexuality, and economic background. Bringing together these wonderfully different voices and perspectives can surely only make us stronger and more interesting as an industry.
I also think we’re about to have a massive shift in culture, both within individual agencies and across the industry as a whole. Silos no longer work. Creatives are engaging with data more than ever, and the lines between capabilities are blurring. People coming into agencies won’t work in the same discipline for twenty years, as has been the case in the past. The agencies which prosper will be those that foster collaboration, versatility, and a shared vision.
And finally, I believe that we need to take more risks. In who we hire, in who we collaborate with, in the ideas we generate and the ways we try to execute those ideas. We all need to be more pioneering, in every sense of the word. This industry comprises some of the most talented, creative people in the world. It’s time to really harness that, and take what we do to another level.
First Appeared on The Advertising Week Social Blog