Written by Ben Malbon
For Google's inaugural U.S.-based Firestarters evening, a panel of industry luminaries shared perspectives on how to evolve an agency so that it succeeds in an ever-more-digital world. The consensus was less radical than one might imagine but no less relevant or useful for being so: digital is different, especially in being nonlinear; people are the foundation of success; and processes really matter. Also, "it's going to be messy."
It's doubtful whether there's ever been a more tumultuous time to be in advertising. Change is no longer a phase but a constant. The number of canvasses for creativity has exponentially increased, and the pace of just about everything continues to accelerate. While full of opportunity, this world can be confusing to navigate, for all of us.
A few weeks ago we managed to coax approximately 230 advertising folks—most of them planners and strategists—to Google's New York City office to hear five industry luminaries talk about change, about agencies, and about planning. Why planning? Planners and strategists in creative, media and digital agencies are pivotal to accelerating change within those companies. They are centrally placed within the creative development process, they help creatives (and clients) architect the overall campaign shape, they're frequently amongst the earliest of early adopters, and in many instances they are the champions of the user, the consumer ... of people!