Monday, March 14, 2011

The Learning-Curve. Still early on the journey.

With all the changes going on in Brand Planning, Advertising and Digital Media 
it's easy to feel that the craft skills and methodologies we have worked so
hard to master are now irrelevant and feel we are sliding backwards down 
the learning curve again.

Perhaps we are just getting used to the idea of fluid learning, new skills and multiple learning curves.

A logical starting point for any learning curve might be developing new skill-sets and methodologies around the familiar 4 Ins of planning: 

  • Bringing together relevant Information (about the Brand, the Consumer and the Culture).
  • Producing an Interpretation of the data that clearly sets out the issues to be addressed (Infografics).
  • Uncovering consumer Insights that deliver long-term value for the brand (Think Johnnie Walker - Keep Walking - life is a journey, not a destination).
  • Developing a strategic brief that will deliver Inspired, contagious, ideas that people will  engage with and share with others.  
    A central question is: 
    How should the brief, or the briefing process, be adapted for the new world of digital communications and the new players that are becoming involved?

    New Players:
    This now involves a number of digital specialists that are reshaping the traditional creative and production team: technology web architects and developers; designers and  video content specialists; public relations content developers and social media moderation specialists to name a few.   

    The Challenge:
    A lot of agency planners I know are still rather tight-lipped on this issue. Perhaps still early on their learning curves?. So, kudos to Gareth Kay of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners - a Full Service Integrated Ad Agency, for this presentation on "The Brief in the post digital age" which brings into focus the challenges for planners and strategists.

    Take Away:
    The central challenge then, on any new learning curve, is to get away from the traditional thinking of messages and propositions and focus on how to involve people with contagious ideas they will want to get involved with and share.

    As Richard Huntington - Adliterate points out in this post, the challenge of "involving people" requires a new mind-set:

    You cannot hope to involve people in a campaign unless the brand is up to something interesting. And you cannot hope to involve people in the life of a brand unless the brand seems to care about something or things that real human beings care about, rather than endlessly repeating the brand’s obsessions to them. And that’s about as complex as it gets, they are if you like three sequential steps to participation heaven.
    1. Start by making sure your brand cares about something that people care about, that it has a point of view on or a contribution to make to the lives that they lead. 
    2. Then do something interesting with this.
    3. How are we going to enable people to join in and play? 

    What does your new learning curve look like?
    Feel free to comment and share.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Back again, rejoining the conversation.

    Now, what to write about. So much has changed/is changing. So how to offer something interesting and relevant. Let's start with the Charlie Rose interview with Chris Anderson of TED (ideas worth spreading).

    I am a big fan of both Charlie Rose and TED. Here Chris Anderson talks about the power of clarity, empathy and low ego that personifies good TED speakers; spreading TED for free (750,000 TED talks are now viewed daily) and how knowledge is passed on through story telling and personal experiences.
    Feel free to comment.

    (Thanks to Steve Goldner for the Tweet)