Are agencies out of a job? With marketing tech and techniques available to all, there’s been a recent shift of resources client-side to execute them. New roles like social media managers are on the rise, while whole teams relentlessly push out content through a well-oiled machine. And that’s just scratching the surface.
Even so, I’d say agencies are more important, and are adding more value to clients than ever before. Today’s clients need to look to their agencies to add the ‘more’ factor – the creativity that gets their campaign noticed; the insight that gets right to the heart of a community and informs an entire channel strategy; the digital innovation that delivers an entirely new way of getting close to their customer. Agencies are going back to the old school: becoming a true ideas shop. Doing what we do best.
But there’s something monstrous standing in the way. Ironically, it’s the same monster that has caused this revolution in the first place: Digital.
Way back when (so I’m told), the pub was the hunting ground for great ideas. A cigarette, a pint of beer (or a few) and your client bashing through the guts of a brief. Days when the smell and stain of permanent markers would be perpetually on your skin.
Post digital revolution, things look very different. A quick email brief, a call between meetings or even a WhatsApp exchange… But is this new way of working a good thing?
Good question. Unsurprisingly, we haven’t been able to test this on the same brief. But I do know where our most successful campaigns come from, and they tend to be with same clients – the clients that we whiteboard with, scamp with, and in whose office canteen we spend more time than I like to admit.
A recent study1 from the IPA found that creative campaigns are proven to be 11 times more effective than non-creative campaigns. And in my opinion, the best creative ideas stem from that priceless collaboration between the brains (client) and creatives (agencies).
In fact, if there’s one moment when you really should hit airplane mode, get out the office and spend some quality time to truly ‘think’, then it’s with your agency. The best agencies will relish the opportunity, and the more time you spend with them, the more you’ll build a partnership that delivers great ideas!
So, inspired to start your pursuit of the next big idea? Why not give your left brain some time to breathe, and take your right brain for a quick workout. Here’s a few thoughts to get you started.
1. Train your brain
Flex your creative muscles once a day by thinking of new idea. Keep a note and revisit when you lose inspiration to get back into that right mentality.
2. Create a firing range
Find a quiet space where you can free your mind from the hustle of daily life. Ideas come to the surface when your mind is still.
3. Start with clarity
Never pursue an idea in the midst of confusion. Be clear about your objective. The same applies to an agency brief.
4. Shoot holes in ideas
Good ideas become great ideas after they’ve been shot at. Let others pull your idea apart and if you can put it back together, you’ll end up in a better place.
5.Test it with your village idiot
You knew that guy would come in handy one day. Before you invest in your idea, play it out on your local clown. If they get it, you’re in!