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“The Divergent Worlds – Advertising and Digital”

You’re probably thinking, not another clichéd article about how traditional advertising needs to take on the integration route with digital etc.

What you would term a “traditional advertising agency” does not hold any meaning anymore. There is no such thing as traditional anymore in the real sense of the word.

My aim is not to talk about the importance of integration because integration is also old news.

The world we live in today is more than just many advertising channels from web to mobile, tv, print and so on.

The way people engage with and consume media has fundamentally shifted; economies have been transformed, collapsed and rebirthed around the world.

Careers that didn’t exist twenty years ago and careers that don’t exist today will continue to shift the economic and big brand landscape for years to come.

Digital has become far more than a channel on which to advertise on. Its meshed into everything we touch, engage with and live with. The customer experience value chain has been fundamentally impacted by digital and the power of digital to affect this value chain is critical.

It is this fundamental shift that offers the biggest opportunity for companies and brands and the biggest challenge to advertising agencies.

Plainly, digital is part of everything we do and advertising agencies cannot just integrate. They need to reinvent their businesses. I don’t see advertising agencies, as we know them, in the next twenty years, bold statement, but rather I see brand and marketing consultancies with specialisms that will encompass the new world in which we live.

Services, ranging from what’s already part and parcel of an agency, such as communication strategy, media strategy and the “big idea” which is generally at the heart of any campaign – will need to be a lot nimbler and agile, be able to rapidly shift and morph to consumers needs and wants.

Big ideas are great but the traditional model of conceptualising and rolling out a big idea is antiquated, it needs flexibility. Just as the digital world around us does not move and develop in a linear fashion, so too advertising and the marketing community in general will need to learn new skills and new, fresh perspectives will be needed for brands to survive in the future.

Integration is an operational function, while important to keep clients happy for now, is not the answer for providing long term value and even survival.

Digital is part of our lives and not a channel for some pretty, big budget content productions that are disseminated on YouTube everyday. The creative directors of the future will need a much broader set of skills to deliver sustainable brand building strategies.

Digital needs to at the center of the process of transformation of agencies and marketers at large

Digital is beyond a channel selection, an ecosystem or a strategy and there is still a lot to learn. This transformation is about thinking digital first.

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