If I could tell what the future holds, I don't think I'd be sitting here telling you about it. I'd be cashing in, keeping it to myself, thanks very much. But I can't. And I'm not. So, instead, I'll tell you what I can see happening now in the world of marketing and advertising and how agencies are going to have to evolve. Have to.
I remember being told once by a former creative director that what made our jobs so interesting was that we got to acquire a thin veneer of knowledge about a great many industries. Thing is, now, and tomorrow increasingly, thin veneers of knowledge don't and won't cut it. It's not acceptable anymore for us solely to be the creative communications experts. Day by day, more and more, we're having to know as much, and sometimes more, about our clients' industries, companies, brands and competitors than they do.
I'll speak from the creative point of view, which is this. Creatives will have to be more than creatives. With our visual communications and English qualifications (I'm simplifying greatly here, give me a chance) and God-given talent as our only weapons, we used to read the odd psychology article or recall some science documentary we saw once to form the basis for an idea. And that was enough. But now we have to be or become experts, actual experts, in a great many things, and be recruiting people with knowledge way beyond what we understood to be enough a decade ago. This isn't the future. Like I said, I can't see that far. This is the now.
I look around this creative department and I see a computer scientist, an architect, an anthropologist and, talk about feeling inadequate, an astrophysicist.
The future of creative agencies lies in knowledge and the creative application of that knowledge. If we are to survive, we need to evolve and look beyond bolstering our ranks with more of the same – sorry fellow art directors, designers and copywriters – but with specialist experts who offer a new perspective and have a flair for articulating their ideas in creative ways.
This article was written by our Creative Director, Graham Stewart and first appeared in Irish Marketing Journal