I finally found an article that’s worth reading about agencies coming to terms with digital. Allison Kent-Smith wrote a nice piece in FastCompany called Reinventing Your Creative Talent.
It’s time to educate your staff – all of them. Bring them into the technology fold and quit with the silos already!
There always seem to be silos, but here, the writer says – we all need to learn about technology. How to get it done. We’re better for it.
As the article states: We’re all technologists. We can’t be observers, and then hand stuff off to others to execute.
So, ongoing training is needed. The writer is calling this agency reinvention. We must be relevant – all of us. Or else.
Part of retaining awesome talent is keeping them up to date on technology. How it applies to our clients’ needs. There are six steps outlined in the piece - that make sense.
Now I'm gonna preach: It’s my belief that not every solution should be online or mobile, or TV, or direct mail (what’s that?!). But we all need to know when to use it, and the requirements – technology, timelines, cost. It is the same for any and all medium.
I have worked in siloed agencies, and for some reason the digital folks truly felt that the rest of us were completely incapable of understanding their magic. The voodoo they do so well.
Well, as an observer, trying to get a seat at their table was tough. Rarely invited, I invited myself. Then came the jargon. Spit out at rapid fire just to prove how uninformed – and stupid – I was.
So, do yourself a favor, learn this stuff. And if they don’t want to share, then take it as the big red flag that they are trying to not let you in on the fact that they might not be all that smart. Then plant yourself at their desk, couch, beanbag - and demand a few minutes of their precious time. It will translate into real dollars (aka create value).
Well, we are smart. After all, we all learned to use computers, cell phones and how to play pong.
By the way – this was overlooked in the article but very important – It’s not only the creatives who need to be technology savvy. Everyone should learn, and understand technology. From Account, through to your billers. If they don’t know what it’s about, they will sell something that can’t be done in within that window of time/budget (Account) – or just plain wrong; all the way to the end – billing incorrectly for services can kill profits.
If your digital team wants to hoard information – because it’s too technical for our little heads – remind them that they too had to learn it. They surely weren’t born with all that knowledge. And surely, they can learn a thing or two from you.
Like how to blend everything – online to offline – into one cohesive campaign.
Now go forth and learn.