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Saturday, May 9

New Heads for New Hats

Read this post on New Roles in Advertising at Scott Goodson's blog...Am reproducing the 'new heads' with a few comments of mine...

Digital Presence Strategist
This person is a hybrid web strategist with curiosity about new technologies and a familiarity with mobility applications. This is not a media strategist or a technologist.

I have played this role to some extent at Tribal. But then again, a lot more can be done. A lot more conversations need to happen between the agencies and the technology companies. The tech companies are ready and raring to go, the agencies are sadly not...

Let me add the hat of Synthesizer to the list- Last Sunday, was having a chat with my friend Josy(Paul) over breakfast and I did share with him this need for a synthesizer. This guy, has to be a creative strategist who has this ability to both look at things from a helicopter view and also should be able to handle the micro details. But most importantly, he can synthesize the brand idea, the social/ cultural environment and the available new technology to create impactful communication and to engage people. Synthesis skills perhaps need to replace/ augment the traditional planning skills.

This is an idea generator who has a legacy in the digital space but is broad enough to come up with ideas that live in all media. This person must play across many disciplines. This role will become increasingly important because the emphasis, the value, and the fundamental business model for agencies has shifted away from a focus predominantly on execution to a focus on ideas.

The way I look at things the art-copy team of the past will gradually get replaced by the Idearator-Synthesizer duo in the future facing agencies!! Of course, in India it's still conceptual. The creative fiefdoms at legacy agencies(and we have mostly those) will stomp the idea in the womb.

Partnership Director
Partnering with ‘best-in-class’ individuals and firms is what enables agencies like StrawberryFrog to leapfrog the traditional legacy corporate agencies. This person’s role is to continuously manage the agency’s partnerships and be able to draw on the world’s best talent, tailored to a client’s specific needs. While all agencies work with outsourced talent in some shape of form (some more openly and overtly than others who hide this fact), this is now becoming a mainstream way of working in the evolving media revolution.

I had written about 'the networking quotient' of employees here. I totally agree with Scott, just like great product/ brand ideas like the ipod evolve an eco-system of ancillary companies, ideas around itself - accessories, itunes, docking stations even massage chairs with ipod holders!! The partnership director must focus on evolving an eco-system of small and big ideas/ products/ marketing around the starting idea.

Social media-whatever
But anyone with any expertise in social media has been important for some time now, and this area of expertise will only keep growing.

I think generally the guys who can translate any piece of communication into conversation will be invaluable.

I was having lunch with Madhu Mantena, the producer of Ghajini, sometime back. And he mentioned that once the movie was ready, he and his team looked at creating a 100 conversation points for the content. And lo we had a 250cr block-buster. Maybe, folks from Bollywood, the avant-garde PR guys and people with large personal and professional networks could be tapped for this role.

Thanks Scott, once again you got me thinking...

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