The New Way Will Require New Skills
The rules of marketing were etched in stone long ago.
Rule 1: “Mass communications – ads – are the way to define a brand’s character and create an emotional connection with consumers.”
Rule 2: “Promotions and shopper messaging are used only to compel consumers to act in a way that brings that brand into their lives.”
But it’s 2016, and people have more control over when and how they receive brand messages. This makes consumer interaction with brands rare and precious. Consumers also have higher expectations of brands. They want transparency, convenience and relevant engagement – not a sales pitch.
Things have changed a lot, but there are big opportunities for the brands that get the next step right. It starts with smashing those stone tablets and bringing down the walls that have separated marketing disciplines. And then it’s time to rebuild, in a new way.
The New Way
At every precious consumer touch, marketers must express a brand’s promise and compel an action that will drive that promise to a deeper understanding.
The creative effect of achieving both these goals in a single encounter is something I call “feeldo.” Old-rules advertising agencies pursue “feel” goals, while activation agencies go for “do” – but separately. Achieving feel and do at every touch requires a consolidation of talent within a single team and therefore, a feeldo philosophy. Yes, this is a very new deal.
Rules for the Feeldo Creative Teams
As a Chief Creative Officer, my particular interest in this evolution is the creative department. Like the world we reflect, creative teams must evolve.
A few rules will govern the feeldo creative team.
- Media interconnect, so must our ideas — There can be no more separation of broadcast from digital, and social from shopper. The new creative department must understand them all.
- Expertise is paramount – No one person can be expert at the breadth of media we must support, which includes broadcast, mobile, gaming, CRM, shopper, web, and more. So we need pillars of expertise to ensure excellence, and a system that encourages broad expertise sharing.
- Ideas are the foundation – They still rule.
To generate inspiring ideas that drive branding and activation requires a renaissance team. The feeldo creative department might look like this.
- Experience Director – Formerly known as the Creative Director, she has expertise in branding and activation, and recognizes the emotional ideas that can also be activated. She creates experiences that live and resonate everywhere.
- The Idea Runner – Borrowing from the story-centric broadcast world, she builds the experience vision with media experts (see The Media League below), and shepherds the work through the creative team (see Omnistas below).
The Media League
These discipline experts provide best-in-class leadership in all media and channels. Their small teams ensure that the ideas have value in their space and that the work done by the Omnistas resonates. This team will include video, social, broadcast, direct/CRM, shopper/CP, and web/mobile visionaries—they will each in fact carry the title of “Visionary.”
All creatives will need to move comfortably between broadcast, digital, direct and more. They will understand that campaigns live and evolve. They will embrace the tenets of feeldo. They will have broad skills for the omni-channel world. They will be Omnistas.
- Image Maker – Formerly a Designer, the image maker nurtures brand image by designing experiences for all media. They are consulted by appropriate Media League Visionaries for BIC expertise.
- The Voice – This was the Copywriter. The Voice provides the tone to all work in all media and is ready for broadcast or real time messaging. For them, activation holds as much charm as branding.
- Babylonian – This interpreter fields campaign data, assesses it for business KPIs, and communicates strategies to the Experience Director and teams, to help keep the consumer/brand conversation evolving.
New Support Tools
This diverse team will need some tools to manage all that knowledge and creativity.
- Experience Database: A database complete with information about what everyone in an organization has done, loves to do, is expert in. This tool will allow idea teams to pull in the most appropriate help for each project.
- Scrum Management Program: For supervising elastic, evolving creative and strategy teams on each, very different project.
Also critical, this team will place enhanced importance on insights, reporting, and innovation.
A lot has changed since those marketing rules were created years ago. Thanks to a host of influences, the old way is crumbling. What takes its place could be something much more real and exciting – and profitable – for everyone.