Consolidation and integration are nothing-new ….It’s what you do with it and how we challenge the new that’s really interesting!
It struck me that over the last number of weeks there has been much media and industry debate over recent global consolidations and even much focus on some of the mergers closer to home. Much of the hype (particularly the media coverage) pushes an agenda that states this is indeed major news and that our industry is, yet again, in state of flux.
Indeed some of the coverage of these new consolidations have boldly stated that the business metrics indicate these consolidations and mergers are sound, solid commercial decisions - they give financial stability, better buying power (particularly in the media space) and also allow smaller agencies join forces to bring new agendas to the client.
All powerful stuff in an industry that needs to continue to refine and change so that a more robust business model can develop and give more continuity, particularly to financially challenged businesses - but unless all this brings more than solely commercial justifications, it could just be business as usual.
In truth, the real reward for our industry will be in the possibility of reshaping the thinking. Success in what we do has always flourished through the bringing together of different cultures, disciplines and tangible, valuable skills. It flourishes with the endless job of always seeking out the best, the new, breaking down the assembly line mentality, crystallising the consumer and business challenges and then ruthlessly identifying the critical initiatives that will deliver tangible success.
It’s about being brave. It’s about valuing the specialists. About working tirelessly to actually integrate the thinking (not just nod towards that integration). But it’s also about getting the priorities straight, having robust and honest conversations as specialists and then collaborating with clients so that the great ideas we develop prove powerful enough to live and thrive beyond any one medium.
You have to live both that constant ambition and relentless passion to deliver ideas that have depth and breadth, ideas that have an inherent honesty that will stand the test of both a demanding consumer and fragmented media landscape.
Ultimately it is the powerful ideas that win every time, powerful ideas that deliver on content and engagement regardless of the medium, and all of that in a world that revolves around what can only be described a ‘hyper connected consumer’. We as agencies can help guide brands and businesses through this always-on connectivity by designing and implementing ideas that are superbly imaginative but, more importantly, brilliantly effective.
Creativity without effective, integrated thinking is at best pointless and at worst wasteful, but so too are effective initiatives that are not brought together with a single, powerful thought!
Innovation and radical thinking has always been the lifeblood of this business and our Agency. Consolidation and integration, too, but it’s what communications companies do with those changes that will determine how interesting or dynamic the outcome will really be. Some of us have just been working on it longer than others!
Miriam Hughes is Group CEO
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