10 things I’ve learnt in the world of Digital and Agencies recently…

November 13, 2009

Last time I did this it proved quite popular. I had people emailing me saying they agreed or disagreed with what I had learnt which made me laugh  – a guy in Belgium even took my list last time and wrote his own thoughts on it. So here is my latest 10…

1.  Some brands are still struggling with the power of social media. It’s not a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate – watch this video and tell me you don’t agree.

2.  You can spend a fortune driving users to a website, have the best content in the world, but if it’s not architected in a simple, easy to digest manner, you’ll lose them instantly. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

3. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Mobile advertising is about to kick off. Just ask Google.

4.  Agencies should stop trying to define an idealistic agency model and concentrate on just creating great digital work that pushes boundaries.

5.  Using digital channels to reinvent traditional marketing and advertising is the only way forward. Digital should now be a given, not a USP.

6.  A great idea can come from anywhere – whether that is the most experienced creative or the most junior graduate – Or even an end consumer? Collaboration is the key.

7.  Google Wave wasn’t all I expected it to be.  But I’ve been told to be patient.

8.  Every agency should abide by AKQA’s mantra – Don’t let any work go out of the door if it if it doesn’t hold up to these two requirements: It needs to Capture the imagination and People should want to share it.

9.  There is a hell of a lot more to digital than building websites. (I knew this one already,  I’m just appreciating it a bit more now).

10.  If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail – Preparation is key to everything you do in agency life. It’s our job to do the leg work and make life as simple as possible for our clients.


10 things I have learnt in the world of Digital and Agencies recently…


Revolution’s top ten tweeters #10

October 12, 2009

OK, I’m no Stephen Fry, and I certainly don’t have as many followers as Ashton Kutcher to warrant a verified account – but nevertheless, it was a nice virtual pat on the back to be named alongside some industry heavy weights in  Revolution Magazine’s, Top Ten Tweeters (10th Edition).

I’m a massive advocate of the micro-blogging phenomenon that is, despite what some critics say, still gathering pace. If nothing else, it’s given me a kick up the backside to start blogging a bit more. You’ve been warned.

Revolution Top 10 Tweeters

Revolution Top 10 Tweeters

Creative, Strategic and Technical

September 9, 2009

Wild yet purposeful creativity that grabs attention, strategic thinking that develops innovative and unique visions and technical proficiency that flawlessly makes ideas reality…. 3 things which make great digital output.

Creative, Strategic and Technical

Creative, Strategic and Technical

Digital Agencies: Being ‘Digital’ is not enough

August 13, 2009

Being ‘Digital’ just doesn’t seem to be enough anymore. It’s not a unique selling point for agencies. It’s becoming a threshold capability that every man and his dog are jumping all over in an attempt to get hold of their client’s growing online spends. But doing it well? – that’s another blog post in itself.

While critics are calling time on the digital revolution, there’s a new level playing field opening where specialists (digital agencies) are being faced with the opposition of traditional agencies who now know their desktop widget from their i-phone App. It was inevitably going to happen at some point – but it has been widely documented that the catalyst for this wake-up call was the 2009 Cyber Lions Awards – of which only a lowly 12 went to pure digital specialists such as AKQA and Agency Republic. There’s the proof.

Now is the time to be ideas driven. Now is the time to innovate, invent and experiment. Pure play digital shops need to be pushing new concepts at clients through new technologies – things such as augmented reality as an example. They need to also be thinking more about the strategic lead-in rather than just the solution (a website, a banner, an App) – they need to explore the bigger picture and the wider effects of how their digital solution can add value to the clients business model. But at the same time, they still need to be able to deliver. On time and on budget. Depressingly a trade-off only the best can master.

Is being Digital enough?

Is being Digital enough?

New Beginnings

July 31, 2009

For not wanting to waste too much of my reader’s time on my self-promotion; I’ll keep this brief. When opportunity knocks, you need to get up and answer the door. So with this said, I’m making the move from Redweb to a new agency.

From now on I’ll be turning the value wheel (Dan Hills Quote of the day!) at Albion in Shoreditch. Albion is a super-creative, independent advertising agency with digital at its core. New beginnings, new clients to work with and new things to learn. But don’t worry; I’m not selling out on my Digital Agency roots – it’ll be service as normal on digitalagencyblog.com covering all things digital and agency as well as all things digital agency if you catch my drift.

To all the guys at Redweb, It’s been an absolute pleasure. I’ve worked on some great projects with some amazing clients. Thank you.

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

10 Things to do for Digital Agencies

July 28, 2009

It’s not often I read an article or blog post on the world wide interweb and think…WOW… That is exactly, 100% spot on. But reading Jerome Courtial’s Blog Digicynic yesterday, I thought I must alert my readers to a guy who knows what he is talking about.

Jerome’s post focuses on 10 things digital agencies could do to kick advertising agencies arses. And with the traditional agency versus digital agency debate resurfacing of late, this post is a must read.

10 Things to do For Digital Agencies

Digital Agencies; A must read!

Digital Agencies; A must read!

The Digital Agency vs. Traditional Agency Debate

July 13, 2009

I promised myself I would never write this post. I promised I would never question the many advertising/digital veterans out there who have a far more valuable judgment on the subject – but what the hell; everything these days is just a well-argued opinion.

So the saga continues – Traditional agencies vs. digital agencies – will one ever rein supreme? Without this post being 6 miles long: My personal opinion – I doubt it.

More and more so called ‘Traditional agencies’ are frantically trying to catch up with digital. And some have been very successful. Agencies are merging, acquiring and integrating digital into their core offerings – And so they should. No one doubts the power and influence of digital marketing. It’s the future don’t you know.

But the value traditional agencies bring shouldn’t be wiped aside by the digital wave. Their creative and strategic skills are still valuable – and by adding digital expertise to that mixture should make a force to be reckoned with. Notice I said ‘should’.

I know I should be fighting the digital agency corner here, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what an agency call themselves. Traditional agency…digital agency…Ad agency…none of that really matters. If they can come up with an angle, deliver a successful solution through the most appropriate channel (on time and on budget) and most significantly engage their target audience. Will the client care what they call themselves? – I doubt it.

The digital vs. Traditional debate

The digital vs. Traditional debate

10 things I’ve learnt in the world of digital and agencies recently…

July 7, 2009

1.   All of a sudden, every agency under the sun is calling themselves Social Media Experts. Having a  Facebook page doesn’t make anyone an expert in social media.

2.   Augmented reality is catching on. When I talk about digital innovation – this is a great example.

3.   Practicing what you preach. Too many agencies are great at preaching about clients digital marketing strategies without considering their own.

4.   People buy people. This age old sales mantra is appropriate more than ever in these tough times.

5.   It’s about more than just the ideas. Anyone can pluck an idea out of the sky, but it’s the ones which can be applied to a client’s business model that add significant value that are worth shouting about.

6.   Sometimes it’s not about winning shiny awards. As much as I enjoyed following Cannes Cyber Lions this year, the best innovations are often understated.

7.   The power of conversational tools such as Twitter shouldn’t be under-estimated. Just ask Habitat and all the agencies featured in this article.

8.   It’s never about a creative’s vision. Sure they can have ideas – but it’s always got to be about the end-audience and the objectives. Be results driven.

9.   Streaming content through mobile platforms is getting there, slowly. They’ve been saying it for ages and it hasn’t taken off (properly) yet. one word – Android.

10.   Spotify will revolutionize the music industry. So what if you can’t download tracks.

Social Media Expert anyone?

Social Media Expert anyone?