David Chang, Fancy Pants Group
The New Order
We’ve all heard the phrase “Skate to where the puck is going”. This term has been overused in business contexts for years. It implies not to chase after what is happening today, but rather to have the foresight to go where things are going to be tomorrow.
But what if everyone else is skating to the same spot? What if the proverbial puck isn’t moving in a clear, straight path? What if there are multiple pucks on the ice; which do you follow? This is how the present day can feel when looking through the lens of the current landscape.
Back when the web and digital advertising were still the “shiny new object”, it was easy for many of us to jump into the water. There was plenty of demand, richer budgets and ways for those who did great work to prosper. However, in more recent times, that rink has become murky. Digital has become more commoditized making it harder for all of us in the industry to set ourselves apart, and we all start sounding the same when we talk about our “differentiator”. Building a responsive site, thinking mobile first, or coming up with a smart digital campaign strategy has become a given. Clients, and ultimately the consumer, demand more. The question then becomes, where are things moving? Virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, conversational UI, mobile products, data driven creative, content marketing among others have become areas of new grounds for the next evolution of digital advertising. Do you become a jack of all trades, or hone in on specific areas to be your specialty? Move too far ahead and you are standing alone without market demand. Go too slow and you become a dinosaur. The sweet spot arises when you have a differentiator in an area with enough demand necessary to reach product / market fit.
To best serve our clients, we must think differently and not follow the models that worked for us in the past. But the reality is that change is hard. Being proactive vs. reactive is not an easy task when you have a business model that has worked for so long. You must work even harder to continue to grow your current business operations while carving out new territory in areas of growth and potential. It is a considerable investment in time, money, and resources, both personally and professionally, to execute upon an idea or new vision. In addition to this, alignment and how you execute your vision is a massive undertaking that requires constant communication, challenges, teamwork, and willingness to help each other to push past each successive barrier.
Within the new order of advertising, consumers are getting savvier with shorter attention spans than ever. Brands and advertisers are seeking new ways to speak to them or catch their attention at the right moments and in the right places. Gary Vaynerchuk refers to “Day Trading Attention”, the concept of consumers’ attention being the commodity and marketers needing to find them where they are and be able to deliver a message to them that resonates. Mobile, social, and video are where that is today. On top of that, the near future will involve data insights, smarter targeting, and as always, creative thinking to make experiences personal, utilizing technologies that enable a more immersive, and frictionless experience for the consumer. And while that is all here today in some manifestation, there is still so much more room for improvement.
We are fortunate to be living and working in the middle of a massive technological revolution. The technologies, platforms, and methods to connect one another are changing and continuing to grow immensely. The behaviors in which we interact with each other and use our devices are constantly evolving. This makes for incredibly exciting times that we should consider ourselves lucky to be a part of.
About the author:
Since joining Fancy Pants Group in 2011, David has helped the company transform from a production shop into a full-service creative digital studio. He is constantly looking for ways to drive innovation and to improve the craftsmanship of Fancy Pants’ digital executions. His attention to detail and his creative approach to technology are distinguishing characteristics of his work in the digital marketing arena. David has worked with a diverse range of clients, including Microsoft, Royal Caribbean and Stride Gum. He previously served as Director of Technology at JWT.