On reflection on my way home today, I realised it has been 12 months since I have joined FRANk from a global media agency.
It has been a great experience both in the type of work, client interaction and culture of the agency, FRANk. I have to consider myself lucky to have free range in implementing my thoughts on marketing strategy. I find myself constantly challenging and raising the bar. My partner in crime is Tamir Berkman who has been instrumental in pushing the boundaries with our agency. Our clients' feedback has been a testament of our achievemnts within FRANk.
12 months ago, I was working at a global media agency. They were great digital media buyers... and they are still among the leaders in online planning buying shop. However, I started to find myself challenging the traditional agency model. My passion and understanding of the strengths of digital (the rise of social networks) was in conflict of online media planning buying shops and traditional media shops. Hence my departure for greener pastures.
In my departure, I was vocal in criticizing how online agencies are "bolted" into traditional agencies. Separate. Disjointed. Old media vs New media. Old school thinking. Is this the best model for clients? Are we doing the right things for clients? And I have to admit on reflection, I apologise if I was a little too vocal and admittedly can be viewed as immature.
12 months on, digital has seen a further rapid growth of both digital media and social networks. And, we are still struggling with "Social" solutions for clients. An over simplified example is a large sales event, the fastest way to get a word out is through email, twitter, and a blog post. A media agency is built for profit, how can a media agency be involved in recommending that to the client without compromising it's bread a butter.... media buying.
So 12 months on, I still believe in my views. But I do also have a greater respect for digital media and it's valid role. I see the benefits of both approaches. Quick response media buying and Slower response social engagement strategies. Ben Shepherd's blog, showed me the value of media planning buying and it's great to see how my old agency is looking to evolve. A sign of a good agency is it's willingness to embrace change. It's no small feat for a global agency. I live and learn.
Through the year, I've also had a great pleasure to interact leaders in their fields like Ben Barren with the Australian blogosphere, Tamir Levin of three minds, Idris Mootee of idea couture, Tim & Ming of Nuffnang success, etc. In these people and through my favourite blogs of thought leaders, I take comfort to know I am on the right path. I also understand that my thoughts may be a challenge.
I hope you will continue sharing my journey of the future agency - experience, engagement, connection, innovation, transforming, people and results focused.