Friday, 19 October 2007

Who Will BeThe Engagment Strategist Of The Future?

It's interesting to see this Grip ad requiring the services of a Director of Engagement Strategy. If I didn't know better I would think they were looking for a "convergence" person (the dirtiest word since synergize). This is the fourth agency i have heard of in the past month who have all hired someone for this type of role. In two cases they wanted media planners, in one case they hired a copy writer/CD and in the last case they were considering a traditional insights planner.

It's a tough thing trying to strategize in a networked world. When everything is connected to everything else, to try and think in traditional marketing planning ways can make even the sanest person a little nutty. I get what the Agencies are trying to do, I just question the way they are doing it.

For example, are media media planners are the right people for these types of roles? I mean even if the people in question who apply have done online media, most of the experimental stuff we did at the agency was usually our creatives coming to that media folks with an idea and collaborating on execution.

So are creatives the right people for these roles? The only problem is that truthfully I only know one 'creative director' who can actually bridge the marketing communications gap and even he would admit that he needs someone more on the business end to play with.

There's certainly the route of going with a traditional planner, but then they usually are focused in on insights for the creative brief and don't tend to think across mediums strategically and as well, are lacking in digital experience.

It definitely shows that there is a conundrum here and a huge hole for a new breed of digital strategists and planners. My personal POV is that they aren't going to be coming from one particular background or another....It's a networked mindset that can intersect worlds and it’s collaborative at it's soul. And when those people do start to rise to the top, they are going to be hard to find and worth their weight in gold.


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