If I were to take the pulse of the many conversations I’ve been having most of this week, the beat would be pounding loudly about the connections between the small players (consultants, independents, freelance), the big players (interactive agencies, full service agencies) and the companies large and small that buy their services. The conversation is about the work, how much of it there is, and if there will be changes in the way that work is procured.
Well, yes, in challenged economic times there will certainly be changes in the way talent is procured. And maybe there should be. We all know of agencies and individuals that have been black box selling everything from advertising to interactive services by wrapping them in a cloak of AOR and the ability to be so cool they don’t have to explain anything.
Valuable (and memorable) resources will come to the client table with a clear understanding of the problems clients are facing today and with that understanding as a basis, they will need to bring truly differentiated creative thought and action that will help their clients make money, save money, create efficiencies within their organization or in some way demonstrably move the dial in the direction of growth.
Being a super-smart and truly creative thinker are important elements for differentiation. A genuine love of and passion for what you do is another. The rest of the magic comes from all the other team members doing their part; then the ideas start to blend, form and grow and something truly worthwhile gets created.
Today’s market will value IQ and the creative class more than ever. It is that unique talent, in collaboration with a companies’ own key resources, that will move the dial in the right direction.