We’ve looked in to the future…and we’re not there

russ mitchinsonThis week Google has flown members of The Communications Council’s Account Planning Group to the US to gain insights into how technology will impact the world of communications. APG chairman Russ Mitchinson shares what he’s learned

It’s been 48hrs in the presence of Google and we’re reeling with information, innovation and ideas. And if two days is anything to go by, the Australian communications industry is lagging far, far behind…

This is only halfway though our journey of discovery as after the Silicon Valley we’ve now arrived in New York to interrogate Google Creative Labs on the future of creativity…as they see it. But already emerging are some key challenges that our industry is facing back in Australia…and some possible solutions.

Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes discusses the visit with Mitchinson:

We need to forget what we know and how we work. We need to radically refresh our frame of reference. Stop doing digital marketing and start marketing for a digital age. Because if we don’t then management consultants and other industries will.

Here are some key issues.

1. Digital is not upstream enough in our thinking – all too often it’s transactional and used as an amplifier – it just plays an incremental role

Therefore our solutions need to be less about messaging but more about services and utilities, across platforms. We need to increasingly think mobile first. But we need to humanize our digital thinking – focus on the user and how we can make a difference to peoples’ lives. Create useful marketing. Because if we make a difference to peoples’ lives first and foremost, good things will come…

2. We’re not agile and too slow…obsessed with perfection and the final execution

Fast is better than slow as it’s all about iteration. We need to bring the ‘hackathon’ spirit into our agencies, such as fast problem solving. Think big…think times ten, not just ten percent.

3. We’re too siloed, with poor media and creative collaboration

We need to work in cross discipline teams on problems, and we need to collaborate with technologists more closely to force us to think about new ways of problem solving. What’s the ideal process for media and creative planners to work together?

4. We have no Vision beyond profit and a culture of ‘The Sell’

Let’s take a leaf out of Google culture: “Googlers love to work here because they get to work on cool stuff that matters.” This is very appealing to Gen Y and below. Google X’s Mission is to “Invent and launch moonshot technologies that make the world a radically better place.” And as they say “Do good things and the cash will come.” Google can always monetise it afterwards. For example Google Glass, Driverless Cars, Project Loon and Wind turbines.

Over and out from The Valley.

  • Russ Mitchinson is planning partner at DDB Sydney

Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.