Recently, Magnani’s COO brought an article to our attention that appeared on the Fast Company blog. Entitled “We’re All Technologists Now: 6 Steps to Retraining and Reinventing Your Creative Talent,” it discussed the need for advertising agencies to continually reinvest in the education and training of creative talent to keep ahead of the fast-paced, rapidly-changing business landscape (think social media, mobile technology, application development, etc.). The idea being that we are all technologists in a sense (not just designers, strategists, writers, account execs, etc.).
The very same day I saw a video on the website of a capital markets strategic advisory firm in which technologists from the financial services industry discussed the need for creative directors on the IT team. This would ensure that products in development take into account the solution design and user experience and not just the data, analytics and back-end framework.
As someone who’s worked in and with siloed environments, I love to hear about this type of integration, as that’s where the strongest solutions are built. But hearing it so clearly from both an agency perspective and a corporate perspective (in the typically conservative financial services industry no less!), indicated that there’s something bigger going on.
Whether you’re a multinational conglomerate or a small business, there’s no denying that you can’t get away without the use of technology in some way, shape or form. And whether large or small, we all have access to it – to the same infrastructure, the same protocols, the same tools. Technology is no longer a business advantage – it’s a business imperative. It’s table stakes for entry into the game.
The true advantage, therefore, is in HOW you use technology. It’s about coming up with unique ways to implement technology in a way that addresses and anticipates the needs and wants of your customers and delivers a unique and superior interaction with your brand. Those who can do this well are the ones who will thrive. And to do this well requires the convergence of a team who can collectively think like the customer and create a beautiful and seamless experience while leveraging technologies that will help make a difference. Each role has its specialization, but each needs to understand the benefits of the other roles in order to build and connect to the vision.
So let’s all become a little bit technologist and a little bit creative director. Who knows what fascinating things we can create!