To succeed, it takes more than being able to lead teams and execute offline and online. It's about having a different approach to building brands, shifting a mindset from instinctively assigning copywriter/art director teams to being as creative and strategic with staffing projects as with the concept itself. For example, a creative team now may include a user-experience expert, digital designer, video director and blogger/copywriter. Think that's easy for someone who's been creative directing for five or more years to adapt to and truly believe in?
Another aspect to consider: Is it better to hire a creative director who started out in traditional advertising or bring in a digital native? Our experience has been mostly the former. But perhaps now's the time to seriously consider the latter. In an integrated agency, it's truly best to find a creative leader who comes from either background, and embraces multiple platforms.
Many candidates claim to be that special individual. Few actually possess those talents.
Another thing to consider: In Brownstein Group's structure, and that of an emerging number of small-to-mid-size shops, the creative director works closely with a digital strategist to brief, and guide creative teams. For some CD's, that just won't work. But we've found that the digital strategist works like a brand planner, only the insights are about user experience, navigation and consumer engagement.
This process will be fascinating, for sure. I'll write a follow-up post and let you know the outcome.