Here are the answers from the folks at Starcom MediaVest, Initiative and Universal McCann when we asked them how ready their agency is for the convergence of digital and traditional media. Check in tomorrow to see what they think at Carat, PHD and MediaCom.
Laura Desmond, CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group, the Americas; CEO, MediaVest USA:
"To manage this, we had to first agree upon one thing: that readiness is the product of doing. So we committed ourselves to doing several things, including attracting and retaining great talent. Reward your top performers with challenging work, and opportunities to grow professionally. Very rarely will a departing employee cite being 'over-challenged' as a reason for accepting a job at a competitive shop. We've also developed a plan that provides employees the opportunity to express their creativity and ideas and get exposure to new thinking and learning, whether in a formal training series on management skills, or perhaps it's a 'Digital Day,' such as the one we hosted last fall. Whatever the elements, be realistic, commit and deliver. Lastly, define clear goals. Not only get employee buy-in, but invite them into the conversation early. A team aligned behind the same vision, moving in the same direction, empowered -- and accountable -- to make real change, is a force not to be underestimated."
Richard Beaven, CEO, North America, Initiative:
"As our brand name demands, Initiative has been at the forefront of convergence and emerging media platforms. It extends to the redefinition of advertising as content and media as marketing: It's all part of the same revolution. We are focused on talent, capabilities and organization, hiring diverse skills to bring new thinking to our teams, as well as rotating positions internally to do the same; research now provides deeper insight to consumers as people and communities; and buying is restructured under the concept of Activation where we're building redefined partnerships with media companies and content developers. Through these three areas, Initiative is driving a digital reality and innovation in all areas of our business, from critical insight, strategic planning and evaluation to infrastructure."
Nick Brien, worldwide president-CEO, Universal McCann:
"We are ready and energized to work in a converged communications landscape. The artificial distinction between 'traditional' and 'digital' is meaningless today. The world is digital, and we must adopt to take full advantage of that as an industry. At Universal McCann, we have totally eliminated the silo mentality and have created a culture of collaboration. Our teams are working in lock-step with one goal: deliver sustainable communications solutions through engagement innovation and accountable creativity."