There’s a lot of talk of change in the market at the moment. The world is going digital. The world is going integrated. Clients need their agencies to deliver and measure tangible results. Social media are democratising brand ownership. The so-called MSM are no longer nearly as effective at reaching a mass audience as they were only 5 years ago. There is upheaval in the world of TV broadcasting and production. There are a million moving parts.
And so there is a lot of talk about agencies re-engineering themselves, a multitude of challenges for the traditional major players to overcome as they re-invent themselves, and a lot of inertia that has been built up over decades to overcome.
At GyroHSR we don’t really have that issue. We have come of age in the current era, and have been in a position to build our company to meet the needs of our clients and to reflect the realities of the interesting and dynamic market in which we are all operating. That means that we’re in a position to embrace and enjoy change, not be threatened by it.
But in seeking to understand how to operate in a world of change, we could do a lot worse than look at the examples of the emerging markets. In Africa most countries will bypass a fixed line world altogether, and mobile and satellite will rule. In China the internet is exploding, challenging the tight state control that has existed over the main media channels since the time of Mao. At the same time huge brands that we’ve never heard of in the West are starting to flex their muscles as they look at new markets to conquer. In India, the rural communities are starting to become affluent and have spending power in a way they never have before and – with a mass of different languages and dialects, and a very limited communications infrastructure in place – getting brand messages to the new middle classes is a major challenge.
So all around the emerging world agencies are working with far more pervasive change than us, and in my travels to a lot of these markets in the last few months, it is clear that there is a great sense of creativity and innovation being brought to bear to cope with the upheaval. It’s worth keeping an eye on the changes in the emerging markets, because my sense is that in many ways the agencies there are showing us the future, because they have less past to deal with.