Grab a couple of aspirin and a glass of water (or a stiff drink), and take 10 minutes to read this Ad Age article: Tech Consulting Giants Slide Closer to Creative Shop Turf by Kunur Patel, published Jan. 16, 2012. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
The message is: CMOs everywhere are scrambling to find the sweet spot between tech, creative and data. Their goal: To find the “big idea” that will not only “win the day” (think Old Spice Man) but also can be replicated and scaled to attract new consumers and drive sales.
Previously, marketing executives engaged different vendor types to solve what used to be considered different problems – software and web development, data, and creative. Now that those things are inextricably intertwined, it makes sense that buyers would be eager to engage a firm that not only understands the business challenges but who also can design a strategy that integrates all the necessary pieces for success. Including the marketing piece.
But rather than trying to “learn the language of brands” themselves, the smartest consulting and technology firms are acquiring creative shops that already are fluent. If you’re looking to sell your firm, a technology or consulting firm might be a potential buyer.
If not, assuming that your practice is already tightly niched (meaning you have deep expertise in a narrow subject area), the next step is to make sure that you aware of the implications (and potential) of technology and data, not only on your niche but also on your clients.
That means you now need to keep yourself educated about the new choices and/or hire a marketing technologist (a real title) whose job it is to help you develop or identify some tools that provide you with a way to measure – and repeat – the results of your work.
What I wouldn’t do is delay action. The convergence is here.