Doing projects that are somewhat internal facing is always difficult in an agency. So much focus is on clients and the work we do for them — as it should be — that initiatives that can have significant impact on how an agency operates and how it delivers for its clients don’t get as much attention.
It goes without saying that as digital revenues continue to grow and pure play digital agencies get more of this work, larger established agencies are sharpening up their strategies on how they respond.
At JWT we call this dotJWT. A brand to highlight all of our digital talent and focus on how our specialist subsidiaries in Search or Platform Development work with our integrated teams.
The premise is simple:
- Digital work increases the number of specialists to deliver an integrated campaign
- Clients do not want the headache that comes from managing all of these teams or to do the creative integration
- Specialist teams do not flourish when integrated into the general agency structure
- The agency needs a structure the encourages collaboration with specialist companies and teams
Having been about 6 months now focused on this, including rebranding the idea (with DigitLondon), a global roadshow and a couple initiatives to get people working together, it is great to see it called out in a more public forum beyond what we have on jwt.com/dotjwt.
An image of the JWT page and the link to the full pdf is below.
For all of the talk of technology reducing the need for business travel, planes seem pretty full these days.
It is a true cliche to say that business is more global than ever and we’re seeing it on our dotJWT team with people working on the development that are spread from Buenos Aires to London to Dubai and Singapore. The question I’d like to see research on is how often do you need to be physically across from each other and how much video, voice, IM and skype can work.
There is no question Kick-offs are critical. People often don’t know each other and there is so much more communicated face to face in getting to know people. In fact, sort of like the inane 18 hour university road trips that create life friendships, I’d say it has to be about more then dinner. Teams that will work together have to be forced to sit in windowless office conference rooms for at least 6 hours before they can go to a fantastic trendy bar and celebrate together … for another 4 hours.
This punches through any posturing, gives time for differing agendas to make it out and allows peples real characters to come through. And those are the characters that make or break a project.
That’s the easy part, but then comes the big question: teams will drift apart pretty quickly if they aren’t pulled together and reminded of the common reason we’re all spending time on whatever it is we’re doing. The Roman Army had a great way to keep people working to a common goal: if a group broke ranks or lacked discipline, they drew lots and one tenth were then bludgened to death by their peers. This could work for excessive use of powerpoint slides today but I don’t think it fits with modern motivation theory.
So instead we use Check Points to get teams in front of senior executives and remind everyone of progress. Team Incentives can include business travel to nice places dolled up as “train the trainer” programs. But at the end of the day, it is the routine communication that has to keep the team together.
So the question is: Can technology do it? Do extranets like Base Camp make a bid difference? They definitely keep people informed. Do video conferencing like our JWT Talking Heads tool do better then phone conferences? You can’t put Skype on mute when you’re peering into the camera like LonelyGirl15 waiting for the conversation to come round. As much as you may say “but I know what they look like” there is more bandwidth in a video call then voice alone.
And last is video conferencing rooms. The great technology that was supposed to save us from the aluminium baloons that haul us — too slowly — across the planet.
I suppose the answer is all of the above. Looking forward to reading more of the science and checking it against the ever so particular environment that is JWT, and then publishing what really works.
Coming back to the US one of the biggest advertising things you notice is healthcare advertising — whether it is on TV, in print or online.
At JWT we have a big Healthcare practice and have just launched a first release set of websites for a new pharmaceutical for our Johnson & Johnson client. It has been amazing seeing the work it takes to get basic product information online in this sector — managing regulatory and legal definitely add a level of complexity to the usual job!
At anyrate congratulations to the team — great to see the initial communications coming out after having worked on the pitch and strategy.
Always a bit funny to see yourself speaking, but also a great way to be better!
This is from my Social Media Week presentation in Toronto. The presentation is about 40 minutes but the Q&A went on for a full additional hour if you really, really have nothing else to do.
JWT presents Business behind the Buzz with John Baker from JWT Toronto on Vimeo.
Great agencies win alike? Just got a MediaPost email and noticed I recognized two agencies listed.
Revenue cures all ills. Well done to all of the teams!
It is amazing how quickly time can speed up when you start a new job. New people, new patterns, new ways of working all pile up to speed away weeks.
So at anyrate here is the announcement on the jwt.com site. Very Exciting. John Baker, President Client Services, JWT NY
John joined JWT in late 2010 as President, Client Services for JWT
New York. He is a respected interactive agency veteran who started in
digital marketing in 1995 at a little start-up agency called Modem Media
and has worked in both London and New York.
Amazed by the
choices technology gives marketers, John has led digital strategy for
clients such Barnes & Noble, Hertz, Unilever and Royal Mail, and has
worked with start-ups ranging from boo.com to BzzAgent. He helped build
Organic’s New York and London offices, was a jury member at Cannes, and
led digital in direct marketing agencies Proximity and OgilvyOne. Most
recently he built the iris Digital team in London and was part of the
management team for iris in the Americas.
A fairly avid science
fiction fan, John likes to remind people to pay attention to the near
future fiction out there, it tends to come true!
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