Creative Social’s latest New York gathering tackled the subject of ubiquitous connectivity, and its implications for marketers.
Creative Social–a global, invitation-based digital collective of creative directors–hosted its most recent NYC gathering this past Tuesday, tackling the subject of ubiquitous connectivity and its implications for anyone speaking to the audience that lives in this near-permanent state of connectivity. The event’s speakers tackled the topic from four dimensions: the implications of connectivity for the way we work (quite specifically, the way creative agencies work), the way creative agencies ‘innovate’ (and the likelihood of the next startup emerging from an agency), the product development and design process and lastly, the importance of a name and the impact of connectivity to how we react to a product or idea’s name.
While each speaker presented an interesting perspective on each dimension, we were particularly provoked by that of the implications of connectivity of the way we work, as discussed by Alessandra Lariu of SheSays’ first product, Shout. Lariu provoked the audience with the proposal that while the way our audience’s lives (as marketers, strategists, creatives and product developers) have been significantly altered by connectivity, the way we work has not–particularly not at creative agencies. Many of us still have timesheets to fill, a milestone-based process and fractured team to work with, and an oftentimes agenda-driven review process to contend with (“will this win us an award?”). Dissatisfied with how agencies (and many other entities, to be fair) were addressing this new reality, Lariu created her own solution to explore.
The result of that exploration is Shout, which aims to provide a more collaborative, open and ‘anarchical’ platform and model for creative women to respond to creative briefs with collaborative ideas and work product. The community is compensated by a combination of financial and non-financial rewards (including recognition), while the ideas and workproduct themselves may be voted on by Shout’s broader audience. While the difference between Shout’s approach is clearly different from that of most creative agencies, the question begs how Shout’s model differs from crowdsourcing. According to Shout and Lariu, the key differences lie in how the community is compensated for their work and how Shout’s algorithm matches collaborators on individual projects.
We left Creative Social’s gathering with an increased sense of the paradox and contradiction between the connected, smarter world we speak to and design for, and the oftentimes archaic and disconnected internal processes, infrastructure and approaches that support many that create that work. This is not only true of agencies, but of many other corporate entities – including many that are creating the products and services for this connected audience. We’re curious to see how Shout’s model progresses, as well as to learn about what alternative approaches have been working more effectively.