INTERACTIVE: New media has got to raise its standards of creativity - or suffer - New-Media Clinic

New-media agencies have been very quick to learn that they must at least wear the clothes of marketers if they are to convince clients of their role in the communications mix. The degree to which they have succeeded is variable, but there is another step that needs to be taken before most new-media outfits can compete for marketing spend with other types of agency. They need to start having ideas.

New-media agencies have been very quick to learn that they must at

least wear the clothes of marketers if they are to convince clients of

their role in the communications mix. The degree to which they have

succeeded is variable, but there is another step that needs to be taken

before most new-media outfits can compete for marketing spend with other

types of agency. They need to start having ideas.



So many websites, CD-ROMs and kiosks are produced which fundamentally

lack an idea or even a raison d’etre. In a creative environment, some

form of intellectual Darwinism is required, where only the strongest

ideas survive. Alas, the world of new media seems to operate on the

principle that the first workable offering should be e-mailed straight

out of the door. In contrast, other aspects of creative work are given

more time and thought: time either to grow stronger, or to wither and

die. That is an essential part of the creative process - while some

ideas are inspired and need little or no polishing, others need to be

worked at before anything approaching perfection can be attained. And

lots of things don’t look quite as good in the morning as they did the

night before.



This isn’t about pretty pictures. It’s about understanding what

consumers want and then working out how to deliver it. Once upon a time,

clients hungered for reasons why consumers should revisit their

websites. Now, it’s more an issue of why they should go there in the

first place. The industry needs a layer of strategists to consider not

only the marketing of organisations but how they might save money or

provide a better service through new channels. Too often, the question

is: ’What will the navigation icons look like?’, when more time should

have been spent considering whether there should be a site at all.



Margins are tight, and an extra brain added to each team might tax even

the larger projects, but it is the only way to improve the quality of

what’s out there. Creative directors in new-media agencies should

concern themselves with a macro view of the digital world, rather than

the micro view of browser compatibility and plug-ins. As this becomes a

consumer medium rather than a techie one, products that simply offer the

obvious will not generate the best results.



How many times have we all seen sites for brands, that, frankly, contain

nothing more than what any one of us could have proposed, given five

minutes and the back of an envelope? How many times are we inspired to

say, ’I wish I’d done that’? I still see far more ads I like on TV than

sites I like on the web.



Unless agencies stand up for themselves and demand the time and space to

develop stronger ideas, this business is destined to spend its life as a

serial bridesmaid.



Topics

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).