It’s always an inspiring privilege to lift your head from the daily demands of our 24/7 working lives and take a look at what others are doing, as the judges of this month’s prestigious Marketing Society Awards will attest (never decline an opportunity to judge your peers if it’s offered – it will almost always make you a little better at what you do).
But widen the lens, look further afield and it’s truly exhilarating to see what’s happening in countries where sometimes overwhelming marketing challenges are met with a freshness and confidence that we could do with more of over here. A global purview can be a sobering reminder that the UK isn’t always the pinnacle of excellence in our industry; they do it quite well in other countries, too. And sometimes rather better.
Nevertheless there’s something stirring here. A new energy, a loudening buzz. Marketing budgets are rising at the fastest rate for more than a decade and the industry feels like it’s walking a little taller. The hard lessons of the past few years and the new normal of the data/ROI imperative have enforced a rigour that’s now being matched by the slow unfettering of flair. Mojo is back in the industry’s lexicon.
Will England win the World Cup? Hmm, probably not. Will British brands and agencies dominate at Cannes? I don’t think so. But I do think we’re ready to be inspired and reignited. And I hope this issue of Marketing helps, too.
I’ll be watching the results of all of this from over the other side of the creative bridge on Campaign magazine. I’m off to Marketing’s sister title as editor-in-chief, with a global remit that means I’ll be spending plenty of time thinking about creative excellence around the world. What I do know now, after an amazing 18 months in the heart of the marketing industry and at the helm of this amazing brand, is that creative excellence is a team game that requires clients to be every bit as brave and inspired as their agency partners. So I’m not really going very far at all.