Thursday, October 23, 2008

Should You Sack The Attitude? That's The Golden Question.

Back in 2000 at Agency Republic I did a segmentation project for O2, now this was before it was O2, before txt messaging had taken off, before all you could eat data plans and before youtube, blogs, wikis and web 2.0. 

We cut the data in so many different ways - time spent talking, age, media habits, disposible income but nothing really usable and valuable over and above the vanilla segments you see on a million and one ad briefs. 

Then we found something, ok an incredibly bright planner who lectured at lse on marketing in her spare time, found something. What she found was that if the first cut was made on "attitude to technology" then the ones in the positive and "enhances my life" group were enormously more valuable than those who were negative as based on the accenture models. 

It seems obvious now, but back then telling O2 that their current business model was not right and that a person who spent hours on the phone chatting was less valuable than the snotty kid who sent a couple of text messages a day was tantamount to telecom treason. 

Afew years later I worked on the rebranding of Smartone in Hong Kong. We defined the brand and not just how it should be communicated through identity, retail and communications but also looked at how the processes and systems of the company needed to change to deliver the 

A large part of the project was looking at the type of people they needed in the organisation. We did a nice little staff 2X2 based on "ability to deliver" and "live the brand" or "Skill & Will" (cheers jmac). Those that had the skill and the will got promoted and well remunerated. Those that had the will but not the skil were retrained, those that didn't have the will, irrespective of their skill, were migrated out of the business. 

So imagine my thought process when I recently met a bunch of planners who suggested that they didn't use web 2.0 tools as technology was complicated, there were too many passwords to remember and they would rather have a chat amoungst themseleves face-to-face, not online and certainly not open to other people like account handlers and creatives.  

Now this surely has a fundamental impact on not only how agencies might use technology to improve their working lives by making it more efficient but much more worrying is the  lack of understanding of the world today and how our audience operate in it. 

Last time I checked a couple of years ago O2 still use the segmentation and are one of the largest telcos out there, Smartone got incredibly favourable analyst reports and a place on the top 20 of best asian brands list later that year and were subsequently bought by by Vodafone. 

Many ad agencies still struggles to deliver decent digital campaigns. 

So my advice to ad agency MDs and CEOs run the matrix on not just your planning department but the whole agency and sack the attitude. 


JMac said...

Big G - a great piece.

Blogged here:

Anonymous said...

really couldn't agree more with that matrix!