If you took all the digital agency messaging materials and mixed them up in a bag, here’s what the tag cloud looks like:
We all literally look the same. While we are, in practice, all special in our own ways, to an outsider we are only one Instagram filter away from the next agency.
Some of us find our sexiness in being “experiential” while others strut their “strategy” — some even believe they’ve managed to be both sexy and smart. Jealous, right? Well, here’s a not-so-sexy word that I think we can expect to see more of in the coming year — that word is “honesty.”
Okay, roll your eyes. I probably would if I were reading this, but consider the rest before you dismiss the notion.
For a while, the theme of “accountability” has been steadily evolving into a theme that centers around a commitment to “honesty.” Accountability is one thing, but honesty is about how that accountability is achieved, and it has far greater value in a world with a constantly changing digital ecosystem.
Consider the following questions you could get from a client or employee.
- Do you use ethically-sourced data?
- Do you set aside time to keep an active and open ear towards the market for new ideas?
- Do you make the appropriate investments in your teams to keep up with platform know-how?
- Do you remain in compliance with the changing regulatory space of data?
- Do you ensure your teams believe they can work in a safe environment amongst a slew of corporate scandals in recent months?
- Do you foster a healthy workspace where mental health days aren’t taboo and asking for help isn’t unthinkable?
These are tough topics, significant demands, and moving goal posts. The complexity and speed of these issues can leave you feeling like you’re always one step behind. Maybe honesty doesn’t fit in agency messaging and shouldn’t fall in a tag cloud, but I think the spirit of it should be reflected in all conversations and transactions.
Up until now, honesty has been severely underestimated, but it has the potential to be a game changer. I, for one, look forward to when we’re able to differentiate ourselves through this new currency.