The phrase that entertained the world with the American rock band Nirvanaâ€™s 1992 Billboard 200 chart buster song â€™Stay Awayâ€™ from their album Nevermind is back, only this time it means business.
As we draw curtains on they year (2015) that it was, and step into 2016: the year when United States goes to elections, and the world economic-political balance in a tizzy, itâ€™s worth a while to take note of â€˜what to avoidâ€™ in the year of Monkey, quite literally.
Our Industryâ€™s â€˜Monkey See, Monkey Doâ€™ moment
Amidst the chatter of how are brands leveraging the â€˜Big Dataâ€™, â€˜AIâ€™ and Star Warsâ€™ frenzy, what really got heard and repeated was a collective Client Marketer sentiment that â€˜Agencies simply donâ€™t understand our business.â€™
A client confession what felt like an undercurrent until yesterday has suddenly turned into a â€˜pointed feedback.â€™
Are we actually not demonstrating enough understanding of â€˜the businessâ€™? Or have we not kept up with the pace of change at clientâ€™s end?
Or maybe itâ€™s the rush to â€˜Go Digital & techâ€™ that has taken precedence over what is expected of us?
There could be a multitude of reasons, however the response so far has been â€˜not my monkeys, not my circusâ€™.
Perhaps moving into the year of monkey: 2016, we might consider demonstrating our grip over the â€˜Ever changing business of Marketingâ€™
1: No brief can provide a crash course into a real world business problem, itÂ Â needs to be understood in business context and not just from a communication lens.
2: Marketers know campaigns canâ€™t solve everything. What they are expecting is creative minds looking for a solution from angles theyâ€™ve not explored.
3: Propositions donâ€™t move the needle anymore. Innovations/Improvisations do.
4: Big Idea is nice to have. Executable ideas are a must have. Start Prototyping.
5: The power of Creative Solution overrides Specialization in the room.
6: Clients are loyal to results, over reputation.
7: Marketers are open to trying more new things, than we actually think.
In summary, the year of monkey in its true spirit would be about â€˜monkeying around with our creative abilitiesâ€™. Call it Innovation, Disruption or the clichÃ© out of the box approach, the coming year would be all about doing stuff weâ€™ve not dirtied our hands before with.
The writer is SaileshÂ Wadhwa, planningÂ director at Lowe Malaysia.