7 ways to get ready for 2016

The phrase that entertained the world with the American rock band Nirvana’s 1992 Billboard 200 chart buster song ’Stay Away’ 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, it’s worth a while to take note of ‘what to avoid’ in the year of Monkey, quite literally.

Our Industry’s ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’ moment

Amidst the chatter of how are brands leveraging the ‘Big Data’, ‘AI’ and Star Wars’ frenzy, what really got heard and repeated was a collective Client Marketer sentiment that ‘Agencies simply don’t understand our business.’

A client confession what felt like an undercurrent until yesterday has suddenly turned into a ‘pointed feedback.’

Are we actually not demonstrating enough understanding of ‘the business’? Or have we not kept up with the pace of change at client’s end?

Or maybe it’s the rush to ‘Go Digital & tech’ that has taken precedence over what is expected of us?

There could be a multitude of reasons, however the response so far has been ‘not my monkeys, not my circus’.

Perhaps moving into the year of monkey: 2016, we might consider demonstrating our grip over the ‘Ever changing business of Marketing’

1: No brief can provide a crash course into a real world business problem, it    needs to be understood in business context and not just from a communication lens.

2: Marketers know campaigns can’t solve everything. What they are expecting is creative minds looking for a solution from angles they’ve not explored.

3: Propositions don’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 ‘monkeying around with our creative abilities’. Call it Innovation, Disruption or the cliché out of the box approach, the coming year would be all about doing stuff we’ve not dirtied our hands before with.

The writer is Sailesh Wadhwa, planning director at Lowe Malaysia.

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