Introduction to The SoDA Report

Chris Buettner, Managing Editor and Executive Director, SoDA

Chris Buettner Welcome to our 2H 2014 edition of The SoDA Report. The Editorial Team here at SoDA has been incredibly humbled by the response this publication has received over the last 18 months. We’ve heard from readers around the globe who have underscored the value our content has delivered for both individuals and teams who are creating the future of marketing and digital experiences.

As a non-profit organization working to serve as a voice for entrepreneurs and innovators worldwide, SoDA’s leadership, staff and volunteers are incredibly proud of this response and are energized to do even more in 2015.

In Volume 1 of The SoDA Report published in April, we released the findings of our annual Digital Marketing Outlook study conducted in partnership with Econsultancy. The research revealed key shifts in marketer/agency relationships and major discrepancies on topics such as:

  • The areas that brands and agencies believe are most valuable to clients
  • The reasons clients walk away from agency relationships
  • The biggest talent shortfalls within client organizations (Agency respondents overwhelmingly noted user experience as the #1 shortfall on the client side)

In this edition, we explore some of those same findings, offering very different perspectives and lines of reasoning in an effort to challenge our own assumptions and improve our analysis of important industry issues. Anthony Franco, Founder of EffectiveUI, suggests a very different reason why user experience remains the biggest talent gap within client-side marketing organizations. Rather than focusing on the argument that UX is still a field in its infancy, he posits that marketing and user experience are fundamentally incompatible. For his part, Darren Woolley of TrinityP3 tackles the topic of why clients really fire their agencies, providing a candid take on the topic and offering refreshingly simple – but valuable – insights for agencies and marketers alike. And those are just two of the 10 feature articles in this edition.

As always, we also showcase a variety of groundbreaking work in the digital space for world-renowned brands such as Pepsi, Nike, Hurley, Google, Coca-Cola and Intel in addition to immersive digital experiences for museums and academic institutions and digital products launched by the SoDA community.

Next year, in addition to the biannual editions, we’ll be publishing a series of smaller SoDA Reports on a variety of topics throughout the year. To become a subscriber of The SoDA Report please email SoDA and we’ll make sure you have priority access to the release of upcoming editions, as well as complimentary access to the new series of smaller reports that will be released under The SoDA Report brand.

And finally, a special thank you to Barcelona-based SoDA member Vasava for designing our cover. They have created a beautiful visual metaphor which was recently showcased on Behance’s Illustration Served blog, to show that there is always more than one path to create value for consumers, clients and society as a whole.

Chris Buettner
Managing Editor and Executive Director, SoDA