The Soda Academy
"Change need not be the only thing that’s constant. The values that drive our approach to leading change can be as well."

Introduction to Modern Marketer

In the last edition of The SoDA Report, Modern Marketer took a look at the tools and techniques that are being brought forward by agencies to help their client partners spur positive change.

Implicit in that set of articles was the realization that what had previously been good enough was no longer the right course of action. The time for positive change had come.

Everyone knows the maxim: The only constant is change.

And in the grand sense that’s true. But in practice that’s obviously not the case. Our experience tells us there are periods of change and there are periods of continuity. Looking at it this way reveals what we all know to be the most difficult part of the equation: determining when and how we should change.

Out of all the opportunities and challenges we face - both for our own organizations and our clients - this is the one thing we spend the most time trying to tackle. Deciding when and how to change will continue to be the defining challenge for agencies as we move into 2016 and beyond (unless of course you’ve hit the bottom and the only choice is change, in which case it’s probably a bit too late anyway…).

If there is no prescribed timeline or outcome, perhaps it’s really just a matter of having a consistent mindset and perennially analyzing the best timing and methods for driving change.

We were having a conversation here at our agency not too long ago where we were questioning if our industry is still fueled by the same spirit that abounded at its inception. At that point in time, it was all risk, all the time. Our toolset was crap, there were no rules and no one really knew where things were headed.

Fast-forward to today…our toolset is amazing, the rules are increasingly restrictive (or at least defined) and – more often than not – the order of the day is mitigating risk.

Over the course of that discussion, we agreed that we’re undoubtedly at our best as an industry when we’ve got the balance right between building mastery in our current context and – at the same time – plotting for its disruption. Not for the sake of it, but because we’ve harnessed our intelligence and judgment to uncover the fact that there is a better way. Basically, we believe it’s important to apply the same spirit that created our industry in new and forward-looking ways.

Change need not be the only thing that’s constant. The values that drive our approach to leading change can be as well.

Our contributors in this edition of Modern Marketer do their part to address the different facets of the ‘change’ question.

Understanding when to change is a theme Adobe’s Christian Cantrell builds on as he takes a critical look at the state of online advertising.

For her part, Ann Ystén of Perfect Fools puts forward a point of view on how the modern agency partner needs to evolve to play a more critical role in driving transformative change for clients in ways that transcend the marketing realm.

Please enjoy these provocations and see what ideas they spark for you.