Throughout the years, mediums have changed, but the essence remains the same: at the heart of any communication lies the idea. A good idea is like liquid, adaptable to any shape or form.
The communications industry’s never-ending challenge is that constant quest to find that novel idea; one that answers the client’s business needs, is well received by the audience, and uses the relevant popular platforms in the best way to communicate the message and create a unique experience. By default, we, as communicators, always need to be innovative in anything we do in order to evolve and improve.
People often directly link innovation to technology. It’s not wrong; technology is one piece of the puzzle, a big one. But we should not forget that we are in the business of communication, one that cannot be confined to one particular platform. Having an app on a mobile device was innovative in 2008, just like having a website was innovative in the 90’s. Technically, innovation is not entirely limited to the few of us who are tech savvy, but today’s platforms are almost all digital and connected, thus making technology a major factor in determining the innovativeness of a product.
Today, we are platform free. The whole world is our platform, and almost every item around us is connected. We can no longer be confined to a screen or device as every day there are new possibilities and technologies around us. If you look at it from the bright side, this is actually liberating and gives us a reason to think beyond the tool and go back to the basics: thinking should lead to technology and not the other way around.
Every once in a while the communications industry comes to a crossroad and finds itself facing new challenges; eventually it ends up adapting and evolving its operating model to better fit the time. With the introduction of digital platforms to the communications mix a few years back, many argued that the digital revolution would kill the agency, claiming it will be replaced by tech studios. Many agencies did fail while others tried to overcome this challenge by embracing the digital life and changing their model; unfortunately this has happened at a very slow pace and the region is running many laps behind the global industry.
Today, unfortunately, many regional agencies are still caught up in the platform trap and are failing to see beyond the device. Web and mobile are no longer the only devices. Watches, glasses, cars, cameras, homes, etc. they are all smart and connected now.
Innovation is thinking beyond the platform and crafting that ultimate experience to best serve the idea. This is something that the industry is still not doing properly. A few years down the line when technology becomes equally accessible to all and becomes fully integrated in people’s live, it will be like any other platform we have around us.