1) One of the areas that we continue to explore and refine is how to use data to inspire creativity. We have all moved beyond rolling our eyes at performance marketing as “lower level” communication work to be done - and now have moved into an era where we’re creating experiences that expose our brand content in different ways. It’s the ultimate challenge of right and left brained - and Deutsch has a variety of brains - so it’s an exciting time.
3) I think we are in a new era where collaboration is being recognized and rewarded by clients and agencies alike. We are realizing that having all of the answers is almost impossible. By being honest about what our true ninja powers are, we can find the right solutions to individual client challenges. The content publishing ecosystem is getting so sophisticated that it’s creating demand from more content from different perspectives; the brand itself, influencers and audiences for which we didn’t even plan or intend to reach but who become brand advocates. That said, having access to a full pipeline of tools to go from brief to strategy through production and publishing is a requirement in a culture that demands responsive communication. Years ago, we invested in building out our production capabilities through the opening of Steelhead Studios and watching that pay off has been very inspiring.
4) It’s always helpful to be reminded that successful work is universal in its theme and also specific to a cultural context. There was a period of time where we depended on tech and innovation as a parlor trick more than being central to an idea—but I think that’s waning which is good to see. It’s great to see brands playing a bigger role in using creativity to have an impact on global human issues
5) We continue to dig deep into content platforms. Brand-owned channels are the greatest source for gathering data and insights, so fluency with the Adobe Suite is a big focus. It’s transformed the way we’ve worked internally as well with greater collaboration between UX and design. We are also getting from code to design quicker than we could have ever imagined possible. Much of that can be attributed to the work Deutsch’s UX, design and tech teams have put in place using the Creative Cloud in new ways.
6) We’ve worked hard to bring in new talent across the board, from strategy to creative and production, we have been crisper in terms of defining the roles and opportunities for talent that can bring greater diversity to our company. We have been looking for talent in new places and earlier in the pipeline - so we’ve partnered with places like the Da Vinci School and programs like Film2Future, a program committed to providing students with the tools and knowledge to get into the entertainment and ad industries. Through initiatives like these and our intern program D-Prep, we are building the pipeline of diverse talent one student at a time.
Mentoring new talent is always a challenge in a fast-paced environment, but we are committed to our mentorship program, Nourish. Through this program, we’ve also received training on how to be a better mentor. I’ve benefited so much from having different mentors and sponsors throughout my career - and only now am I realizing how generous those people were with their time. It’s time to for us to make a conscious effort to mentor new and up-and-coming talent.