Sorry about the title. It irritates me too… “10 reasons why the top 5 best headers unlock the 3 key truths on how to get people to start reading an article”. Though rest assured these five pointers may prove useful ….

The way our species is now proceeding to ‘evolve-by-choice’ places marketing and its professional services agencies smack bang in the centre of evolution itself, and at the forefront of the proliferation of a currency of ideas and data in an ever-expanding collective consciousness.

This reality puts pressure on the industry to constantly redefine concepts and modus operandi.

In my view a marketing services agency needs to be one of the most well-informed, forward-thinking and talent-centric workplace environments in the business world. Free breakfast and a funky decor is also great.

#1 – Hire Hackers
Jump ahead of the curve asap and on-board yourself a couple of Hackers. As temporary or distanced interns at least.

We are in the midst of multiple paradigm shifts including the ‘reverse-engineering’ of fundamental systems and processes of daily life. Beck’s ingenious new album launch could have been devised by a Hacker bod years ago.

Ideally in a sizeable integrated shop you have the Digitals and the Strategists coming from the bottom up. The Creatives come from the top down. The Hackers then come from the inside out, back in again and back and forth until you reach the point where you’ve already self-criticised, built on, tweaked and milked your idea pre-launch, thus you can reap the maximum benefit from that idea.

Get the critique you need and deserve. Get a more wholesome creative engine happening. Get hacking.

#2 – Test kids
… and then get the best kids you can find to come and test you.

Whether or not you’re keen on adopting a long-term cultivation model… whether or not you’re a believer in the viablity and inevitability of the 14 year-old Creative Director as a concept… whether or not you can see the benefits of lighting a fire under everyone’s semi-stagnant tuchas in your agency, this idea is still worth contemplating.

Just fight through your stubbornness.

Or congratulate yourself if you’re already implementing something along these lines.

Every ambitious agency should have some kind of ongoing testing battery or participation event/competition attached to their web presence which examines adolescents for signs of freakish creativity and/or strategic planning potential and/or all-round commercial acumen … whilst accepting participant details for future follow-up of course.

Or why not give the so-called experienced members of your agency a cheeky chutzpah-charged check-up-from-the-neck-up by testing and trialling some neuron-laden adolescent thinking machines in person?

Work experience or junior internship programs?

The new talent world is your oyster.

Young up.

#3 – ‘Get’ science
Not having a human science exponent review or at least add some notes to each and every creative or tactical idea is becoming tantamount to pediocide (aka ‘shooting one’s self in the foot’).

The advantages are that you maximise the upsides by best aligning your idea/s with social, cognitive, behavioural and evolutionary imperatives, and you minimise the downside if things decide they might try and chuck a wobbly.

Things are going to go pear-shaped more and more often as the consumer ‘collective’ gains the controlling stake of power in the marketing relationship (with their judge-and-jury hands ready and waiting on the social afterburner), and as poorly engineered deliverables produce sub-stellar results, which are currently still explained away as being “for some strange reason”.

Ignoring the shift of the marketing and communications design closer to the world of psychological theory, will lead to more things going wrong.

Moreover, what does go right won’t last as long if the strategy is reactive and shallow as opposed to predictive and continually captivating. Look around you, humanity is unifying into a planetary nervous system driven by social capital.

Anyone who thinks they don’t need to be wary of mob politics (which we call The Colosseum Dynamic) throughout the public and media space is surely out to lunch.

The deeper the psychological underpinnings that drive the idea and create that perfect storm of engagement, the stronger and longer lasting will be the results.

Get creepy.

Get behavioural.

Get Freudarwinianly sexy.

Get better informed for your clients. Get science.

#4 – Go round
Any table (ie discussion surface around which one human may interact with another) that you see sporting corners or is shaped in any way other than circular will undermine not just the creative process, but the general objectivity and overall level of your output. As do non-identical chairs.

So have yourselves a Gurdjieffian gambol get-together out in the carpark today as your square and/or rectangular and/or oval-shaped tables burn to cinders and ash.

Test a bit of roundage in a specific area/floor for a few months if you’re sceptical, but no doubt the slight yet profound changes will speak for themselves and you’ll be able to head on in for the big win more often.

Go Arthurian. Go psycho-ergonomic. Go round.

#5 – Get to it
Assign a GenX person or persons in your agency the ongoing remit to further investigate/reiterate then actually implement this Top 5.

One of the main causes of your agency potentially failing to progress with the times is simple; You are too busy to change from doing what you’ve always done because you’re always busy doing what you’re doing.

Invest, assign responsibility, and allocate time in your schedule dedicated solely to evolving the shop.

Any suggestions out there for numbers 6 through 10?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }


No.7 – keep the hackers and the I.T. guys away from each other!


Paul Wessels

#7 A big sign on the wall in every Australian creative department that says “Beards are not necessarily cool.”


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: