What It’s Really Like To Be A Digital Strategist

What It’s Really Like To Be A Digital Strategist
SHARE
THIS



What makes everybody want to be a strategist or think they could be one? Grant Flannery, Senior Lead Strategist at The White Agency, ponders this question and suggests that next time you’re sitting in a presentation, think about all the work that didn’t make it into the final slide deck.

As I walk around the office I often get asked ‘how did you get into strategy?’ Maybe this is because I am new, maybe because I just had a shave and people think I’m 14 years old and a work experience kid, maybe because walking around is all people see me do, or maybe (and I would like to think this is the reason) because everybody wants to be a digital strategist.

The conversation starts off in a fairly boring way with me describing how I moved from client side strategic marketing to being a suit agency side and then into strategy. But once I start explaining what we do in strategy, suddenly everybody wants to be a strategist, or as I often hear them say, “could be a strategist”. That’s what my colleagues say, usually after I have spent days or weeks working on a keynote or brief that I feel will change the world, but in reality probably just sits in someone’s inbox once they’ve read the summary slides or first three lines of the brief.

So it begs the question, what makes everybody want to be a strategist or think they could be a strategist? Is it because they see us ‘strategists’ staring out a window to see if the perfect customer value proposition will pop into our head? Or is it because they think all we do is surf the Internet at the pub, look at cool stuff and come up with amazing ideas that the client will buy on the spot.

To be honest I’m not really sure.  Perhaps it’s because a strategist’s output can often look so simplistic when laid out in a perfectly designed Keynote or brief template. But what most colleagues (and clients) don’t know is that we have:

  •  Researched 12 different target markets
  • Understood consumer behavior and brand perception
  • Gone through rigorous user testing with the UX department
  • Trawled through pages of media consumption documents only to realise everyone consumes media in different ways and we are all just people
  • Compared the best brands in the world just to work out that Nike kick ass at everything
  • Looked at data and realised we didn’t have enough or the right type
  • Spent countless hours working on how we could bring a campaign to life and convince the client to sign off the brief
  • Get the creative started
  • Then at the very end of all of our (as a friend would put it “strategisation”), showed our designers the Keynote we prepared and they nearly threw up in their mouth!

It is true that most people probably could be a strategist or think very strategically but it’s also true that it’s easy to look at the final product and think “Is that all? It’s pretty simple, I could’ve done that.”

The hard part is making it so simple! So I ask all my agency friends, the next time they see the PowerPoint or Keynote their strategist has put together, think about the words and pages that are not in the presentation and not only about the ones that are. As a very wise man once said “It’s not what is said in the meeting, it’s about what isn’t said in the meeting”.

So I have had my little rant and hopefully given some interesting insights and I want to encourage everybody that has an inkling that they could be a strategist in digital or traditional to really give it a shot. The life of a strategist is both fun and painful, both understood and misunderstood (that’s just they way we talk), but overall it really is a great area to be in and to be honest, it’s so hot right now.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Apple iPhone Elite Sports Properties Live Pitch

Latest News

Lions Live Set To Launch Second Young Lions Live Award Brief
  • Advertising

Lions Live Set To Launch Second Young Lions Live Award Brief

As part of Lions Live in June, Lions Live challenged under 30s with a brief in partnership with the World Food Programme. It was free to enter, and nearly 1,000 young adlanders entered. It was such a success, Lions Live plan to run a second competition during Lions Live this week. This time the brief […]

Tuesday TV Wrap: SAS Knifes The Block, As Seven & Nine In Rare Dead Heat
  • Media

Tuesday TV Wrap: SAS Knifes The Block, As Seven & Nine In Rare Dead Heat

Seven must be loving the press SAS Australia is getting at the moment, but not that it’s necessarily translated to viewers for the oddball reality show. Last night’s second SAS outing posted 795,000 eyeballs according to OzTAM metro numbers, making it slightly down on Monday’s debut that had 834,000. In better news for Seven, SAS […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Are Australian Brands Missing A Subscription Opportunity?
  • Media

Are Australian Brands Missing A Subscription Opportunity?

US retailer Walmart surprised many when it launched Walmart Plus last month, a premium subscription service that gives members access to unlimited delivery and special deals. The move puts Walmart directly against Amazon, which has enjoyed enormous success through its Amazon Prime initiative in recent years. And while the US retail subscription market might be […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Mindshare Boss Nick Emery “Filmed Himself With His Bottom Out” Prior To Sacking
  • Media

Mindshare Boss Nick Emery “Filmed Himself With His Bottom Out” Prior To Sacking

Nick Emery’s misdemeanour that led to his abrupt sacking can finally be revealed. The London-based Mindshare global CEO was given his marching orders last Thursday after an incident that WPP described as “inappropriate and offensive” and “a clear breach of the company’s code of conduct”.   And it appears the UK’s venerable The Sun newspaper has […]

HT&E Appoints Angela Ewers As New Chief People Officer
  • Media

HT&E Appoints Angela Ewers As New Chief People Officer

HT&E today announces Angela  Ewers has been appointed to the newly created position of Chief People Officer. Ewers will commence her new role in November, based in Sydney, where she will lead both HT&E and ARN’s People & Culture function to support growth and ensure ARN is not just Australia’s number one radio and digital audio business, but also […]

Is Christmas Cancelled? Research Reveals Aussies Plan To Spend Less This Festive Season
  • Marketing

Is Christmas Cancelled? Research Reveals Aussies Plan To Spend Less This Festive Season

New research has revealed a major cut-back in Christmas spending, with Australians planning to spend less on gifts, food, and social events this season. The research out of market research firm Toluna also reveals 23 per cent of Australians are worried about being able to afford the Christmas season altogether. Australians are feeling the pinch, […]

Pause Fest To Return In 2021 As Online Event
  • Media

Pause Fest To Return In 2021 As Online Event

Festival for business and creativity, Pause Fest, has confirmed the event will run in 2021 – and will be its biggest to date. The 11th Pause Fest – named Changes – will migrate from its Melbourne home to the online world for the first time, running 1-12 March 2021. “Pause Fest has always been at […]

Shutterstock Adds Editorial Video Service
  • Media

Shutterstock Adds Editorial Video Service

Shutterstock today announced the highly anticipated addition of Editorial Video, a new premium, full-service editorial video offering that is now available for license. Critical Past, Celebrity Footage and Viral Hog are just a few of the new partners who will distribute their engaging video content worldwide through Shutterstock’s Editorial Video. In addition, current partners’ epa […]

Adobe Unveils A Host Of New Innovations As Part Of Adobe Max 2020
  • Technology

Adobe Unveils A Host Of New Innovations As Part Of Adobe Max 2020

Today at Adobe MAX, Adobe unveiled significant innovation across its Creative Cloud applications and services. In addition to ground-breaking new features like Neural Filters in Photoshop, the company released major updates to its flagship applications including Lightroom, Premiere Pro and Illustrator. Adobe also underscored its commitment to accelerating the development of mobile and multi-surface apps, with […]

The Data-Driven Revolution: Data Is The Key to Marketers’ Integral Role In Driving Business Growth
  • Partner Content

The Data-Driven Revolution: Data Is The Key to Marketers’ Integral Role In Driving Business Growth

The role a marketer plays in the success or failure of a brand has never been disputed. However, modern marketers are now taking on their biggest role yet – tasked with not only driving exceptional customer experiences but also business growth. In fact, a new report surveying more than 1,000 marketers across APAC from Salesforce […]

Partner Content

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Cate Blanchett & Aussie Celebs Back DrinkWise’s You Got This Campaign For Year 12s Via  89 Degrees East
  • Campaigns

Cate Blanchett & Aussie Celebs Back DrinkWise’s You Got This Campaign For Year 12s Via 89 Degrees East

DrinkWise and Communications Agency 89 Degrees East has launched a new campaign called You Got This – an initiative designed to support Year 12s as they head into their final exams. The campaign involves well-known Australians offering short video messages of support for Year 12 students, including superstar Cate Blanchett, Australian Test Cricket Captain Tim […]

Timboon Fine Ice Cream Celebrates 21 Wears With Rebrand Via Squad Ink
  • Campaigns

Timboon Fine Ice Cream Celebrates 21 Wears With Rebrand Via Squad Ink

To mark a twenty-one year milestone the iconic Victorian ice cream brand, Timboon Fine Ice Cream, has revealed a modernised new look for their take home tubs.  Tim Marwood, third generation farmer and founder of Timboon Fine Ice Cream, explains why the anniversary provoked the upgrade.  “There’s not too many small family rural based ice […]

Study: 51% Of Aussie Professionals Don’t Feel Safe Returning To The Office
  • Uncategorised

Study: 51% Of Aussie Professionals Don’t Feel Safe Returning To The Office

Just over half (51 per cent) of professionals who have been working remotely do not yet feel safe and happy to return to their co-located workplace, according to a survey of more than 3,000 working professionals by recruiting experts Hays.  Of these, Western Australians are the most confident, with 73 per cent of those who […]

Bendigo TAFE And Kangan Institute Launch Latest Advertising Campaign – Our Heroes
  • Campaigns

Bendigo TAFE And Kangan Institute Launch Latest Advertising Campaign – Our Heroes

Bendigo TAFE and Kangan Institute have launched their latest advertising campaign titled, Our Heroes, which is a celebration of the role their students play in the community. “Within a few short years, our students are building our houses, nursing our sick, fixing our cars, caring for our children and pets, designing our clothes – all […]