Skip to main content

2017 is for Full Stack Professionals

Today’s businesses need a different type of talent to compete in a different kind of economy, one that's connected and always changing at the speed of a Google search. They need full-stack professionals, people who are good in more than one discipline, to create connections at a faster pace.
While this principle can apply to any industry, I will give you an example that is close to home: advertising.
Advertising, as in many industries, used to mirror Ford’s assembly line. We have different departments (e.g., account, creative, and planning), each one playing a different role to deliver an end product, an advertising campaign.
Digital has disrupted this model. A person armed with a smartphone has the power to ideate, plan, create, and distribute a personal or a brand story.
Today’s versions of Don Draper from Mad Men are YouTube influencers, not ad agencies. They are accounts, planners, creatives, and producers in one person. They have even managed to build a legion of followers, which provides their distribution network. We can make the same case for startups whose founders need to wear many hats.
The difference between the past and present is technology. In the past, we needed to be big to compete. Today we don’t. A team of five people can build a billion-dollar company (e.g., Whatsapp and Instagram). Small with a cross-functional team is the new big.
What does this mean for advertising? A full stack ad man or woman must be able to plan, create, and distribute stories across platforms, regardless of their role in an agency or company. Creativity is no longer for creatives. Planning is not for planners only. The account is not owned by the account executives.
This cross-functional model does not mean a break up from disciplines in an agency. We still need experts in those areas. I am just advocating for an increase in the toolbox to create more opportunities and stronger connections at a faster pace.
The challenge with becoming a full stack professional is breaking up with social norms. We are not supposed to be creative, so we don't create. Even if we try, we won’t be good at first because we don't have enough practice. Thus, we tend to avoid it all together.
I believe that people can be great at more than one thing. Change is never easy, but in the long run, it is worth the sacrifice. We will learn new skills, which will make us more competitive and independent in the digital economy. Furthermore, if we love what we do, we will have more fun doing it. Hence, go and become a full stack professional in 2017 if you are not already.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Curse of Advertising Resources

With more platforms, more products and more content who are trying to reach a disengaged audience, it is becoming harder and harder for brands to stand out. Conventional practices are no longer working. People don't watch TV as much as they used to, so they don't see commercials.  They don't click on banner ads. They don't pay attention to billboards ads. And they don't trust brands' messages. Part of the problem is that we are too dependent on traditional ad resources, which limits the realm of our creativity. To thrive in this new environment, we, ironically, need the freedom of a tight brief: what can you do with no budget for mass media?  Or limited marketing communications dollars?  To make a comparison, traditional advertising is a lot like countries and economies that rely on oil. This reliance handicaps innovation. Countries with a vast amount of natural resources tend to have (1) less economic growth and (2) worse development rates than other countrie…

The Irrational Power of Nudge Brands

Nudge brands are brands built on interactions, not attitudes. They are mostly defined by experiences, not TV campaigns. They are designed around people's inconsistencies and errors, not for machines. They are simple, not complex. They like to break things into small chunks that are less daunting than big tasks. They focus on changing behavior, not generating awareness and interest. The Paris metro system card is a nudge brand. It is designed against human errors. You can use the card in any direction. IKEA is a nudge brand. It uses the power of personal investment. The more involved people are in creating something, the better they feel about the end product. Ryanair is a nudge brand. It chunks the whole purchase process. They lock you in with a low 'seat price' first to get a mental commitment. Then, they start to add the extra charges in bite-sized 'chunks.' Hare Krishna is a nudge brand. It is built on the reciprocity rule by giving away daisies. People should …

The Irrational Challenger

Today, irrational is the new normal. People want products and services that break conventions and defy social norms. They have expectations that don't fit the traditional business model and feel irrational. However, they are very real and have created an irrational economy with irrational challengers. To thrive in this new playing field, business needs to be human, irrational. Think about it. Having a concierge to run our weekly errands for $99 month. Alfred. Ordering a healthy and delicious meal ready-to-eat under 7 minutes delivered at your door the next day. Hungryroot. Booking unlimited blowout appointments at salons in Manhattan for just $99 a month. Vive. (A typical blowout cost $40 to $90 inNew York City.) Renting a room on a month-to-month basis without going through the traditional methods of verifying applicants (e.g., two years of tax returns as proof of income).