Don't know about you, but lately I've been feeling like two diametrically opposed forces are taking over my work life.
The first is the overwhelming sensation that we all need to slow the hell down and do a lot more thinking. Our clients are under more pressure than ever to get results faster. Our campaigns, which must now reach across more media than ever before, have less and less time to get planned and built. And there's so much more information coming at us before we make those decisions – and yet so little time to analyze that information. We're making decisions and acting while dancing under a fire hose of data.
The second is the knowledge that we're too damned slow. In our clients' eyes, we don't react fast enough to their needs. Why can't we be more nimble, more Internet-y? Agencies take too long and need too many people touching campaigns before they ever see the light of day. After all, are your clients in love with your process? Didn't think so. And this isn't just about agencies, since clients don't seem to be happy with the speed of their own internal processes, either.
Too fast. Not fast enough. What do we do?
Well, a bonus nagging feeling I have is that these two forces are two facets of the same issue – our general lack of focus. (Again, that's the royal "our.") The only way to survive is to use what time we have to decide on the right purpose, on a focused strategy that drives business objectives, then dive in and make it happen as fast as possible. And no matter what, no matter how eager we are to please and expand scope or react to changing circumstances, we have to stay on purpose. In a world where we're bombarded by cool tactics every day, strategy is more urgent than ever.
Whenever I'm feeling all Roy Scheider-y about being pulled in opposite directions, I know I have to stop, look in the proverbial mirror and focus. And yes, sometimes that entails telling myself, "It's showtime."