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How has digital technology changed the way advertising professionals work?

Posted on 10/04/2012 by Emma Dadswell

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Last week, The Sunday Times published an article on the way in which digital technology has changed the way advertising professionals work. And Jessica Illes from our Digital Division contributed to the piece to offer her own thoughts on the subject.

You can see the full article here. But in the meantime, we thought we would share the pertinent points from the piece with our readers.  Perhaps the most obvious comparison of the advertising industry is that of the hit series – currently airing its fifth season – Mad Men.  But is this an accurate comparison of life in this industry today? Perhaps not. Whilst many of us may like the idea of work as depicted in Mad Men – drinking cocktails throughout the working day, appearance meaning everything, and adverts and commercials being devised over a lengthy period of time – today’s advertising execs are experiencing things far differently. And advancements in the digital world are one of several factors changing the way these professionals work.

With the increased use of social media channels by brands hoping to reach a far greater audience, successful candidates need to not only keep up with rapid advancements in the social and digital space, but also work on far tighter timescales. As the piece explains “Advertising is no longer an industry that gives creative types weeks or months to ponder ideas before unleashing them and hoping they work. Today it is an industry led by men and women who know how to analyse data and use social media”. And technology has meant that consumers have a multitude of platforms to respond to brands instantly – via the likes of blogs, TwitterFacebook etc.  Professionals must have the creativity skills as well as the analytical capability required to keep track of their brand’s reputation both off and online.

The industry is seeing clients play a more ‘hands on’ role making working relationships far more collaborative with all stakeholders contributing.  These changes have meant that organisations seeking professionals for their own business have to be more open-minded about where they get their staff from. They can’t simply look at candidates with an agency background. They may, for example, have to look at recruiting from the client side or from digital PR agencies.

What’s your view? How has digital technology changed the way you work?