For any industry, a new year brings an opportunity to look for and embrace change.

And boy oh boy, do we love change around these Goodstuff parts.

Change is the very foundation and stimulus for the creative services industry and therefore we love it. Can’t get enough of it. We seek it here and we seek it there.

So, with the year ahead in mind (and very probably the latest 2020 predictions to market), some of our Partners have put pen to paper on their hopes and dreams for 2020.

 

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Andrew Circle Headshot

“There’s more client value in invention.”

Andrew Stephens, Co-Founder

A challenge to ambitious CEO’s and CMO’s – lift your media heads up, please.

We’ve spent much of the past few years with our collective heads down. Down in the detail, the data and the delivery that is often more about protecting one’s job rather than growing a brand. Safety over sexy, familiar over famous and certainty over creativity. Now with a more optimistic economic and political climate, I hope we can get back to what really makes a difference in media – invention, entrepreneurialism and risk.

Yes, risk. Risk from the people who manage nearly £200M of client investments.

Risk is what generates disproportionate returns. Risk is what creates advantage and what drives real value in our industry. Clearly, our role as agency partners is to mitigate as much of the risk as we can, but the best ideas are ones that haven’t been done before. Simply put, you can’t evidence what hasn’t happened yet.

So a plea to all clients is to ask your media agency what value can be derived from a focus on creativity and invention. What might be possible if we ease off the addiction of performance metrics, CPTs and media audits, and instead consider the art of the possible and embrace some risk. There is more client value in media invention than price alone. Try it in 2020. Go on.

 

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LauraM Cirlce Headshot

“When it comes to predictions, the one thing that is certain is uncertainty.”

Laura Moorcraft, Managing Partner

When it comes to predictions, the one thing that is certain is uncertainty.

The 31st January is ordinarily the day most Brits are likely to hand in their notice, but with Brexit currently set for the same date, we may see a different trend emerge in 2020.

Ongoing political and economic instability will lead to people seeking greater certainty, stability, and psychological safety in the workplace. We’ll see fewer candidates in market, making more considered moves and shakes, which in turn will mean agencies will have to compete harder to attract, recruit and crucially, retain the best talent. More intentional job searches amongst those in market will create greater opportunity for direct recruitment which (sorry recruiters) can have retention and financial benefits for agencies.

Therefore, agencies with a distinctive employer brand positioning coupled with a progressive recruitment strategy will succeed in snaring their unfair share of talent. As a macro consequence, we’ll see a reduction in our industry employee churn rate which at 28% is much higher than the national average of 10%. And higher staff retention rates, greater organisational stability and a growing imperative for agencies to sharpen up their recruitment and employee engagement strategy is a positive thing for us all.

 

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Simeon Cirlce Headshot

“I’m approaching the new year with boundless energy and optimism. No, really.”

Simeon Adams, Creative Partner

I’m approaching the new year with boundless energy and optimism. Those that know me will immediately suspect sarcasm at this statement, but no. I mean it. A new year – a new me. I’m giddy with excitement about a new atmosphere of optimism brought about by a mixture of the dawning of a new decade, the dissolving of the Brexit impasse, our Prime Minister’s (or his puppet-master’s) jolly hockey sticks ebullience, buoyant forecast for the economy and, in turn, the ad market.

Even closer to home, my cause of optimism is the (hopeful) continuing shift from direct, performance-led media spend toward brand. Not really a prediction, as influential advertisers such as Adidas, Arcadia and Booking.com (one of Google’s biggest spenders) have already gone public about their intended course correction, but I have high hopes for the bi-product of this emerging ‘trend’.

I’m hoping it will herald a greater focus on inventive, creative, brilliant brand-building ideas that prove that innovation can drive results. Not ideas outside of digital or ideas that don’t elicit a response, but ideas that very much provoke a positive reaction and action. Ultimately, a return to the primacy of brilliant creative ideas. For once, I live in hope.

 

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Bobby Cirlce Headshot

“I have measured optimism about 2020.” 

Bobby Din, Investment Partner

I have measured optimism about 2020. Why? I’m cautiously optimistic that 2020 is going to be a transformative year for measurement metrics across the industry. 2020 will see the launch of C-Flight which brings measurement of linear and broadcaster VOD viewing together in one combined currency. In digital, regulation and the ICO report are driving browsers to start blocking cookies by default, dismantling one of the key tools for measurement the web has relied on. There’s a huge opportunity waiting to be grasped by media owners, in the way the Ozone project has demonstrated. Ultimately, this will lead to a reorientation in the market towards media owners who can successfully leverage their own data to drive high quality, outcome-based trading and delivery.

 

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PaulG Cirlce Headshot

“A new year: Booze free! Only veg! No fun! The death of TV!”

Paul Gayfer, Planning Partner

This year I hope both personally and professionally that we can finally put an end to absolutes and find some balance instead.

As we enter a new decade, we’re fortunate to be armed with a wealth of effectiveness data and direction that simply didn’t exist ten years ago, and has since given us a better framework to building successful communications.

It’s time to stop squabbling and take note, because overwhelmingly (and recently reinforced by the insights around the successes at this year’s Effies), they remind us to appreciate the power of AND over the headline grabbing hyperbole OR.

Great things happen in combination. Multichannel strategies continue to be proven to outperform a single medium (can we stop the linear TV vs YouTube debate and find effective ways for them to work together?); long term, emotion driving campaigns are improved by effective targeting and conversion, especially for those new businesses that rely on revenue brought about from short term custom.

In a time of increased automation and damaging industrialisation of the media industry, we also know that creativity continues to be one of the key drivers of marketing effectiveness. New ideas are inherently rooted in the combination of previously unconnected thinking. To this means, data will stop fighting with creativity and become one of its most potent fuels.

So rather than a prediction, I have a proposal for the decade ahead: fewer absolutes. For more neutrality and pragmatism within the realms of what we know works. More new combinations of ideas, practices, and media that may once have been counterparts, but find new energy, creativity and opportunity in unexpected uses of the power of ‘and’.