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A Day Of Strategy with the Society of Digital Agencies

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What's going on in the strategy discipline and how do you get good at strategy? What is strategy in the first place?

Here are some slides we took a room of agency strategists through at the 2018 SoDA Academy at the Museum Of Moving Images in Queens, New York.

You can find us online at
http://www.twitter.com/markpollard
http://www.twitter.com/nathanadkisson
And http://www.sweathead.co

Published in: Business

A Day Of Strategy with the Society of Digital Agencies

  1. 1. This is a shareout from the Strategy day at SoDA Academy 2018. 
 It doesn’t contain all the slides. It does contain many slides. Contact details Mark Pollard, Strategy CEO, Mighty Jungle For strategy, agency positioning, training mark.pollard@mightyjungle.co @markpollard Check out Sweathead for videos and podcasts Nathan Adkisson, Director of Strategy/Assoc. CD, Local Projects hello@nathanadkisson.com @nathanadkisson Further reading Better Creative Briefs - Writing Propositions Is All About The Writing Ask Questions, Get Answers - A Beginner’s Guide To Research How To Do Account Planning - A Simple Approach How To Explain An Idea - A Mega Post
  2. 2. 1. What’s your intention for this session? 2. What’s a burning question you brought to the session? 3. What’s one thing that’s frustrating you most right now? 4. What can contribute to the people here? 5. Describe your future self
  3. 3. This was a mini S.W.O.T. exercise where we asked people what they felt anxious about and what they felt good about as far as strategy goes?
  4. 4. This is what people described. ANGST OPPS 1. Title sprawl - wtf? 2. Watering down by others 3. Conflicting values (clients, agencies) 4. Chaos 5. Personal responsibility 6. Projects sticking to the strat 7. Not always in the room 8. Not enough time 9. So much data 10. Everyone thinks they are strategic 1. Lots of data 2. Lots of research methods 3. Access to people, experts 4. Strat is needed more than ever 5. Agencies now held to higher standard 6. More educated clients 7. Data + intuition = better 8. Automation 9. Available tools 10. Staying with lifecycle of a project On one hand, strategy feels like a watered-down, unvalued mess. On the other hand, strategy is needed, exciting, full of possibility.
  5. 5. This section featured a mini rant about how strategy lacks a center of gravity in the USA, 
 how everyone thinks they are strategic, 
 how MBAs sometimes think they do the strategy and “what are the other strategists for?”, 
 how agencies hire strategists (sometimes junior and solo strategists) but don’t know how to mentor them, how strategy isn’t part of “how we do business” in enough agencies, how strategy is treated as a subservient internal service provider in some agencies, how there isn’t enough provocation and bold opinion in strategy and how it’s too obedient and word-y (but weak words), and how amazing it is as a discipline… BUT THAT WE ARE IN A MOMENT WHERE THE LONE-WOLVES NEED TO ADVOCATE FOR THEIR CRAFT AND MAKE SOME NOISE.
  6. 6. A look at and discussion of some award-winning strategy work.
  7. 7. EXAMPLE 1
  8. 8. Pedigree “The Walk”
  9. 9. EXAMPLE 2
  10. 10. Pedigree “Rescued”
  11. 11. EXAMPLE 3
  12. 12. Under Armor “I Will What I Want”
  13. 13. We listed the first principles of the work we just showed.
  14. 14. We discussed definition of the word “strategy”, how it differs to planning, but, most importantly, how teams just need to define the word and use it specifically.
  15. 15. We then discussed questions that are important for agencies to contemplate if they want strategy to work.
  16. 16. After lunch we practiced 10 skills.
  17. 17. These are the skills.
  18. 18. We discussed the psychology and social implications of ideas.
  19. 19. We did lateral thinking exercises and defined the word “idea”.
  20. 20. We ran through a variety of exercises that help strategists identify problems and explained why it’s important to love problems.
  21. 21. We talked hunches and why they’re useful.
  22. 22. Presentations with 50 slides of disconnected statistics and a smorgasbord of tactics - YUCK!
  23. 23. DATA INFORMATION KNOWLEDGE WISDOM
  24. 24. Couples who argue about how much to donate tend to donate more
  25. 25. 76% of trendsetters are interested in alternative medicine 75% of millennials are interested in brand-sponsored trivia events 61% of youth say taking care of themselves is becoming more important 67% of GenZs think boys and girls are equal.  63% of Gen X are more likely to give a friend an experience than a physical item. Millennials spend more on rent, less on entertainment
  26. 26. Teenagers who swear casually were judged by college students as being less intelligent and less trustworthy. Melanie DeFrank and Patricia Kahlbaugh, at Southern Connecticut State University
  27. 27. The percentage of women STEM graduates is higher in countries with more gender inequality Gijsbert Stoet, at Leeds Beckett University, and David Geary, at the University of Missouri
  28. 28. People say they would personally welcome an alien invasion, but they don’t think other people would. Michael Varnum, Arizona State University
  29. 29. Snacking is more about presence of temptation than willpower. Michael Varnum, Arizona State University
  30. 30. Mental effort is energizing, 
 not exhausting. Krishna Savani at Nanyang Technological University and Veronika Job at the University of Zurich
  31. 31. People who see a relationship as an investment stay together longer than people who see it as settling. Dan Ariely, Duke University
  32. 32. People who are underpaid lie about how much they like their jobs more than people who are overpaid. Leon Festinger, A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance
  33. 33. Bilingual speakers are more rational when thinking in their second language. University of Chicago
  34. 34. We discussed insight-writing techniques and showed examples.
  35. 35. WHAT WE SHARE
  36. 36. Choose better, shorter words because strategy is very much a writer’s work: 1. You have to notice things others don’t 2. You have to express what you notice in compelling ways.
  37. 37. 1 2 3 4 5
  38. 38. You can read this at Qz
  39. 39. A look at and discussion of some award-winning strategy work.
  40. 40. This is what people OUR CRAZY SILENCES 1. Should we even do this? (this project like this) 2. Can we (should we) get away with this? (bold thinking) 3. Why do we behave one way to win the pitch and another to keep the client? 4. Why were we hired again? 5. Are we taking enough risk? 6. Mental health 7. How will we work with each other? 8. Whom do we really serve? 9. Are you doing your best work? 10. Expectations of quality 11. Is the solution too pre-defined? 12. Admitting “I don’t know”
  41. 41. Job description from 2005. Simple.
  42. 42. Sample personal plan.
  43. 43. Leo Burnett - idea rating scale.
  44. 44. This is what people described. WHAT OTHERS NEED 1. Get to the point 2. Make it less complicated 3. You don’t have to show everything you’ve thought 4. It’s not about you 5. It’s OK to make people feel uncomfortable
  45. 45. This is what people described. THINGS WE WANT TO SAY 1. Do you even know what you’re doing? 2. You’re not making decisions 3. Question more 4. You’re not standing up for me 5. Not everybody needs a seat at the table 6. Why doesn’t this work for you? 7. Stop reacting all the time
  46. 46. Contact details Mark Pollard, Strategy CEO, Mighty Jungle For strategy, agency positioning, training mark.pollard@mightyjungle.co @markpollard Check out Sweathead for videos and podcasts Nathan Adkisson, Director of Strategy/Assoc. CD, Local Projects hello@nathanadkisson.com @nathanadkisson Further reading Better Creative Briefs - Writing Propositions Is All About The Writing Ask Questions, Get Answers - A Beginner’s Guide To Research How To Do Account Planning - A Simple Approach How To Explain An Idea - A Mega Post

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