The 2009 Digital State of the Union

Posted on January 29th, by Jay Murphy in Digital Marketing, Online Strategy. No Comments

MITX Digital Strategy Series – Summary – 22Jan2009

Quick blog posting of a recent meeting I attended regarding the “2009 Digital State”.  This very topical and interesting event was hosted by the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology (MITX).  And sponsored by Collective Media.

The panel was a great combination of perspectives.  With representation from all members of the advertising community.

The panel included:

Dave Andonian – Managing Partner, Dace Ventures; Jarvis Coffin – CEO, Burst Media; Ed Montes – Regional Manager, North America, Havas Digital; Tom Simons – President/Creative Director, PARTNERS+simons; Jeffrey Taylor – CEO, Eons, Inc.  The moderator was Chris Colbert, CEO and Co-Creator, Holland Mark.

The questions and discussion revolved around how is the recession of 2001 similar and different from the current economic condition.  Most of the panelist agreed that the economic conditions were similar with the actual events triggering the current downturn different from those of 2001.

The key takeaways from this event are:

  1. Back to Fundamentals – During an economic expansion companies and individuals can get lulled into thinking they are good at many thing and in many areas.  During a downturn the focus has to be on the fundamentals.  Paraphrasing Tom Simons, “Figure out what your clients are paying for and do more of that!”
  2. Don’t panic – stay true to your core.  Several of the panel indicated that they will respond to this downturn by focusing on the core of their companies’ value.  Be prepared for the eventual up turn.  In comparison, during the 2001 recession the focus was primarily on cost reduction. 
  3. Focus on Business Outcomes – Clients are looking for service providers who can figure out what they need and deliver consistent results.  In an overall more accountable climate, being able to measure these business outcomes is critical.

Interestingly the second takeaway echoes a comment I heard recently from an executive in a leading strategy firm – in 2001 they laid off staff to cuts costs.  This time around they are focused on retaining their staff so they can respond quickly when the market recovers.  In the prior recession they had to turn away several large contracts (multi-million dollar) because they could not ramp up quickly enough to respond to this potential business.

Also, although not entirely clear to the whole audience, flirting will not further your career!  (You probably had to be there to get this last one.)

author : Jay Murphy

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