An Open Letter To Digital Agencies

Thoughts On How To Improve Our Industry

Over the last couple of years I have been fortunate to work for some of the best digital agencies in Guatemala City and I would like to preface this letter by stating that my intentions behind are not to target anyone in particular, this thoughts are based on my own interpretations of the way our industry works and what I have gathered from talking to other colleagues. Having said that let me give you the basics of why an agency should exist in the first place.

A digital agency at it's core is a business that delivers creative and technical development of digital based products, helping clients —solve problems— usually to engage with their targeted market. I should have styled that last sentence in bold, I think it should be the main reason why we are working in this field, our mantra. I've found this to be untrue in most agencies, most have lost focus in the transition of scaling the company and having the wrong perception that success is how many picture frames of clients and awards they have in their shelves. With all that in mind, I got some recommendations to improve our industry:

Management

  • Don't be the manager that lacks vision, leadership, and talent. A manager should inspire by example.
  • Don't exist mainly to create bureaucracy through unnecessary meetings and check-ins in order to justify your salary.
  • Don't spout a new agency philosophy one day and change it the next. Coherence and consistency are keys to success.
  • Don't be a jackass, keep the employees engaged, excited and happy. They make the money come in.

Designer/Developer/Project Manager

  • Don't be the employee that goes only to collect a payment at the end of the month. Improved processes, challenge your department, make great things.
  • Don't get stuck with a know-it-all attitude, we need to be at the forefront of knowledge in this industry that changes every day, so be modest and act like if you were a newbie.
  • Don't treat work like chore, make sure that they enjoy the journey when pursuing that end-goal. Those who are passionate about their job never work a day in their life.
  • Don't be afraid to question the: "Things are already great!" saying otherwise will not be your ticket out, and if it does your are in the wrong place.

I’m happy to have been and still be working with great digital agencies, surrounded by talented individuals who are working towards a common goal and in the process are passionate about it. I’m one of many working together to put products out there that you will hopefully use everyday and make you smile, this should be what really drives us not awards or money.

@fgrosjean