At this time of year our news feeds are awash with predictions of what the next 12 months will hold, will it be the year that AI takes over, the year that bots become your most trusted news source, or the year that we stop referring to ABM as the next big thing?

We’ve decided to divert our energies to what we, as individuals and within our industry, would like to contribute to make our corner of the world an exciting place to be in 2018.

We asked Creative Director Simon Fraser, Head of Strategic Services James Myers, Managing Partner Chris Spenceley, Managing Director Clare Lawson and Planning Partner Nik Myers:


What do you want to do/ see more of in 2018 in the industry and your agency?

Simon: “Measurement. No excuses, no “it did all right”. Let’s put some solid numbers against everything we do and learn something, so we do the good things again and never repeat the duds. Surely that makes sense? And if the clients don’t have anything in place, let’s help them.”

Clare: “More accountability for business performance in our industry. That’s why we do it at the end of the day.”

Nik: “As B2B marketers chase customers down increasingly complex automated ABM rabbit holes they’re in danger of forgetting about the value of their brand. Inbound and account-based marketing should be complementary. There’s always a pipeline to fuel. And a strong brand is a shortcut to ensuring your ABM efforts get read. But with B2B budgets increasingly diverted into ABM initiatives, brand building suffers. B2B businesses are seriously questioning the value of brand. I’m hoping for backlash in 2018.”

Chris: “Collaboration is hard. It’s hard to physically do and hard to make the financial structures work to support it but it is a challenge worth taking on.”

Nik: “One way to think bigger is to break down barriers between discipline and specialisms. I’ve been lucky enough to work in an account team that genuinely spans operating companies. It means good ideas are built on and extended. A PR thought leadership concept becomes a global sales engagement platform. Media segmentation becomes an editorial strategy. Faced with an incredibly complex web of potential interconnected channels, clients’ needs have changed. They need a seamless model. More integrated ways of working, managed within cross-discipline account teams, will elevate the work.”

What would you like to see change in the industry in 2018?

James: “I would like to see more client marketing plans, more client-agency active collaborations, more no’s to phantom proposals, more clear thought through client briefs, fun in the work place, more thank you’s.”

Nik: “Client briefs are an endangered species. Supposedly part of our value is that we know their business so well they don’t need to waste precious time writing us a brief. Not true. Our value starts with clarity not guesswork. With a clear set of objectives we can give better answers. Save the brief.”

Clare: “More reward for bravery inside and outside of the agency. We’ve got to incentivise clients and ourselves to go for the ground breaking work, take a risk and occasionally not be afraid to fail fast.”

Chris: “We need to better recognise and celebrate failure. We continually fail in this and any industry and yet it is usually sniffed on, new types of agency don’t make it off the ground, a new approach to a campaign “did not work” therefore “you failed”. We need to progress much faster than we are doing so we must fail faster and celebrate it. What about an award for most ambitious failure?”

Nik: “An awards cull. An honourable mention for Brand Bravery in the Annual-International-Digital-Transformation-Through-Content-Marketing-ABM-Direct-Advertising Awards doesn’t warrant the price of a table. Awards used to mean something. Now there are so many ceremonies boasting so many categories their meaning has been diluted for agency and client alike. For 2018, less awards, less categories, genuine recognition for great work.“

What should we be looking out for in 2018?

James: “Look out for pop up agencies; pr agencies, media agencies, publishers, ad agencies all doing exactly the same thing but with different language. A big agency name going bust. A low pound being good for business.”

Chris: “It’s the year AI will become less artificial and more Intelligent so we had better know how to use it….”

Clare: “69% of all graduates say that independent working (freelance) offers a better work life balance. Going to need to embrace that….”

Nik: “Somewhere between 50-90% of businesses aren’t ready for GDPR. They’re in for a shock in May, and possibly an eye-watering fine. With the massive growth of the digital economy GDPR represents one of the biggest regulatory shifts in decades, and according to the DMA, a huge number of UK firms are acutely unprepared. A recent global survey found 80% of ITDMs knew little to nothing about GDPR, and 97% said their companies didn’t have any plan to implement the new rules. Smells like trouble. Given that 64% of marketers believe their organisations will be very or extremely affected by the change, it’s about time someone paid attention.”

What do you want to achieve in 2018?

Simon: “Continue to fight business bull at every opportunity.”

James: “Say no to 5am conference calls.”

Chris: “Stop pretending I am 30 and shave my beard…”

Clare: “Watch more TV.  I’ve just got sky Q and realised I watch grand total of 5 hours TV a week. Not a good ROI!”

Nik: “I’d like to to be more concise.”