Inter/Intra-Organisational Paradoxes #2



Inter/Intra-Organisational Network Paradoxes #1


Managing the Creative Process: Boundaries, Ownership and Expectations

This is a paper I’m writing at the moment. Was looking for any thoughts.

Specifically it looks at managing the Creative Process with regard to Boundaries, Ownership and Expectations. That is, ‘boundaries’ between individuals / disciplines / strategies / organisations / cultures, and the ‘boundary objects’ linking them; ‘ownership’ as in how vested individuals or organisations are in a particular project / brand; and expectations as in managing expectations.

Further, the paper looks at intra-agency processes, and how issues of boundaries and disparities between ‘local worlds’ (eg different divisions within the organisation; different organisations) can affect the delivery of creative services in a sort of ‘Chinese Whispers’ sense. It attempts to remove the general consideration of ‘creativity’ as a ‘black-boxed’ process, with a ‘crudely imposed supply chain logic’ (Bilton, 2006) and more generally to integrate the ideas of ‘creativity’ and ‘management’.

This general idea is then extended to include inter-agency processes, and how the complexities underpinning the delivery of creativity extend vertically and horizontally through the value chain considering, for example, managing client expectations, and managing ownership over a project both at an individual and organisational level.


Twitter = Unbelievable (We live in exponential times #2)



Jonathan Ross (@Wossy) discusses Brand joining Twitter at about half 10. Wossy reveals Brand is ‘now on Twitter’ as @rustyrockets. EIGHTEEN MINUTES LATER he has nearly 2000 people following him. That is fucking unbelievable.


Digital Brand Activity Measurement Revisited: Abstract from Google/WPP Research Proposal

This is the abstract from our Google / WPP research proposal regarding measuring brand activity online. I blogged a draft of this earlier, but this is maybe a clearer picture of what we were looking at doing.


Universal Digital Currency: Towards a deeper elaboration and more effective measurement of brand engagement online.

(Joe Fry / Professor Chris Hackley)


It shouldn’t be difficult to understand a decent piece of digital brand activity. But brand engagement online remains somewhat of an enigma. Measurement runs up against numerous problems, including the context specificity of online experience, the individuality of brand engagement, audience characteristics, individual difference, the dynamics of brand communities in online interaction, and mutual contagion between online and offline media – to list but a few.

In particular, the use of quantitative measures (unique visits, etc) – whilst very powerful – can be premature when quality of brand engagement, key to brand equity, is imperfectly understood. The proposed research will explore digital brand effectiveness in order to move toward a clearer, more coherent and more inclusive conceptualization for measurement.

Heightened competition and increased complexity in the digital environment calls for increased openness, and the current economic climate means that digital agencies must collaborate to exist: ‘co-opetition’ is growing and a mutuality of experience between advertisers, agencies, suppliers, competitors and consumers is coming to the fore. However, in this ‘co-opetitive’ context, it is a question of which brands can harness the powerful technologies at their disposal in order to remove inefficiencies, share knowledge, drive engagement (rather than just analyze it) and prove the value of investment in digital through measurable ROI and engaging environments.

The key element of this research is to ground a deeper and more detailed understanding of digital brand engagement and effectiveness in a better understanding of the subjective experiences of consumers and agencies/advertisers online – ultimately pushing towards a universal, useable currency for the measurement of digital brand activity.


These goals are intended to guide the research but they will not delimit its scope- the research will approach the notion of digital brand engagement without presuppositions. Consumer data, industry insight and Google/WPP datasets will no doubt generate novel angles on this concept.

To develop knowledge surrounding consumer, advertiser and agency experiences of digital brand engagement, in order to create a more effective framework for the measurement and comparison of online brand experiences.

To elaborate upon understanding of the subjective experiences of consumers online, and how this translates into brand consciousness, engagement and intention to purchase, in the context of the ‘digital/traditional’ customer journey.

To unpack the applicability, and define the terms, of a ‘single digital currency’ by establishing effectiveness measures underpinned by better and evidence-based assumptions about audience experiences and behaviour online.

Expected Outcomes

It is predicted that whilst a single digital currency is both desirable and plausible, particularly in the current economic climate, that the likelihood of adoption of a single effectiveness measurement tool is unlikely. However, it is also assumed that the development of a conceptual framework and more effective measures of brand engagement online will push closer to this goal, whilst also creating a space for the exploration and deeper understanding of consumer response, both qualitatively and quantitatively, to digital brand activity.

Therefore it is assumed that a framework can be developed, answering:

Are people engaging with the brand online? (eg the microsite/widget you have built)
Does the digital brand experience deliver the intended message?
Is the experience useful to the user? (Information, entertainment, insight etc)
Does the digital brand experience work effectively with the customer journey across traditional /digital media?
What are the terms by which this ‘single digital currency’ can be defined?

Ultimately, the methodology proposed and types of measurement discussed are simple: they are designed to work out what digital brand effectiveness is, how to measure it, and how to then use that framework (eg ‘dwell time’ against ‘intended brand message take out’) to develop the effectiveness of brand engagement online. The construction of useful measurement techniques will hopefully lead to some way of proving the value of ‘well-targeted search journeys, clever seeding and above the line pointers towards very effective microsites’ over ‘average TV ads’ (Greg Doone, MD, Collective London).


We find out whether we get the go-ahead in February. Any thoughts on this are welcomed.

More Cadbury’s Bollocks might raise an eyebrow or two: I don’t like it

Yes, it’s funny and weird and quirky and different and gets people talking and you can love it or hate it and whatever. I don’t think that I get to say anything, without being branded a hypocrite though, seeing as I’m blogging about it. It’s just that I think I want people to know that I think it’s shit. It’s like SPAM. It’s like slapping a brandmark on any remotely successful youtube video or something. Maybe that says more about the British public than Fallon, maybe I’m just becoming cynical. But as far as I’m concerned, divergent thinking alone doesn’t qualify as creativity.

Or maybe I secretly love it and I’m just jealous. Who knows. Let’s see what they do with Bournville.

bullshit bingo


Every time you hear one of the over used clichés in the above 5×5 grid, circle it. Once you have a completed row, either up, down across, or even diagonal [passing through the centre- like on Catch Phrase] then you have the right to stand up and shout BULLSHIT! at the top of
your voice so everyone in the office can hear you. Your prize is a Twix.