The shift in marketing approaches can’t compare in historical magnitude to the changes brought about by the automobile and the industrial age, but the analogy provides an instructive framework for thinking about how to solve big questions. While history looks in awe at Ford’s imagination for modernizing transportation, his real innovation came through his use of systems that augmented humans’ ability to produce new goods. Instead of looking to the past for an answer, he created an entirely new system to build the future.

If you are a brand thinking about the challenges of the age of social media, start by asking yourself, “What is different now than in the past and what are the tools that we have at our fingertips?” If the answers make you feel as if you are treading into territory never documented before, that’s a good thing. As many have noted, the biggest mistake we make in a new medium is mirroring the process of an old one.

The awkward self-quote from an article I wrote in AdAge. Outside of hiring and meeting clients this is what I spend most of my day thinking about. 

In Order To Build the Future Systems of Content, Forget the Past | - Advertising Age

My agency is no stranger to this, either. For example, we started to see that the creative process and its business model were breaking down the deeper we got into social media. Constant, timely asset creation was mandatory but did not work within “normal” digital operational or financial models. We could not create assets intelligently, creatively, quickly or inexpensively enough to be as effective as we believed we needed to be. So we had to re-imagine and re-invent a significant part of our business to adapt, and our Moment Studio was born. And it, like us, will need to be in a constant state of flux. And frankly, both will always have a long way to go, because we are in the service business, a highly competitive space with downward pressure on margins and rising expectations for leadership. We have accepted that we must remain nimble enough to re-invent other areas of our business in our quest to be the best, and the best option for our clients. That means striving to be the best at disrupting ourselves. The only way to be well positioned for the future is to accept that it is uncertain and to structure your organization as one that is self-disruptive. The only certain part of the future for agencies is that we will continue to get consideration for our most commoditized services. You should not be OK with that.