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Outlook Report, Vol 10 — There’s no better time
to start something.

As we gathered the data and spoke to clients and industry watchers to put together the Razorfish Outlook Report, we once again found our business in the middle of tremendous global change. The conversation around digital marketing — long the domain of digital agencies and technology companies — is now part of a much broader conversation about social and cultural change, the global economy and business landscape.

In today's world, social tools that started as communications and marketing tools have become conduits for revolution. Cloud-based services have finally emerged as viable methods for increasing collaboration and driving greater efficiency. And the investment world increasingly looks to start-ups to once again push the global economy forward.

This means digital is now a lot bigger than agencies. In fact, it’s bigger than marketing. It’s increasingly woven into the fabric of our business and consumer culture. This inspires us more than ever not only to optimize the status quo, but also to ignite a business movement of sorts.

But how?

First, there is more pressure on our business to perform creatively, stemming from the fact that digital ideas come from more sources than just the agency. Indeed, as the new generation of creators enters the workforce, we have observed their natural tendency to put digital at the center of their process and thinking, regardless of their chosen industry or employer. As a result, companies like ours have to raise their game creatively to deliver idea-led value to our clients, while creating an environment for new ideas to thrive.

Next, there is a strong drive to leverage the power of technology to increase efficiency and drive down the cost of marketing and doing business. We are seeing tremendous opportunities in the media marketplace, with the rise of ad exchanges, analytics and marketing platforms, to do just that. We’re merely scratching the surface of what’s possible.

Finally, efficiency alone won’t move business forward forever. When I meet with CMOs, CIOs and CEOs around the world, I continue to hear a call for innovation and see an ever-present search for sources of incremental revenue. Marketers and business leaders once tasked with spending budgets efficiently are increasingly challenged with identifying new sources of growth, as well as product enhancements.

The truth is, building an agency that fires on all cylinders — high levels of creativity, innovation, efficiency and technology — is a tremendous challenge. But it’s what agencies and great marketing organizations will need to do to survive in the face of change.

Which brings me back to the Razorfish Outlook Report. I think you’ll find it to be a little less theoretical and a bit more practical than in years past. Why? Aren’t digital agencies supposed to be the predictors of the digital future? There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, but first and foremost, in our view the next 12 months will be about doing.

We’re not just talking about the social media explosion, but also scaling an organization and agency partners to execute on a strategy. Not simply checking the boxes of media best practices, but leveraging every tool available to plan, buy and measure its effectiveness. Not just accepting the product experience as it exists today, but using technology to improve customer experience. Not just ideation, but also execution.

As we publish the Outlook Report, we hope it will inspire you to think and act. It’s what we mean when we say Ignite.

Bob Lord
Global CEO