Whilst on holiday I read Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, “What the Dog Saw”, a collection of his writing from The Spectator and it made my think about agency new business. One of the many insightful essays was on the vagaries of the stock market and hedge funds and how too much information can be a bad thing. His hypothesis was that in the pre internet age, trying to anticipate market movements was a puzzle.
One had to search for the right piece of information and once found it was added to what you had already found until the picture was complete. Very neat and tidy.
With the advent and exponential growth of the internet, however, we are surrounded by all the information we need. Search Google for instance, for “will Facebook shares rise in value” and you will find (as of 9.30am GMT, 7th August 2012) 93,900,000 hits. So this is no longer a puzzle. It is a mystery; we are surrounded by so much information our role is not to search, but to be intuitive and know what is useful and what is not.
The same is, of course, true for agency new business. Taking a single source of information and hoping it will provide the answer to the puzzle (is the client happy with their agency or not?) is, at best naive. Surround yourself with as much information as you can about the company and think, deeply and intuitively.