Brave New World?
About nine months ago Jo Scobie , Sara Robertson, Guy Robertson, Gillian Lyall and I volunteered to take the bull by the horns and see if we could make something of what was initially an IPA initiative to scope our industry. And by that I mean Scotland’s marcomms sector.
The Ekos report that came out of that initiative had been match-funded by Scottish Enterprise and an impressive range of trade bodies and media owners (including the IPA, DMA, PPA, Carnyx, SMG and Channel 4) and was a real eye-opener to its contributors. More importantly it was to be the content that would give us a catalyst for action and robust data on which to build a strategy.
Not only did it, for the first time ever, quantify the contribution that the marketing services supply chain – and by that I mean agencies (advertising, design, PR, DM etc) and their suppliers (photographers, printers, freelancers) – makes to our economy; but it also highlighted how much of it is slipping away and being spent outside Scotland.
For the record, our contribution to the economy is over £330m in GVA, 40,000 well paid jobs and yet we only spend 25% of what’s available.
The SMCAG (yes I know it’s a terrible name and there’s a bottle of champagne for anyone who can come up with a better alternative) was the result of our deliberations.
2007 is the year that the SMCAG will deliver.
We have a clear vision now as to what we can do for
Scotland’s knowledge economy and we will be targeting the post-election period as the ideal time to aggressively take our message to the political decision makers of our country.
We are too important an industry to be ignored. But we are now, for the first time ever, a unified voice. One cannot underestimate the importance of that if we are to have any form of impact.
I, for one, am very excited about the road we’ve been down so far. Believe me, to gain a mandate from the entire industry is no mean feat. But now is the time to turn that mandate into action.
What are we looking for?
Financial support to create a shop window that will allow us to comprehensively and dramatically demonstrate to Scotland and the rest of the world that the marketing communications sector in Scotland is effective, creative, productive, world class and a valuable national asset that will contribute to Jack McConnel’s vision of
Scotland as the best small country in the world.
We are gathering the evidence as I write.
And it’s going to be one hell of an impressive statement.
The future is a knowledge economy. The economies that support their creative communities will prosper. We’re not looking for hand-outs, we are looking to work in collaboration with the public sector to contribute to and benefit from a smarter, more successful Scotland and that’s all about partnership and understanding.
We’ve never been in this place before. Unification.
I hope that as we look back on 2007 we recognise the contribution that this initiative is making.
It won’t be for the want of trying.