Media – it's all about the numbers, right? Accountability, reach, frequency, coverage, weight, strike rate, ratings, spots, eyeballs, impressions, click-throughs. If you like soup, there's always a good soup of numbers surrounding media you can drown in. And digital just compounds this. Numbers are important – they show what works, they create standards, they are the basis for a whole media ecosystem. But are they everything?
As the possibilities of communication explode, the subtleties of tone and interaction explode with it. As the number of different forms of communication becomes exponential, so does the way in which they are used. So there is real skill, judgement and creativity in using the myriad communications platforms to their best advantage. Just think about the nuances of how you currently use your own various social media apps now. There's a certain type of interaction on twitter, something similar but somehow different on twitter DM, an altogether different feel to e-mail, and different again on a blog, text, IM. Flickr is different to You Tube. One community is never like the next. Mobile communication is different to web. And there's plenty of ways of getting it wrong, as Greg's presentation eloquently posits.
So suddenly media and communications becomes much less a science, and more an artform. An artform in understanding and nuance. I'm reminded of one of my favourite Rory Sutherland quotes:
"it is one thing to reach people and quite another to 'reach' people."
So will agencies of the future exist on the strength of their creativity or their technical abilities? Can the two co-exist or are we headed for one almighty collision? And which is more important, the art or the science? Discuss.