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SoDA Report Volume 1

In Miami 2007, 13 leading digital agency CEOs decided to meet up and have a talk about where their industry was headed. New friends were made, business problems and solutions were shared, a society was formed. They were on a mission to advance an industry they all felt so passionate about. They made it official at SXSW in 2008: the Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA) was formed. Digital agencies now had a voice.1 My firm, SapientNitro was one of those founding members.

Since then, SoDA has grown significantly and evolved to be The Global Society for Digital Marketing Innovators (still SoDA for short). Their primary objectives are to share best practices, educate and advocate for digital agencies. Other parts of the design and marketing industries have groups aligned to them, so why not digital? It’s members are truly global, spanning both America’s, Europe and Asia.

One of the most significant activities SoDA conducts is producing the (now) twice annual SoDA Report: a research and trend publication, showcasing content from some of the most influential thinkers in the digital marketing world. Editor-in-Chief, Angèle Beausoleil describes Volume 1 of the report like this, “The 2013 SoDA Report reveals new perspectives, fresh ideas and real concepts of how organizations are balancing the art and science of perception to succeed in these fast-paced times.”

I was asked to edit a section of the report earlier this year. “People Power”, as the section was known, began focused primarily on education. The question it sought to explore is a pertinent one: “How should the marketers of the future be taught to effectively play their role in business and society?” How could we enable the people in marketing? As each piece was submitted, it also became clear that the section gained a larger meaning, uniquely related to its name: People Power. The authors all recognized a critical shift in the dynamic between marketers and consumers. It is a shift that is forcing the industry to reconsider its approach, its methods, and indeed, its philosophy.

The report turned out really well and my section includes a few highlights, including an interview with Patrick Whitney, Director of the Institute of Design. You can download Volume 1 of the report as an interactive iPad app or go grab it on Slideshare:

1 A bunch of that first paragraph was paraphrased and quoted from SoDA’s About page. Why reinvent the wheel?


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