Today sees the second of The Friday Club's (www.the-fcl.com) sessions, bringing together young tech firms and old marketing and advertising hands. These types of events are important and here's why.
London's growing status as a tech hub may be a relatively recent phenomenon - at least in the eyes of politicians and the media but the city has long been a global center of excellence in creative services. But the two communities, tech and creative, have largely kept their distance over most of the last decade. Perhaps there was a lingering sense that during the millenium dotcom boom, the advertising community took the tech entrepreneurs for a ride (remember Breathe.com?) Certainly there seems to have been a prevailing attitude in the new century that what is built online should be marketed online. A corollary of that mindset has been a view that content and functionality are paramount whilst design and emotional engagement are more indulgences. But that is changing, and changing fast. Apple has trumped Google as the world's most successful tech firm. And Apple is, above all, a company that oozes its love of design from every pore. There is, I sense, a growing acknowledgement that even online people like to interact with things that have a heart and which are aesthetically appealing. And with that acknowledgement there is a growing re-engagement between the communities that build and the communities that design and market. And about time too.
I went to the first of Richard Fearn's Friday Club sessions and it was an incredibly enlightening way to spend a few hours. It was clear that both communities have a huge amount to teach other. The sessions are designed to give young start-ups the benefit of some seasoned marketing advice. But the flow of inspiration ran at least as strong in both directions. And that two-way flow is surely the sign of a budding relationship between two business sectors both of which can hold their head high on the global stage but whom, together, could lead the world.