Crossing the Line: Towards Transparency as a Value system
“The single most important ingredient in the recipe for success is transparency because transparency builds trust.”
— Denise Morrison
When people are intent on finding purpose and meaning, they might not always find it — but more often than not, they do find each other.
It is only apt that DV Media Co. was born in a time of extreme uncertainty — for it addressed the need of the hour: to work towards building a more sustainable future, with a focus on transforming media along the way.
In this article, we are discussing all things Transparency. The concept of transparency is, of course, complex and multidimensional — so we’re here to break it down.
We decided to look within our own team to find answers about how to move the needle towards the sustainable future we envision for ourselves through digital media transformation.
DV Media Co exists at a time in the 21st century where technology has arrived and shifted the paradigm for human cognition and interaction entirely. We’ve reached a nexus in time where digital skills are no longer considerations or afterthoughts, but imperative if we want our species to coexist against increasingly complex technologies and systems.
Being part of the digital landscape makes us no strangers to the problematic issues around selective censorship, polarization, misinformation, abuse of personalized data and addiction in this space. In that light, digital literacy and responsibility is the need of the hour. Brands/companies/ organizations need to lay the foundations for a relationship with the digital marketing space now more than ever.
Narrowing into our own borders, India’s digital penetration has crossed 700 million people and is rising exponentially. The technological evolution in India has turned digital media forms such as social networking apps into a source of news, opinion, social interaction and subsequent validation.
For any business, digital media and in particular, social media is a double-edged sword. It can become its most dynamic friend if used to express why it does what it does, how it’s done and what is the value proposition of the business. Contrastingly, it can also act as an organization’s worst enemy if used irresponsibly or used to manipulate the general population and spread misinformation.
The role of a digital agency then becomes all the more crucial, given the current state of things.
This power comes with responsibility which poses the question of whether the voice we create will be honest and authentic or fake and manipulating.
A digital agency operates in an always “ON” business environment where one click could make or break a brand’s voice. An agency’s role is multifold, from sifting through all kinds of content to placing content strategically and mindfully. An agency has to place its clients in the safe space on this ever-expanding spectrum where they can reside as social beings with a digital presence- the most important presence today.
So how does a digital agency develop its own approach to presenting its clients and itself?
What is it that people value in a space saturated by information and opinion?
Something that lurked in darkness in the past but has come to prominence today as a one-step solution to poignancy and market penetration –transparency. Transparency is positively conceived by society as a sign of ‘clean’ and ‘pure’.
This form of being is associated with unequivocal honesty, and provides an unfiltered view of the shape of things.
For organizations, transparency is an instant selling mix that drives people to buy your products, consume your media and use your services. It is an element in campaigns that hands it an authoritative voice, developed through honesty and openness. When an organization tries to create demand by addressing a need or finding a problem and presenting the solution, the truth becomes the most valuable element in its pitch. People are waiting to be ‘moved’.
As Indians, we are rethinking ‘taboo’. Several marketing agencies have been successful primarily because they give us practices and beliefs that require questioning, reach the masses through careful placement and oftentimes change the way people view their client’s products or services.
It is important to acknowledge that transparency manifests itself with context. Within team members at a digital agency, it helps with setting clear milestones and targets along with managing expectations. When all team members know clearly where a project is headed, and how the management wants to execute the project, an employee can manage their time better, set coherent targets & calibrate the effort they must invest.
Transparency within an agency also stems from inclusivity, which can be an uplifting experience for the employees at the agency. It helps build a stronger team for the future and instills trust within all team members, knowing they are included and are up to date with the developments either with clients or within the organization.
It promotes highlighting the different thought processes prevalent within a workforce, training us to be more accepting of opinions we may not agree with, but must respect, and finally to encourage inclusivity.
Most evidently, transparency with clients is crucial but is likely possible in an idealistic world, and more often than not, impractical. In the agency business, where being transparent could lead to losing business, an agency would choose tact, for the benefit of the business.
It is however important to be transparent with the client from the perspective of setting expectations and benchmarking certain faint lines of how much the agency can be pushed outside of the defined scope of work, which is crucial for a healthy and long-lasting collaboration. On the flip side, an agency, as the executor of a brand’s image, is dependent on the organisation’s transparency. The organisation’s willingness to share information regarding their products/services/mission is essential to the fluid workflow that comes to life with transparency.
In light of the above, transparency is a key cog in organizational self-awareness- when an organization can look within, acknowledge its faults and flaws and use its platform to highlight key issues with its products/services or those facing the world today. This is where their products come in — either to satisfy that need or simply as a beneficiary to an ‘authentic’, real campaign.
The bottom line
Each of you who chooses to work with DV Media Co. will bring a new way of learning, teaching and growing — forming the very essence of transparency. We value the uniqueness of each of our Partners & Collaborators.
So here’s an opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and engage with experts who are always up for a brainstorming session. To work as a part of an updated, non-hierarchical system that is managed by the guardian of the project, to ensure that there is an efficient flow of communication between us and the clients.
We understand the human element of working together — besides the remuneration, what matters most on a day-to-day basis is connection. We’re here to foster and nurture this very connection, and to grow together.
Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Aryan Bhatia & Dona Varghese