Firas Mghames on How the Hybrid Model Can Speed Up Digital Transformation
Posted on 2021 Mar,15  | By Firas Mghames

Firas Mghames, Managing Director at Beirut-based agency Feer McQUEEN and CEO at Flag M Group, talks about the Hybrid Model and why it is inherent to Digital Transformation’s success.

In today’s fast paced world, clients want it all, and they want it fast. In fact, this holistic and speedy mindset is necessary for success in markets nowadays. For brands, optimizing the process is the first step. When it’s all said and done, this optimization puts the brand on the fast track to digital transformation: the key to soaring above. To achieve optimization, you need a basket full of speedy workers, skilled minds, creative talents, and knowledgeable busy bees. The bottom line is, you need a Hybrid Model.

Digital Transformation starts with seeking out optimization, which is made up of those two components, which brands are hungering for: speed and integration. Speed is all about how fast you can get the job done. This speed requires a specific skill set and adequate experience with lots of tried and true wisdom in the field. Integration on the other hand is all about the chain and how these skills and talents fit together like perfect puzzle pieces making up the bigger picture. The brand needs it all: someone who knows about tech, marketing, growth, social media, branding, all in all, making a creative impact. As an agency, the job would be to gather all those components under one roof, from A to Z, so that the brand can optimize and ultimately achieve digital transformation.

Stepping back a little, traditional businesses, whether B2B or B2C, relied on two domains: Marketing and Sales. These have been two independent entities that needed to collaborate together, while they each stand alone in their own realms. However, in the last decade, marketers were the first to step into the digital realm, trying their hand at social media and becoming experts at it. As self-made, online sales people, they catered to the ever-growing demand for brands’ online presence and their two-way conversation and relationships with consumers. Then came e-commerce, where digital marketers excelled and pioneered forward. Before, IT experts were the leaders when it came to web apps, engines, and platforms. Today, digital marketers have not only taken over salesmen’s roles, but have also become the main custodians and experts on e-commerce platforms, engines, and the works.

This is the secret ingredient, the magic potion… It’s just something that I wholeheartedly believe is one of the main components behind Feer McQueen’s success. That is, our ability to cater to all clients’ needs with our Hybrid Model made up of Hybrid people and talents, in other words, people who can adapt and are flexible with everything that comes their way – These are our speed and integration components.

With the necessity of a Hybrid Model for Digital Transformation established, let’s track back to the necessity for Digital Transformation in and of itself. Take the fashion industry for example.  Just a few years ago, all fashion brands worked on a Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter basis. They designed and showcased their work in a well-organized way, and with the ability to plan months and even years in advance. Then came something known in the industry as the Zara Strategy. Zara showed up on the scene with couture designs that rolled out within just two weeks of showing up on the catwalk. Talk about speed! Slowly but surely, other brands followed suit, and the fast-paced chain became the must-have for brands to keep up. We can see this strategy reflected in today’s e-commerce world. It is fast, consumers get bored quickly, and creation has to keep up. This is Digital Transformation in a nutshell. To maintain success and to remain viable, a flexible Hybrid Model is a necessity.

I have seen this across the many years I have been in the industry, most prominently with our client Swatch. Swatch used to prepare their new releases years in advance. We would take our time preparing for the roll out, working on the intricate designs, with plenty of room for back and forth, and designing 3D models for the new timepieces. Well, that’s history. That luxury of time is now out the window. Swatch sends their ideas in, and within just weeks, the new products are rolled out with a full-on campaign featuring our 3D designs of their watches, with amendments on the 3D designs being made while they’re still at the drawing board. Not to mention the fact that brands are no longer the ones dictating trends and imposing their styles on consumers. Today, it is consumers who dictate what the trends are, and brands are constantly rushing to keep up. Swatch skillfully and so swiftly jumped on board the trend-train, creating canvas pieces for their Swatch x You watch collection, featuring the infamous US elections and Brexit, to name just a couple. It is this fast-moving and exhilarating whirlwind that demands fluidity, flexibility, and clockwork, or else…! In this equation, the agency keeps brands afloat by being fast enough to market their products in this ever-changing and booming world.

All in all, this compulsory Digital Transformation cannot make it without a Hybrid Model backing it and supporting it. This Hybrid Model must be flexible enough and valid in today’s world. If you have this speed and integration on your side (AKA Hybrid Model) then you will ultimately have the tools to make it.