For our coverage of this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, PSFK reached out to some of the Idea Industry’s most influential and experienced men and women in order to measure the sea change over the last year. Here we’ve collected the thoughts of these experts on how to navigate this change within the worlds of advertising, branding, and marketing.
First of all, it’s digital everything. This has been a trend for some time but, with advances in consumer technology, it’s a whole new world:
In conversations with our global clients, we’re seeing more digitally led strategies and, overall, in-house marketers are becoming more sophisticated in their use of digital. That may sound like a no-brainer to PSFK readers but most large enterprises continue to treat digital as a separate ‘channel.’ The :30 spot still rules and attracts the big budgets, but the center of their customers’ lives is no longer the living room couch.
The market uncertainties are strongly influenced by the younger generations (Generation Y and the upcoming Generation Z) that are changing standard consumption habits. They are born digital, with a digital brain. They are creating a new language via technology, and if you don´t speak the same language, you are out. They are in search of new experiences, and they want to take action. They are not as passive as the previous generations.
As an effect of this digital drive companies have inevitably amassed huge stores of data. Now is the chance to explore the possibilities opened by innovative examination of all this raw information:
One of the biggest changes we’re seeing in the online advertising industry is an increased focus on data and analysis. Marketers are hungry for information about what their audiences do online and how they’re responding to ads. At the same time, it’s not always easy to navigate with massive amounts of data, so, in order to be meaningful, that data needs to be combined with insights so marketers understand how to activate on the findings.
Consumers are empowered in whole new ways through mobile technologies. It’s no wonder brands and marketers are busy creating new and novel ways to compose seamless experiences:
I’m hoping to see more robust mobile ideas this year. Everyone keeps saying that THIS is the year of mobile (I believe this has been the case since 2007), but, who knows, maybe it finally is? I’ve seen great craft in the award shows leading up to Cannes, but not a lot of breakthrough thinking that made me sit up and go, ‘wow.’ But Cannes always has some surprises up its sleeve, so I’m sure I will get my ‘wow’ moment.
What has changed – or more so evolved – in the past 12 months, is the way people engage with brands. The channels in which we communicate with each other have proliferated at unprecedented speeds. We’re connecting across nearly infinite platforms and in novel, unexpected ways. As this massive transformation continues, brands and agencies follow suit.
Social media has opened up a direct line of communication for consumers to express their likes and dislikes with brands on an interpersonal level, and share them with those same with each other:
A year ago, it was still okay for advertising people — especially if you were over 40 — to simply state ‘I don’t like Facebook and I hate Twitter’ as a reason not to get involved with and understand social media. I think we’ve reached the tipping point where that is now just considered unprofessional.
We continue to make exponential leaps in the ways we can multiply a single gesture – tweeting onto Facebook pages, interacting quickly with any and all posts, putting Flash behind us. Every year, we do five times as much as we did in the previous one.
Rapidly emerging markets like Asia and Latin America are ready for new services and products that affirm the diverse values, cultures, and sensibilities they bring to the global marketplace:
Clients are expecting us to be more globally focused, more innovative and more technologically savvy than ever before. They realize the solutions to their problems are not necessarily going to be coming from the same places they did last year. And they need partners with the expertise who can help them navigate through an unknown future and the desire to help them manage the increasingly complex teams needed to do so.
Many Fortune 100 companies know that their future growth is coming from Asia and this is driving the need for global scale and clients are increasingly looking for a digital agency that can handle global accounts. That’s a big change from even only 2 years ago.
The future of advertising and marketing will be increasingly fast-paced and competitive, but as brands search for new ways to communicate with consumers, the future will also see great opportunity for collaborative partnerships:
The speed of the marketplace has changed. Everything seems to be happening at a faster and faster pace. New technologies, new apps, new companies – they seem to pop up every day. The options for executing campaigns and engaging with consumers seem to be endless.
Brand marketers are increasingly looking for solutions to better connect with their consumers, better control their costs and the ROI of their activities, and to accelerate the speed at which they bring the right ideas to market to cope with the pressure of an increasingly complex and kinetic competitive environment.