Ahead of PSFK CONFERENCE 2013, Ross Martin of Viacom and Scratch discussed how technology is breaking down the boundaries between brand and consumer.
As part of the run-up to PSFK CONFERENCE 2013 in New York this April, PSFK will be publishing a series of short interviews with speakers to give a taste of what will be discussed in this meeting of creative minds. Ross Martin, Executive Vice President at Viacom and head of MTV Scratch, will be participating in a panel that examines the impact of technology on brand innovation. He spoke to PSFK about how technology can help companies to engage with their consumers and craft fresh initiatives.
On April 12th, you’ll be on a panel that discusses the impact of technology on the ways brands interact with their audiences. What has been a recent shift you see as opportunity and challenge?
We’re compressing the time and space between a good idea and a better one, between a thriving brand and a dead one, between success, failure and – almost at the same time – redemption. We have more information than we can process about what’s happening, how it’s happening, when, why and who’s next. But in the midst of the chaos, some things continue to hold true for the winners: First, betting on the right people, the best team, the people you’re in the bunker with. Second, passion for your consumer, which pivots on true understanding and a visceral connection. Third, laser-like focus, balance and steadfast perspective through all the noise and confusion. And last, but not least, not just enduring change – loving it.
Do you think technology is making it easier for agencies like Scratch help their clients communicate to customers and prospective shoppers?
Technology helps us generate, collaborate, iterate and do more. But just as important, if not more so, technology helps us learn more, faster. At Scratch, we study the effect Viacom’s audiences are having – and are about to have – on industries. Take, for example, the Millennial generation. Years ago, we began to see what the largest generation in American history was about to do to the auto industry; we jumped in, and we are participating in that change in huge ways. Next, our audiences are about to transform the financial services industry — banks, credit, insurance, you name it — and we’re all over it.
How is technology shaping campaigns of tomorrow?
Technology has removed so many of the barriers to engagement. Most importantly, our inability to really understand what’s working, what’s not and why. Now we know. So we’re transforming what we make and how we make it, where we put it and how it gets there. How we plan, how we budget, how we respond, how we adapt and how we deliver, every second, everywhere. For the first time, at scale, art and science meet. And the greatest campaigns of all time are coming alive.