I’m here to make the case for a new set of skills – the big-thinking geeks; the Creative Technologists. People who can bridge the gap between Creativity and Technology.
This can be read optimistically or pessimistically – so be scared or be excited… that’s why we need Creative Technologists, to exploit the changing world
As per the IPA’s Creative Pioneers initiative – these new skillsets come from anywhere. It’s not right or left brain, boy or girl, geek or not.
In fact, I’m living proof that it’s not either/or – I started in tech, went to ‘traditional’ agencies, then firmly digital, and now at Code, a creative technology agency, with a foot in both camps.
Why am I asking you to help create these people – these geeks who will inherit the earth?
Because the tech-powered changes in marketing have huge implications –for both Clients and Agencies, and the people who work there
The world used to be simple
With simple black and white roles and responsibilities for clients and agencies
But of course now it’s a very different marketing landscape
Are we excited… orWorried? Unprepared? Unemployed?
Clients are confused and intimidated by the pace of change in Marketing Technology
They’re not ready for the continuing tide of complexity that shows no sign of abating
CMOs need to be ready.
Client skills are having to change – but what does that look like?
This is effectively a coming together of the CIO and CMO, of IT and Marketing.
Fair to say there’s some cultural friction…
The old world…
…has given way to a new world where Forrester recommends a department dedicated to Marketing technology (Code call it ‘Creative Technology’ – which sounds a bit sexier – but same difference).
And what are these Marketing Technologists good at?
So how do these Client-side changes affect Agencies?
It used to be that Marketing bought from agencies. And IT bought from vendors and Consultants like Accenture.
But what now, with this new department with new requirements? Who services them? Do the agencies have the tech nous? And do the IT consultants have enough of an appreciation of the creative process?
And more to the point, can anyone not working in Marketing Technology 24/7 credibly claim to be on top of the complexity of the market?
That’s why we’re seeing a new breed of Agency – the Creative Technology agency. They get creativity, they get scalable enterprise architecture and they can help clients navigate the vendor marketplace.
The Creative Technology agency delivers scalable, repeatable, optimizable, marketing platforms.
When WPP say this, you can be sure this is happening now. We’re at a tipping point. That’s why talent is such a hot issue right now.
So while agencies are worrying about their models, clients are getting on with embracing technology.
Here’s a case in point – out platform for Citroen automates the production of their marketing. We takeCreative concepts from the ad agency and enable local marketers to adapt, deploy and optimise them, all in 2 minutes.
Before I show you a demo… bear in mind the brief here – actually it started out as a brand compliance problem (help us to ensure our local marketing is brand and legal compliant). But because of the power of technology, it changed to a digital transformationbrief where we enable local car dealers (who are, in fact, often quite a lot like Swiss Toni) to behave like trained, strategic marketers.
Providing platforms like this to their clients changes the agency’s commercial model – they can start making money from licensing, or they can lose studio revenue when a competitor shows the client the technology first. It’s evolve or die.
Here’s a case in point – a big hurrah for TBWA… followed by the minor afterthought of all that global delivery revenue going somewhere else. Frightening stuff for big ad agencies. Particularly because it’s a change that many aren’t ready for…
We can sum up Agencies’ failure to embrace change – many think Creative Technology is simply a bit of flash or an iPhone app here and there.
But the reality is that, for many, ‘Creative’ means ‘advertising’. So it’s tech that makes ads better. They’re missing the entrepreneurial power of technology. For us, Creative Technology is far broader – it’s simply technology that’s clever, innovative and business-changing. The traditional small-c definition of creativity.
Just look around you – creative businesses are embracing technology in far more pervasive ways than simply in marketing.
This ability to see technology as a force for change is the last theme I want to cover. If you let it, technology reframeswhat success looks like – it changes the brief, providing new contexts and new goals
The Walkman was an amazing innovation, enabled by technology. But without advances in the size, weight and cost of components like memory, the evolutionary brief of ‘more music on the go’ would’ve been limited by the blinkers of current constraints – so maybe we’d have got longer or lighter cassettes, or a clever batman utility belt for carrying them.
These changes in technology allowed designers to revisit an old problem – “there has to be a better way” they thought. And the iPod was born and the music industry transformed.
It’s this redefining of the brief that characterises the Creative Technologist. Whether it’s Citroen dealers redefining marketing at a fraction of the cost or Apple putting your CD collection in your pocket. Tech reframes the brief – it changes the perception of what’s possible.
Who are these people who can take a Tech-powered leap of imagination? I can tell you what I think the market needs…
Well, this shouldn’t be too hard, some pretty typical skills… Plus they’re not necessarily geeks, and not not geeks; extrovert/introvert; boy/girl
These are hardly a stretch either.Although tech savvy could be taking-apart-your-ipod-and-soldering-it-back-together geekiness, or it could simply be a passion for gadgets and the changes they make to people’s lives.Creative is the traditional definition, rememberAnd collaboration is the key – bringing in multiple disciplines, particularly in the Marketing context.
Lastly, the Creative Technologist needs the passion to lead, to evangelise, to convinceothers and bring them on a journey.
That was what I think the market needs – now it’s up to you to identify and developthese Creative Technologists, these geeks who will indeed inherit the earth.
The Geeks shall Inherit the Earth - Academy of Marketing 4th July 2012
Robin BonnBusiness Development Director Code Worldwide Academy of Marketing Conference 4th July 2012
“I feel more like a CIO than a CMO! I have marketing automation, CRM, listening platforms – I’m up to my eyeballs in technology...” From Stretched to Strengthened, IBM Global CMO Study 2011
Linear journey… ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth, Jim Lecinski
…clear roles //Agency Marketing ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth, Jim Lecinski
Non-linear, shades of greyGoogle itVisit websiteFollow on TwitterCheck out competitorsRead reviewsDiscuss with friendsCheck online communitiesComparison / aggregators ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth, Jim Lecinski
“It’s like I’m standing under a cloud of baseballs,they’re all dropping on me – and I don’t know which one to catch.” Hyper Island studentHow Code can help
Clients aren’t prepared From Stretched to Strengthened, IBM Global CMO Study 2011
“By 2015, 35% of enterprise ITexpenditures will be managed outside of the IT departments budget…CMOs may end up having larger IT budgets than CIOs” Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users for 2012 and Beyond, Gartner, Dec 2011
“IT is the department of ‘no’”“Marketing isspin” “IT doesn’t speak marketing’s“Marketers don’t language”care aboutintegration” “IT doesn’t understand the need for speed” “IT isn’t concerned with the customer” Mastering Customer Data – A CIO Imperative, Forrester Research July 2011
Marketing IT Little understand of each other’s needs
MarketingMarketing Technology IT office Collaborative – unite Marketing and Technology strategies Experts – fluent in Tech and Brand Agile – and scalable Love Big Data – to fuel insight and action Obsessive about the ‘glue’ – APIs and integration