Good morning and welcome to Transformation 2013. And thank you Chris for that great welcome to your hometown. We first introduced the 4A’s Transformation Conference in 2010 as a means to bring us together to share meaningful conversations and learn from each other.
And this year’s gathering takes a leap in scope. We’ve called this year’s Transformation “The Idea Effect” because success in our business pivots on ideas—whether business, technological or creative—and the effect that our ideas have on the industry and world. We’re hitting the big concepts and ideas and I believe that this year’s experiences will surpass any of the previous years. Transformation 2013 is representative of the work that the 4A’s has undertaken to meet your needs and help you face the challenges of our ever-changing industry.
We have worked tirelessly to earn your trust and build upon our brand equity. The themes of this year’s agenda are the recurring themes that all of us—regardless of agency size, specialty and location—deal with on a daily basis. A lot of discussion from yesterday and the next two-and-a-half days boils down to the need for all of us to recognize that what we do has an integrally positive effect on strengthening our economy and bettering our world. Your direction empowers us to set an agenda—whether at Transformation or throughout the year—that covers the broad range of industry issues. It is our mission to provide you with the best possible tools. And it gives us great satisfaction to see that you trust our insights and guidance by taking these tools forward into your business practices and relationships. The belief and self-awareness of our industry’s value is the crux to the view the world holds of us. Advertising is not a commodity.
We are the guardians and gatekeepers of valuable economy-strengthening expertise.
The expertise that makes up our business is a collaboration of art, and science, all stirred together by our business acumen. There is the science of technology, analytics, big data, business best practices and neuroscience. And we create far-reaching and impactful art—in a myriad of touch points. We envision and produce ads and campaigns that make us respond viscerally to the human experience. Our work can elicit laughter, compassion or action—and sometimes all three emotions simultaneously. These seemingly disparate elements converge to create an industry that not only fulfills us on a personal level, but contributes invaluably to our world. Our industry creates jobs, raises awareness of important societal and environmental issues and promotes social and economic equality. As the gatekeepers, it is our responsibility to not only address the business end of our industry—what I regard as the “hard” stuff. We also are guardians of the softer aspects. I’m talking about the need to nurture talent and the human urge we share to make our world a better place.
Have you ever visited a park and seen a sign that tells you to leave nothing behind but your footprints? Our footprints speak to the future of our industry and our world. Our industry is nothing without talent. The traditional base-line criteria for attracting and retaining top talent still hold. You provide a good job, pay the right salary, treat people with respect, reward excellent work, empower your staff to make independent decisions. Oh yes—and toss out the bad apples quickly. But while tradition is (and will remain) important we also have to address our evolving world. We recognize that people’s values and aspirations are becoming increasingly more complex and hybrid.
In order to attract new talent and retain current talent we have to offer them the freedom to develop independent ideas, and the chance to contribute and expound their ideas at the big table. In other words—feed the passion. And this isn’t only good for talent retention; it’s good for agency strength and growth, too. Nimbleness and flexibility come naturally to the new wave of talent, and the onus is on us to make sure that the cultures within our companies can match the passion and eclectic nature of this “slash” generation. This is the generation that wants to have everything and be everything. The old singular career trajectory model has been replaced by an urgent desire for freedom for experimentation, self-expression and individualism.
Feeding the passion goes well beyond giving people the ability to telecommute or give tuition assistance. In a world of stiff competition for resources, we have taken lessons from companies outside our industry that have a proven record of attracting and retaining the talent that our industry needs. Google’s “20 percent time” offering is mirrored in McKinney’s 10 percent program. Have a few altruistic designers or artists hungry to create? How about Razorfish’sYoung&United clothing line? Or kirshenbaum bond senencal’s internal crowdsourcing, which gave birth to The Hyde Experiment and Getting’ Up? As agency leaders are we being altruistic? Yes. Are we being business savvy? Absolutely. Because an engaged, invigorated and contented talent pool, promulgates new ideas. One thing that I admire so much about this slash generation, is its passion to do good. And that harkens back to the footprint we leave.
To that end, I’m pleased that this Wednesday we have arranged a special Giving Back afternoon. I encourage those of you who don’t have to rush to catch a plane to join me at the Arise Transformational Elementary Charter School. Our aim is to inspire these young minds by sharing our love of our industry. And remember that these young digital natives can probably inspire and teach us a thing or two as well. [pause]
Our world is ever expanding. And the need for us to address its complexity is what Transformation: The Idea Effect is all about. I want to thank Mike Donahue, who has worked tirelessly in programming the next two-and-a-half days. Mike has quite the eclectic mind which is ideal for putting together an agenda that mixes all the idea-generating aspects of our industry. We’re presenting the full spectrum of our industry—from technology to data mining to creative to best practices. In other words, we’ve got everything that make us tick and stirs our juices. [pause] Before I bring Chris up for the big conference kick-off I’d like to quickly emphasize two important issues that the 4A’s has been addressing on your behalf. Transformation touches upon them, but I think that they need just a little more time in the spotlight because they speak to the future of our business practices in this constantly shifting world.
Patent Trolling continues to dog us, and can represent a substantial impediment to the growth of technology, and therefore the growth of the marketing industry. Patent trolls can stymie creativity, clip our wings and stop us from doing the great work that we pride ourselves in. We have mobilized the top guns to aggressively face Patent Trolling and its consequences.
First, we have had considerable and ongoing outreach with agencies, fellow associations, legal counsels and the Department of Justice, the FTC, the Government Accountability Office and members of Congress. Even President Obama has recently spoken publicly on the subject. Our voice and ears in Washington, Dick O’Brien, has been key to the discussions.
I’m pleased that the ANA’s Bob Liodicefeels as strongly as I do. In today’s Ad Age I announce that he and I are forming a task force to develop guidelines and best practices. Our combined forces will give strength to action in Patent reform. The 4A’s provides ongoing thought-leadership guidance on patent trolling reform, liability and risk management.
Through the 4A’s Patent Website, curated by our CIO Chick Foxgrover and Tom Finneran, in our Management Division, our members have access to all aspects of this continually evolving subject. If you have not already, I encourage all of you to become familiar with the Patent Website. And please seek out Chick and Tom over the next few days. They’ll be more than pleased to share their knowledge with you.
Second on my hit list today is to talk about the increased necessity for agencies to realize fair and competitive profits from their valuable efforts on advertisers’ behalf. I know that this has been an ongoing theme, but with all the new services that agencies offer today, equitable compensation has never been more top of mind. The 4A’s has broadened its efforts to offer more and more best-practice guidance, and I think that the 4A’s members who attended yesterday’s Management Practioners Forum gained valuable best practices insights on agency/client relationships, creative use of technological invention and innovation as a means to driving brands forward, and compensation structures that benefit all parties. Tom Finneran has been heading the charge on best practices and this year has expanded the Sunday program from small and mid-sized agencies to include large agencies as well. Because these subjects keep all of us awake at night, regardless of agency size. [pause]
[pause] I would like to thank the numerous sponsors and exhibitors that are enhancing the Transformation experience.
And I’m very pleased to announce our first-ever O’Toole Award sponsor.
Collective has just signed on as the Founding and Ongoing sponsor for our new O’Toole Awards for Media Excellence. As you may or may not know, proceeds from the O’Toole Awards contribute to the 4A’s Foundation scholarships for multicultural students of the advertising arts. Over the past 20 years, the O’Tooles has contributed more than $500,000 to the Foundation. As an ongoing sponsor, Collective will contribute an additional $30,000 to the Foundation each year as well as $10,000 to each of the Media O’Toole winners to donate to a charity of their choice. What a great, upbeat way for me to turn over the program to Chris.
Chris—thanks again for having us at your hometown and please come up for the official Transformation kick-off!
In no particular order, the first idea I want to impart is that Advertising Works.We create demand by building strong brands, Strong brands grow businessBusiness growth creates jobsThe 4As have a keen interest in the continued growth of the advertising business and as such, must commit to evangelizing this position.
The advertising landscape is changing fast, seeing mobile and digital demands growing rapidly, however these should be included in the media mix and not serving as a substitutes for traditional media.Although digital media represents only a small portion of media spend, it was responsible for 29 percent of advertising’s effect on economic growth.Most research shows that half of the money spent on digital advertising is new investment; the other half represents a shift in spend from traditional print and broadcast media to digital media.
You’ll see this idea in:Our panel on media investment agenciesOur discussion of how to refine your competitive edgeWhat effect can we have if we bring this idea to life in our work and discussions?Explore economic drivers of our business.Determine how to make them work harder for us. This requires we fund new research examining how advertising really works. This research must be developed and backed by impartial financial institution and/or academia.Having a unique POV on this will:Help us transcend procurementRaise visibility in Washington Boost client confidence in our productLead to more growthResearch can prove our industry drives economic and business growth.
The next idea? Our undeniable need for a talent revolution. Right now, the smart folks want to work on the tech playground. AND the other smart folks are making amazing content for the hell of it. Why aren’t they bringing their technological ideas to the business that can make them real?Why are they creating their fun content for brands eager to fund and connect people with content?We need a turnaround, and active inclusion on a scale never before seen. The human element ideates and innovates. Not numbers. Not machines.We must invest in recruitment to attract creative talent with the new skills needed to support future growth.The 4As have to change the perception of advertising talent. Tomorrow’s agency talent will have exciting, fun, redefined jobs and can jumpstart the talent revolution now.
Employment in professional, scientific, and technical services is projected to grow by 29 percent, adding about 2.1 million new jobs by 2020. Employment in computer systems design and related services is expected to increase by 47 percent, driven by growing demand for sophisticated computer network and mobile technologies. Employment in management, scientific, and technical consulting services is anticipated to expand, at 58 percent. Combined, the two industries—computer systems design and related services and management, scientific, and technical consulting services—will account for more than half of all new jobs in professional, scientific, and technical servicesOpenings for software developers who specialize in applications will rise by more than one-third (34%) by 2018, says Best Jobs for the 21st Century, a new book by job market analyst Laurence Shatkin, while companies will hire 20% more computer systems analysts. The expanding integration of Internet technologies and the explosive growth in eCommerce has resulted in rising demand for technology engineers who can design and develop digital solutions.
You’ll see this idea live in our programmingIn our discussion on the transformation of the magazine and publishing industriesIn our social panel on technology enablersWe must take active steps to expand our community. Expand our community. We must include the world outside ourselves and bring them her We must build the diversity that is 100% essential to the future of our business; only by reflecting the face and hearts of the people we’re trying to connect with can we do so effectively. A more diverse world needs a more diverse advertising industry. We must augment our intellectual capital We improve our work. Diverse people provide diverse solutions and ideas. We can think of new ideas to drive business, and these ideas will be fun and magnetic.
Increasingly, consumers rightfully demand responsibility on the part of brands. Our job, as it has always been, is to help brands tell their stories – to share their values. Diversity, that we just talked about, includes embracing those who care and want to shape the world’s future. They in turn, become the character of our industry. The 4As will be an accountable champion for the transformation of our industry as the standard for shared value and sustainability. People who feel good about working in our business. Consumers who feel better about our business and receive value from it.
The quote is Forbes
The Coca-Cola CompanyThe Coca-Cola Foundation, the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company, during the third quarter of 2012 awarded Fifty-two community organizations in 21 countries around the world a total of $8.6 million in grants. Each grant funds initiatives benefiting nearly 19 million people worldwide, empower community organizations to promote fitness, advance good nutrition, conserve water, increase recycling, protect nature, educate students and support schools$2.6 million for water stewardship;$625,000 for community recycling;$2.1 million for active, healthy living;$2.5 for education; and$755,000 for other local priorities, such as youth development, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, economic development, community improvement and environmental responsibility.“The Coca-Cola Company is endorsing the Charter because we believe that investments in WASH initiatives will and should span generations. Through the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), we have always looked to develop supply chains, means of communication, and a finance stream for communities to be able to sustain the safe water and sanitation systems we help provide, which is one of the biggest challenges facing the water sector,” says Greg Koch, the Director of Global Stewardship in the Corporate Sustainability Office at The Coca-Cola Company.
“The great challenge of the 21st century is to provide good standards of living for 7 billion people without depleting the earth’s resources or running up massive levels of public debt.”Help more than a billion people to improve their health and well-beingHalve the environmental footprint of our productsAllow us to source 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably”
Consider this idea as you see:Our discussion of how to create a competitive edgeOur panel on the positive effect of creative ideasOur action must be to build a shared agenda of value creation and sustainability.This agenda becomes a benchmark for agencies’ progress towards a better world.In doing so, we inspire people:Who feel good about working in our business.Who feel better about our brands and receive value. There’s no reason every brand in this room can’t come back next year transformed because of their sustainability agenda. There’s no reason why we can’t share how we’re doing it, to help each other and help consumers. What you’ll end up with a year from now, if we all work on our own brands AND in unison, is a room with more people and different ideas feeling good about the ideas they’re sharing and the effect they’re having on people and brands.
Again, these are the truths of advertising.Look for them in the ideas you see over the next few days.Where you don’t see them, add them. Include them.Discuss these truths, because we all know that sharing ideas makes them grow.But we usually only apply that thinking internally. Share with the people here, outside your own agencies and brands, to create growth that will benefit us all. Then when you leave, share with the world around you. Share with clients and consumers alike. Create brands with value, but create LIVES with value.
4A’s Transformation 2013 - March 11 - Conference Opening Remarks: Nancy Hill & Chris Weil