Tag Archives: Experience

Good Businesses DO Good Business

I am thrilled to be embarking on a new chapter that builds on my last 15 years of collective experience to start defining what a new era of ‘Experience’ looks like. If like me, you’ve been trying to design for the world of connected everything, in and around audiences of ‘I want everything now’, then you too will know how hard it is to actually deliver something impactful.

And impactful is a big word. To distill that I don’t mean worthy, but put simply I do think we have a responsibility as marketers to enable good businesses to do good business.

I’m excited to be joining a team of brilliant minds who want to help design and deliver the next series of experiences for brands who are built around business ideals that have stood the test of time. If you instantly scathe this thought it’s probably because you’ve been spammed by crappy ads for too long and that’s what you think marketing is now. Sadly a lot of brands/ businesses are still just worried about selling stuff first then listening second.

Let’s pause here… pick a brand you’ve worked with or for, then go right back to the beginning of their existence and you will likely see that their success grew from standing for something, and dig further you’ll find that ‘something’ had the intent to impact positively.

What I have seen over the last few years is that the pressures of technology on a brand, whether in the shape of; Google as a search engine or as a competitor, Amazon as delivery partner or a competitor or trail blazing brands breaking the expectation barrier – is that sh*t got really fast and they struggled to keep up with the pace of life it delivered.

So, as most emerging technologies slide into the Gartner trough and we have a little breathing space to pull our brand pants up a bit, I personally find the millions of connections that need to be woven together properly are a brilliantly complex challenge. It’s a bit like smashing a Rubik’s Cube into Connect4, throwing in Twister and trying to nail the game.

Now we’re talking.

My aim is to spend the next chapter working out and proving the scales of impact for individual businesses. Impact that is built on their original true values, shifting them into modern thinking behaviours and realigning them against the moving needs of their audiences. By doing this I believe ‘Experience’ will become an understood term that not just couples, but instead intricately weaves ‘Digital’ and ‘Traditional’ marketing together.

Creating value for the first shared connection to the last and back again. Designing for the consumer first, not just wrapping a brand around them. Building business thinking principles not just design thinking ones.

This is good business practice which will hopefully return good business whatever the measure of impact.

 

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Cannes Lions 2017: From stories to experiences

Movies like Terminator, iRobot or Minority Report didn’t predict the future, the creators just opened up a new way of thinking within the realms of their scripting.

Similarly, as an industry, we advertisers pride ourselves on creativity and storytelling. We strive to create new ideas and worlds every day and communicate these through stories. Our stories get seeded online and then evolve amongst communities online and offline. They’re influenced globally by opinions and cultures, evolving and developing as multiple varieties from that one original core. The best stories transcend through the industry as ways of inspiring others.

But we must move beyond just stories. In today’s ‘post cinematic’ world we have so many new and exciting ways of creating, telling and sharing experiences; immersive mediums, alternate realities, cognitive and predictive data, connected and intuitive ecosystems. All of these things push the boundaries of storytelling, so why then, when for years we have successfully told linear stories, do we suddenly get ‘tech fear’ and limit ourselves at the hands of technology stressing over whether it’s been done?

This year I was honoured to be invited to judge the Cannes Lions mobile category and it was clear to me that when creativity and technology meet there are a few key trends emerging across the globe:

  1. Tech for tech’s sake is taking a back seat, FINALLY! The pioneers of converging an idea with the pace of life today are really doing their research to nail the killer insight at the heart of an idea, and you can see how this helps the idea evolve but not stray.
  2. That said, few are brave enough to state they don’t quite know what they’re doing (which is OK by the way as long as you are ‘doing’) and so stick digital and social amplification plasters over the cracks in an idea and talk about reach (I’m rolling my eyes now).
  3. Too many brands are quick to experiment but slow to adopt and scale, they come with an award in mind but lose sight of their audience in doing so.
  4. Very few have really, truly wrapped their minds around how to move from telling a story to putting their user at the centre of it to create an experience.
  5. Those brave enough to explore new terrain are doing so with a cause at the heart of it, which is empowering, I salut you.
  6. Ethics and morals aside for a moment, there’s still a ton of opportunity to just do really cool shit that leaves your brand emblazoned on the minds of those you want to buy your product.

Two words in most of the case studies and two that I hear every day are; Disruptive and Innovative. For me, true disruption emerges at the convergence of technologies, ideas and of course stories.

I was excited to see the bar is inching up, however there is a whole new world we can create through the next generation of stories and experiences that is currently untapped.

Whilst I love a good story, it’s definitely left me fuelled to continue to push for experiences, ones that make hairs stand on end, screeches escape mouths and eyes to well up, all of which happened in the jury room #justsaying.

Cannes Lions 2017

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