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Cannes Lions: The changing role of the ‘tech team’

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Cannes Lions: The changing role of the ‘tech team’

As the communication industry is evolving, ideas come from anywhere, and over the last few years, this has also impacted the way key segments of the industry work. To understand this better, UM and Advertising Age worked on a research ‘Entrepreneurs are the new creative department, and vice-versa’. The research was unveiled on the first day of Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2011. Presenting the research, Brian Monahan, CEO, IPG Lab, explained the changing thought process of the communication industry.

This was followed by a discussion hosted by Marc Ruxin, EVP, Emerging Technologies, UM with Marc Speichert, CMO, L’Oreal USA and Trudy Hardy, Manager, BMW Marketing, Communications and Consumer Events, BMW NA. The other co-presenters of the panel were Joanne Bradford, CRO, Demand Media and Troy Young, President, Say Media.

The panel suggested that rapid acceleration in technologies is constantly reinventing and reimagining new businesses, evolved models and team structures overnight - creating significant impacts and transformations in the industry. The new art of creativity is being driven by ideas, products and solutions realised by these businesses, as they grow and adapt to the changing landscape. Both Marc Speichert and Trudy Hardy stated that marketers such as them are embracing this wave of entrepreneurialism by evolving their processes to develop new products and services in much quicker time frames.

Some of the key findings of the research included that 25 per cent of marketers reported that they are willing to use media dollars to make investments in start-ups. The majority (57 per cent) said their organisation is ready to shift budgets in to riskier activities in the next year. Those activities include, but are not limited to, becoming a publisher and building marketing technology solutions.

The survey also showed that to embrace this new reality of new technologies and start-ups, 64 per cent of marketers believe they should have a ‘proactive response’ by educating their teams and empowering them to be curious. Another 31 per cent say it should be ‘reactive’ in nature, this way they can see how they are best utilised before embracing the product. 25 per cent of respondents say they would consider using media or ad dollars to make new media venture investments while half say ‘maybe, as business demands require’.

Over two-thirds indicated that their advertising/marketing teams see the impact of technology and start-ups as a positive thing for their business. Only 4 per cent say it’s a negative thing. Over 77 per cent of respondents say they are open to making an investment in their brands to become content publishers with the prominence of Twitter, Facebook and blogs. This is comprised of 51 per cent, who say they are already making the investment while another 25 per cent say they want to, but are uncertain of the exact skill sets needed.

The various aspects of the research were discussed at the panel, as it deliberated on the new kinds of players that the communication industry was witnessing.

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