Creative ideas have no boundaries, they can strike anytime, and to anybody and at any place. A great idea can give brands the required impetus to explore new heights. This was what Steven Gatfield, CEO, Lowe Worldwide, had to share in his session at GoaFest 2008.
Citing several examples, Gatfield explained how brands behaved differently with ideas that had made them successful. Banking on such a platform becomes critical for a brand to create impact throughout its lifecycle.
“Unlike most other professions, in advertising it is possible for idealism and pragmatism to meet,” said Gatfield on the ability of creative geniuses to transform possibly any thought or idea into reality and thereafter get the consumers to believe in that idea. He further said, “We are in an age where everybody has a voice, the power to participate in whatever they want, and in the manner that they want.”
Taking cognizance of the rapid growth of New Media, Gatfield said that Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, and Microsoft – the giants of technology – were all disruptors of traditional media. They were the ones in the new media domain that constantly created new platforms, engaging consumers with innovation across multiple platforms.
Sharing insights into the future of advertising, he said that advertising inventory would be delivered based on relevance, and content visioning would demand a far bigger array of ideas. He further said that these points could have huge implications on the manner in which the ad world produced content today. Gatfield shifted his point of discussion back to the consumers as he explained the great deal of online and offline ad avoidance that was hitting advertisers and agencies around the world.
As for the spate of social networks, Gatfield said that he wouldn’t be surprised if the current leaders would give space to a huge number of social networking websites to gain popularity. “Looking at the progress of social networking sites today, I won’t be surprised if all of us in this room will have a social network of our own,” he remarked.
Gatfield also spoke about peer endorsement and the trend of trusting strangers more than marketers. In such a demanding situation, he said, consumer engagement was critical, and added that marketing strategies should be called as engagement strategies for that matter.
Commenting on the concept of idea management, he said, “We need to change our assembly lines, and by this I mean our process should not be restricted. If you don’t do this, you will always be stuck with same products all the time.”
Concluding his session, Gatfield re-emphasised on high value ideas. “The high value idea is the future. It is a shared map of a new terrain,” he re-affirmed.