Jean Lin, Global CEO of Isobar, spoke at Goafest 2016 about the rising challenges before creative agencies to get the communication across to the audience. She called the current era a renaissance for marketing due to the availability of technology.
She introduced the concept of social change as; "The rate of change of society is a function of the age at which youth are introduced to the dominant technology of the time." Further expanding on this, Lin pointed out that in the 1900's the dominant technology was the automobile and the rate of change had a 16 year cycle, while in the 2000's, the dominant technology is communications with a 4 year cycle, which would get lower due to the advancements in communication technology.
"It is important how you deliver your idea in the digital age because you have so many ways of delivery. In the digital age it's about delivering ideas without limit. The key point behind innovation is that the idea actually exists, we have to just innovate,” she said.
Talking further about innovation, she added, "According to a report by PWC research, companies that actively look to innovate saw revenues and growth at 60 per cent, compared to a 20 per cent growth of revenues for other companies.”
To highlight this, Lin cited the example of the success of Alibaba's ‘Singles Day’ in China.
Lin explained how the ‘Singles Day’ sale in 2015 generated sales worth $ 14.3 billion, with 69 per cent of the sale from mobile devices, shoppers from 200 countries and 16,000+ international brands. “People from all over the globe can buy online. India is one of the highest borderless buyers worldwide. Now clients have to not only look at other brands within their geography, they need to compete with brands from even in other countries," said Lin.
These 'borderless buyers' put huge pressure on even the marketing department, she said, as planning has to be put in about difference price points and buying infrastructure between different markets.
On-demand satisfaction and connected experiences will be the key according to Lin. "How experience will create brand impact in the future?" she asked, citing the example of Disneyland's investment in MagicBands; a device that allows an integrated experience in the park by acting like a pass, room key and a way to buy merchandise and food.
"Think of a girl who is four years old and has grown up with the magic wrist brand. Once she grows up, she will never expect anything less from any brand that she likes unless it provides this level of on-demand satisfaction," said Lin.
The future of brands, according to her, is in brand commerce, how to use technology to get the brand inspiration closer to the point of transaction. "It is not brand + commerce but brand x commerce. Think of their exponential effect," she said.
Lin also asked creative agencies to re-imagine the last mile. According to her, is not about just creative ads anymore as clients want agencies to solve a particular problem. This can be done in any number of ways, not just via a good ad. She gave examples of innovative products like uMood, SkyTip, UNIQLO, etc.
“Design now has strategic value. Any agency can think of an idea, but very few can execute that idea. That's a key to win. We need to grow with clients. This will come when tangible results are seen," added Lin.
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