Distilled Wisdom of the Tribe: 5 Insights That Impact Digital Advertising

One of the good things about working with a global network is the opportunity to gather great talent in one location to learn new things together. We recently had our annual company summit with some key clients and technology partners, and over two days had assumptions challenged and world views changed.

Whilst there was a lot of great content, here are five of the most interesting insights from all the discussions that were had:

1. “If everything’s under control, you’re going too slowly.”
This is a quote from Mario Andretti, one of the most successful racing drivers in history. With the pace of change in our own industry increasing, we always need to be on the edge of uncomfortable to stay in the race.

2. “Consumers aged 18 to 25 don’t distinguish between online and offline.”
They just don’t compartmentalise their life. It’s been said many times that consumers don’t see the world as advertisers do, in neat little siloed channels. The world is not about 360-degree integrated marketing – we need to be working on a post-digital world rather than force fitting ideas into inappropriate compartments.

3. “As content becomes free, and media becomes free, the only truly priceless commodity is attention.”
The same Internet forces that wrought havoc on the content business (music, movies, publishing, etc.) are also assaulting the world of marketing. Peer-to-peer marketing is the future. Rather than ads being something you’re forced to endure in exchange for getting something interesting for free, we need to make advertising itself the reason to watch.

4. “In history, there have only been three revolution in payments: barter, cash, and plastic. Mobile is the next big change.”
For the past decade, it’s an often-stated fact that everyone leaves home with three things: keys, wallet and mobile phones. Google claims that $14 trillion of transactions in the U.S. are spent locally each year – and with Google Wallet they are putting their money where their mouth is to claim that location-based e-commerce is the next big thing.

5. “Most of the jobs that will be needed in the next five years haven’t even been invented yet.”
The most persistent problem that I’ve heard from every agency head around the world over the past decade is that we have a severe talent shortage. And it gets worse every year. On looking back though, most of the jobs we try to fill today didn’t even exist five years ago (social media experts, e-mobile commerce specialists, mobile app developers, etc). And the skill sets are far from the traditional marketing backgrounds that most people in the industry have. In the next five to 10 years, we will undoubtedly require even more diverse people. So this is a major opportunity to bring new talent in from non-traditional industries to shape of our own futures.

The days of Mad Men may be long over, but an exciting Advertising Renaissance era is now upon us. Now we all just need to move a bit faster…

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