Summer is officially behind us this week and the Cannes Lions seems a distant memory. Few relish change and there was much debate over how the Festival was different this year. Despite paid attendance being down, this year’s Lions still attracted the great and the good of the industry. It’s just that the composition of the great and the good is shifting with an influx from media, tech and consulting firms. Regardless, the Festival left a lasting impression in terms of new directions for the future of marketing which can be summed up in the following series of 10 instructional tips.
1) Elevate the conversation
“For the fourth time in human history, we are facing a big digital disruption that will change our world forever. It will change how we think, it’ll change how we learn, it’ll change how we engage. CMOs have a new seat at the table; we need to step up, take it and use the information that we have to help our business drive forward.” – Diana O’Brien, CMO of Deloitte, speaking at the Cannes Lions School.
2) Seriously consider the role of purpose in your business
“The only way that you’re able to navigate all the social, economic and cultural issues that we’re facing today, whether it is in the UK, the US or China, is by having a very clear and well-articulated sense of purpose that drives what you do from a product standpoint, what you do from a cultural standpoint, and that importantly the issues that you get involved with. Your employees require that you have that clarity and now your customers require that you have that clarity. What do you stand for and what are the issues that are important to you? And those issues that are important to you, if they can converge with the issues that are important to them, some of our biggest clients, then it’s actually very good for business.” – Antonio Lucio as CMO of HP, who has since been appointed CMO of Facebook.
3) Think like a startup
“Act like a startup. Big brands in today’s world are challenged in many cases for growth. How do we rediscover that entrepreneurial spirit, that founder’s mentality, that proximity to the consumer and the customer, and then move at pace, and be much bolder than maybe at times big brands can be?” – Andrew Clarke as Chief Marketing & Customer Officer of Mars at The Economist’s #WakeUp Cannes series; now Global President of Mars Wrigley Confectionery.
4) Hire for diversity in thinking
“Get rid of the status quo…to only hire creatives through portfolios. Hire creatives through music, writing, poetry, photography, stage, theater; find creatives in different outlets, and then teach them how to take their creativity and use it in marketing.…and by the way, the kind of advertising in books [portfolios] is kind of the status quo type of advertising. The exciting thing is that the world is changing, and what defines creativity for brands and helping for business is very different….” – Susan Credle, Global Chief Creative Officer of FCB.
5) Change the game
Karen Kaplan, Chairman & CEO, Hill Holliday: On goals, “Fifty percent of our revenue in 2020 will come from things we didn’t do in 2010; 25% of new hires will come from outside the industry.” – Karen Kaplan, Chairman & CEO, Hill Holiday, in the Asking Out Loud podcast series with The New School.
6) Hurry up
“We may think that things are way out there and we don’t need to look at them yet or we just need to lightly explore them, and the reality is we have to jump on the ‘Next Now’. That is critical because what we are finding in many industries is that we’re easily being disrupted because we know things are happening, but we’re not jumping on them soon enough.” – Alison Lewis, Consumer CMO, Johnson & Johnson, speaking at The Economist’s #WakeUp Cannes Series.
7) Prepare for global access
“We’re in the moment of going from minority of the people on the planet being connected to the majority [being connected], and when you have access to all the world’s information and computing power and other people and ideas, it’s transformational for people….We can build better tools that work for everyone…to give the poorer people the same services we can give the richest people. That’s transformational.” – Matt Brittin, President, EMEA Business and Operations, Google.
“I think we’re on the cusp of a really exciting era that brings with it tremendous responsibility….We’re going to have a depth of relationship with customers unlike any other time in history. And that is tremendously exciting. When I think about 5G, which is just around the corner. In the United States alone we believe it will stimulate about $500 billion worth of economic growth. And that, in part, is because of the ability to understand our customers in a far deeper way than before and provide them with moving from a deeply personal experience to intuitive or even predictive experiences. But you have to start with the fact that we have to earn our customers’ trust every single day.” – Nick Drake, EVP of Marketing & Experience, T-Mobile, speaking at The Economist’s #WakeUp Cannes series.
8) Follow the customer
“The smart guys don’t say retail is dying. They say digital is going to grow at three times the rate of physical. But in the next five years, while 75% of the people will shop online, 75% of the business will still be done in physical stores. So retail is not going away. Retail’s not dying. But it has to evolve. It has to continue to move. And I think it has to serve a bigger purpose than selling.” – Angela Ahrendts, SVP of Retail at Apple Inc, speaking on “Reimagining the Retail Experience” at Cannes.
9) Don’t lose sight of trust
“A brand without trust is just a product. And today trust is even more important and still core to all we do in industry and building brands.” Keith Weed, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Unilever.
10) Remember to have fun
“You don’t stop playing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop playing.” – Jill Wilfert, VP of Global Licensing and Entertainment of LEGO Group, in the Asking Out Loud podcast series with The New School.