2013 challenges: Peter Biggs

2013 challenges: Peter Biggs
SHARE
THIS



Peter Biggs, chief executive at Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, shares the challenges facing the creative industry in 2013

2013 will be a year when the usual fog of war – for clients and agencies – will become more intense.
Why?

In the reception at Clemenger BBDO/Melbourne, we have a poster on the wall. It’s a quotation from the great broadcaster, Edward R Murrow, who was immortalised in George Clooney’s movie Good Night, And Good Luck: “Anyone who isn’t confused doesn’t really understand the situation.”

This seems to capture the reality of where clients and agencies find themselves in this shape-shifting, always-on world.

In the first decade of the 21st century, we have moved from a marketing environment focused on power (spend, weight and scale) to one focused on agility. The game is now not about share of share – but speed of share. The consumer now is the medium. Earned media – not owned media or bought media – is the pearl of great price.

With this in mind, all of us who lead organisations are being called upon to make the kind of lightning quick and seemingly contradictory decisions taken by Marshal Foch which won him and the Allies the pivotal Battle of the Marne in 1914 and saved Paris from the invading German army:

"My right is driven in. My centre is giving way. Impossible to manoeuvre. Situation excellent. I attack.”

The biggest challenge facing Clemenger BBDO/Melbourne in 2013 is to gear the agency, in terms of structure and culture, to not only respond to this new world – but to lead it.

We’ll have to do this running forward through dust and smoke. Even so, we can glimpse the faint shadows of what needs to drive us. And the largest and most distinct shadow is “digital”.

But what do we mean by “digital”? A large part of today’s fog of war is confusion within clients and agencies around defining digital. We all want it – and we all want to do it. But what is it? Come with me as I grope for an answer.

In order to thrive, brands need to create compelling experiences that are powered by, and made relevant through, social connections people value.

As brands seek to engage people rather than simply broadcast messages to them, digital is key. The opportunities it offers are significant but equally the challenges can be stifling, not least because the balance of power between brand and consumer has changed to the latter’s advantage.

At the heart of this new ecosystem of engagement is the need for marketers and their agencies to create strategies, customer journeys and experiences that are not just ‘liked’ but lead to genuine advocacy. This is the measure of success because nothing can compete with the persuasive power of individuals spreading brand information through their personal networks.

By advocacy, I mean going beyond an affinity with a brand to a more personal, intuitive connection with a product or service – a cause even – that you feel bonded to and passionate enough about to share with others. A brand has much more power and depth if people want to join it – rather than simply buy it. Let’s face it, a lot of the so-called doctrines of “top down” brand theory have been turned on their heads in recent years. To affect people’s behaviour we now need to understand diametrically opposite influences – mass and personal.

Broadly as a society, we are now being influenced by the wisdom of experts and the wisdom of crowds but on a more personal level, subjectively, the wisdom of friends will always be more relevant. This is the big opportunity for brands today – to work out how we improve the way we use social technologies to bring together the intelligence of people’s friends with their own beliefs. The big question, then, is this: How do we better use social networks, technologies and all the touch-points of interaction together to increase the flow of advocacy for a brand?

The brands that get this right will be judged as the ones that successfully create more valuable interactions, appealing to personal tastes and preferences. This is really all digital has to be. Simply, it needs to be useful in this context. Everything else is secondary. If you address anyone in this way, with their problems or by creating new opportunities to experience something, people will engage with the brand more.

But you cannot define a digital philosophy without also focusing on the role data plays. The key is using data to orchestrate and build engaging platforms. Think of it as the fuel that drives digital – and by this I mean it’s the behavioural proof of what people are doing in their day-to-day lives. And it’s digital’s ability to connect all the parts of our lives every second of the day, leaving a data trail from every interaction, that we can use to orchestrate and develop engagement platforms in our social and personal worlds. This is what is driving ideas. This is what is driving creativity.

But unless we have the knowledge that will enable us to make these connections, we cannot bring it all together – or integrate, if you will. These connections go to the heart of what it takes for a brand to be successful today – brands will only sell if they engage. And by “engage” we mean enter into a provocative, interesting and on-going relationship and interact in a way which makes the core brand idea even stronger and compelling for people. Ultimately, it’s about making brands more personal.

So the onus is on us – clients and agencies – to find compelling ways to earn people’s attention and, in turn, keep them engaged by giving them reasons to think more about a brand, why it’s useful and what more it can do for you.

That’s why, when it comes to digital, brand advocacy is everything. When we work from an understanding that digital is opening up ways for people to experience and express their feelings more intensely than any other medium before, the brands we own or steward will go from catch-up to leading.

So, in summary, I hope that 2013 will be a year of revelation for marketers, namely:

·         Digital is not about speed, price, being a channel or even technology. Its power lies in making things personal.

·         Advocacy isn’t a measure. It’s THE measure.

·         Digital is the spine that enables organisations to manage and nurture every interaction with their consumer, turning consumers from people who buy to people who advocate and join.

·         Digital provides the opportunity to link our storytelling to the data to create greater brand relevance and differentiation.

In 2013, we shall keep on learning that the old way of doing advertising won’t work anymore – because it has to exist in a culture of certainty and absolutes, where things are right or wrong. Today’s consumer-driven ideas culture is one of taking risks and learning from it, trying to disrupt and gaining insight from mistakes to feed into longer-term success.

2013 will be a fascinating year. Bring it on.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Rakuten Marketing Launches Consent Management Platform In Line With GDPR
  • Marketing

Rakuten Marketing Launches Consent Management Platform In Line With GDPR

Performance marketing company Rakuten Marketing has unveiled a new consent management platform (CMP) for retailers, advertisers and publishers. Compliant with the IAB Europe/Tech Lab Transparency and Consent Framework and developed to-date within a DigiTrust (now IAB Tech Lab) working group, the CMP is a proactive measure to help retailers, advertisers and publishers gain consent under […]

Five Top Tips To Improve Your UX And SEO
  • Opinion

Five Top Tips To Improve Your UX And SEO

Is your UX & SEO performing like a brattish MAFS contestant? Well, let this be the penetrative lube to their love woes.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Marc Edward Agency Snares PR Account For Cruiseco Australia
  • Marketing

Marc Edward Agency Snares PR Account For Cruiseco Australia

Experiential marketing firm Marc Edward Agency (MEA) announced the addition of Cruiseco Australia as client for its communications division. Following on from its execution of the Cruiseco 17th Annual Conference in Brisbane earlier this year, MEA has been appointed as the cruise specialist’s PR agency of record. Cruiseco CEO Amanda McClelland said: “Having demonstrated their […]

Why All Email Should Be Mobile First
  • Opinion

Why All Email Should Be Mobile First

Here's an authoritative article on email and mobile, and be safe in the knowledge it wasn't penned by any B&T staff.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
39th AWARD Awards Winners Announced
  • Media

39th AWARD Awards Winners Announced

B&T was a lucky guest at the AWARD Awards last Friday, although misread the bit about fancy dress & went as a chicken.

Women In Media Profile: Zeina Khodr
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Zeina Khodr

When B&T was offered to interview a lady named “Zeina”, we initially thought it was the warrior princess herself.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Q&A With Cannes Chairman Terry Savage
  • Advertising
  • Media

Q&A With Cannes Chairman Terry Savage

If you mistakenly thought this was an interview with Kojak's Telly Savalas, as it turns out, it's even better than that.

Optus To Phase Out Virgin Mobile Brand
  • Marketing

Optus To Phase Out Virgin Mobile Brand

Didn't much fancy that Telstra story above? Well, perhaps B&T could tempt you with this tasty Optus tickler instead.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
AKQA R&D Teams Up With Google For Semi Permanent 2018
  • Media

AKQA R&D Teams Up With Google For Semi Permanent 2018

AKQA R&D in collaboration with Google has developed a process called Somesthetic Transfer. It uses machine learning to take both the style and texture of an artwork and apply it to another image to be 3D printed with a UV printer. The works will be displayed at Semi Permanent 2018 in Sydney from Thursday 24 […]

WPP’s Health & Wellness To Unveil ‘How Design Can Save A Life” For Vivid
  • Marketing
  • Media

WPP’s Health & Wellness To Unveil ‘How Design Can Save A Life” For Vivid

Design students from Torrens University’s Billy Blue College of Design have partnered with WPP AUNZ’s Health & Wellness division to decode clinical data on ‘Medicinal Marijuana in the Treatment of Epilepsy’. Their creative solutions will be presented at a Vivid Ideas Exchange titled ‘Design can save your life: how can creativity improve comprehension of health data?’ […]

Diversity Case Study Series: The Royals
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Diversity Case Study Series: The Royals

If you read one diversity case study on B&T today, make it this one. Not that there's any others to choose from, really.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Cricket Australia Finds New Major Sponsor
  • Marketing

Cricket Australia Finds New Major Sponsor

B&T was going to insert a homage to Sherbert's classic "Howzat" here before realising it was naff and showed our age.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
PHD Wins HSBC Global Media Account
  • Media

PHD Wins HSBC Global Media Account

ICYMI, PHD has FTW the HSBC business IRL. It's not so much a LOL or NSFW, but a TL;DR. Ahh, forget the whole thing.

InMoment Accelerates APAC Expansion With Key Acquisition
  • Media

InMoment Accelerates APAC Expansion With Key Acquisition

Customer experience (CX) intelligence platform, InMoment, has expanded into Australia and New Zealand with the acquisition of customer experience agency, brandXP and appointment of Claire Fastier as its APAC business head.

Marketers Need To Focus On Voice Search Right Now
  • Opinion

Marketers Need To Focus On Voice Search Right Now

In this opinion piece, Performics Australia performance content account director Steve Robinson (pictured below) dives into the hazy relationship between marketers and voice-activated technology. From settling family disputes, (“Hey Google, are fossil fuels really made from dinosaur bones?”) to running a household, (“OK Google, add toothpaste to my shopping list”), voice-activated systems are becoming more […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SpotX Launches Online Resource Library For Publishers Seeking GDPR Guidance
  • Advertising
  • Media

SpotX Launches Online Resource Library For Publishers Seeking GDPR Guidance

Video advertising and monetisation platform SpotX has announced the launch of an online resource library for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The library can be found on the company’s website and is part of a wider educational initiative by SpotX – which is headquartered in the US and has an office in […]

Daylight Agency Opens Government Division, Hires Legal & Political Expert
  • Marketing

Daylight Agency Opens Government Division, Hires Legal & Political Expert

Integrated communications firm Daylight Agency has cemented its presence in the government and political arena with the appointment of industry veteran David Begg. A practising solicitor for over 28 years, Begg (pictured above) will head up the agency’s new government division. He has extensive experience working with large commercial clients on high-profile regulatory and legal […]

Frost Design Unveils New Look For John Holland
  • Marketing

Frost Design Unveils New Look For John Holland

Frost Design has shown off its comprehensive rebrand of iconic Australian infrastructure and property business John Holland, based around the brand idea of ‘Transforming Lives’. John Holland CEO Joe Barr said Frost was the only branding business who understood that the impact of the rebrand was just as important internally as it would be externally, […]

Women In Media Profile: Jill Johnston
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Jill Johnston

We've got an absolute cracking Women in Media profile today. Not to say it's approved by the Chiropractors' Association.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama Dance Together at the Presidents Ball
  • Media

Netflix Secures Producer Deal With The Obamas

It seems former US president Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama aren’t quite done with the international spotlight just yet. The Obamas have officially signed a multiyear deal with Netflix, which will see the power couple producing films and series with the streaming giant. According to Netflix, “The Obamas will produce a diverse […]

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad
  • Opinion

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad

One need only view our editor's hot pink leg warmers today to realise he's neither fad nor trend.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content
  • Opinion

Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content

And why is B&T running a photo of an engaged couple for this content engagement article? It was either that or a carrot.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles
  • Media

Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles

Fairfax Media has today announced the recruitment of 20 trainee journalists to join the newsrooms of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, The Australian Financial Review, Brisbane Times and WAtoday. This represents one of Metro’s largest trainee intakes in years and underlines the commitment of the mastheads to fostering a new generation […]

Sydney Australia - November 7, 2011. An extreme close up of an American express card issued by the Australian bank Westpac.
  • Media

AMEX Launches Global Media Review

Are there not enough hours in the day? Are you cheek-by-jowl with your co-workers? Well, hopefully you won't win this.