Highlights – 2016, an Exciting Time for Marketing Innovation

Last week’s exclu­sive con­tent on focused on many of the chal­lenges and changes mar­keters will face in 2016. As digi­ti­sa­tion becomes increas­ing­ly more impor­tant to reach­ing con­sumers who are immersed in a dig­i­tal world, brands will face chal­lenges in how to best approach new tech­nol­o­gy. Many com­pa­nies still face the chal­lenge of mak­ing the shift to dig­i­tal, and this often involves both the inher­ent hes­i­ta­tion to adopt some­thing new and the vary­ing per­cep­tions dif­fer­ent team mem­bers bring to the table. Over­all, 2016 looks to be an excit­ing time for mar­ket­ing innovation.

Begin­ning the week, Dave Chaf­fey, Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Author, Con­sul­tant, and Train­er with Smart Insights, out­lined some impor­tant con­sid­er­a­tions for dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, espe­cial­ly as an organ­i­sa­tion strives to keep ahead of the com­pe­ti­tion. Chaf­fey dis­cussed the grow­ing role of the chief dig­i­tal offi­cer posi­tion in many organ­i­sa­tions that are going through dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion. He shared a report that found that com­pa­nies who didn’t employ a ded­i­cat­ed dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion offi­cer were at a com­pet­i­tive dis­ad­van­tage. Chaf­fey also shared some impor­tant infor­ma­tion about com­pli­ance with EGDR as well as some of the more sig­nif­i­cant plat­form changes for 2016 that mar­keters need to discuss.

Peter Markey, CMO of UK Post Office, shared the recent trend of brands rely­ing less on agen­cies and doing more of their mar­ket­ing in-house. This has been the result of com­pa­nies hav­ing more con­trol over their own data and analy­sis. In the U.S., accord­ing to the Asso­ci­a­tion of Nation­al Adver­tis­ers, the num­ber of brands with in-house agen­cies rose from 16% in 2008 to 58% in 2013. The ben­e­fits of mov­ing away from out­sourc­ing for brands means bud­get sav­ings as well as a clos­er con­nec­tion to cus­tomers. Markey shared the way agen­cies are tak­ing up more of a con­sul­tant role in order to main­tain relevance.

Anoth­er impor­tant con­sid­er­a­tion for mar­keters in 2016 is the public’s increas­ing inter­est in vir­tu­al real­i­ty. Hen­ry Stu­art, CEO of VR pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny Visu­alise, believes that 2016 will be the year that gamers break the bar­ri­ers to oth­er con­sumers adopt­ing the tech­nol­o­gy. VR’s appeal for mar­keters lies in the abil­i­ty to con­nect with con­sumers and trans­port­ing them into a whole new expe­ri­ence. Many brands, such as the New York Times and London’s Nat­ur­al His­to­ry Muse­um, have been exper­i­ment­ing with VR to test the pos­si­ble ben­e­fits. How­ev­er, how to best approach mar­ket­ing in VR will be a test of time.

Last week’s inter­view with Jere­my Bas­set, head of Unilever Foundry, focused on his company’s role in pio­neer­ing the future in mar­ket­ing. Bas­set dis­cussed the rapid rate of change in the mar­ket­ing and adver­tis­ing sec­tors and how Unilever Foundry was born as a way to keep ahead and put star­tups at the heart of the company’s inno­va­tion. The com­pa­ny works with brands to dis­cov­er prob­lems brands are try­ing to solve, then they look to find inno­v­a­tive star­tups to help address those prob­lems. Bas­set shared many of the lessons his com­pa­ny has learned through this process.

The week end­ed with Ross Sleight, Chief Strat­e­gy Offi­cer at Somo who ref­er­enced a piece of research from Adobe based on sur­vey results from mar­ket­ing and IT deci­sion mak­ers into how they’re using mobile today. The report high­light­ed the need to embrace the adop­tion of mobile but Sleight goes fur­ther in say­ing that mobile needs to be at the heart of a company’s brand struc­ture. Many com­pa­nies are still nav­i­gat­ing the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion waters and inter­nal fric­tion is often a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge. Sleight encour­ages the dif­fer­ent teams with­in an organ­i­sa­tion to be in con­stant dia­logue and devel­op a shared vision for mobile strategy.

We’re deep in the plan­ning stages for Adobe Sum­mit EMEA 2016. Once again I’ll be man­ag­ing the Mar­ket­ing Inno­va­tions Track. We had some remark­able speak­ers last year and are look­ing for tal­ent­ed indi­vid­u­als to join us in May to “inspire the audi­ence, spark cre­ativ­i­ty, and dri­ve inno­va­tion” by shar­ing their insights and expe­ri­ences in help­ing their organ­i­sa­tions achieve mar­ket­ing suc­cess. If you’d like to speak at the Mar­ket­ing Inno­va­tions Track this year or nom­i­nate some­one else to speak, please email me.

We hope you’ll take some time to read and engage with our exclu­sive con­tent on and please let us know what you think.