Cristina Barranco on the importance of AI in the future of our industry
5 February 2020

After a 12 year tenure at OMD, followed by 5 years at competitor agencies, Cristina Barranco has returned to OMD as Spain’s Managing Director. Last week she spoke to La Vanguardia about the importance of AI in marketing going forward. At OMD, we are aware that consumer interactions must be meaningful and bespoke. Cristina discusses the development in technology and data allowing increased efficiency in communication, encouraging permanent connection with consumers. Please see below for a translation of the article.


Let’s start, if you like, briefly reviewing your professional career;

Cristina: When I review my career, I like to think of “connecting dots” or connection points that suddenly make sense of what your life has been. And in my case, my time at the London School of Economics was key to deciding that I wanted to dedicate myself to marketing and everything related to knowing and connecting better with a consumer. Right there I started working at Monster UK, a pure player Digital in search of employment and candidates, to later join OMD where I grew up professionally and spent 12 years of my life. In the last five years, before my “return home”, I have gone through two large media and communication agencies, where I have dedicated myself to transforming and growing both companies.


It may also be interesting to inform readers in which areas of communication a great company like yours develops its work especially.

Cristina: We are dedicated to establishing relevant connections with consumers, we help our clients understand what their marketing / media mix should be based on their audiences, we advise them on where they should plan and invest to connect with them and of course we manage that planning to finally measure the return on investment you are generating. Each time our job is to help clients in the end to end process.


What changes do you think has caused the emergence of new technologies in the marketing and advertising sector?

Cristina: Without a doubt technology has favourably affected many areas. But the most fundamental has been in the way in which the consumer relates to the media and therefore to the brands. Thanks to technology we are permanently connected, and therefore, subject to many messages, content or advertising. This makes the attention time of a consumer less and less, and for brands it is more complicated to attract their attention.


How he has influenced this new “scenario” technology in the activity creative?

Cristina: In a tremendously positive way. I think that if we take this as an opportunity, creativity has a fundamental role in the new way of marketing. Not only from the point of view of the traditional advertising message (In the form of a TV spot, where we also have to be increasingly creative and connect) but because new ways have emerged for brands to connect with the consumer in which the Creativity has a fundamental role: branded content being one of them, but also native advertising or digital advertising, purely based on consumer data and knowledge. If we take advantage of all this from the field of creativity, this industry still has a lot to teach.


We will continue to see technological developments that will allow us to increase the efficiency of communication thanks to the data.

How has the relationship of brands with consumers been transformed in recent years?

Cristina: The relationship has gone from being “one to many” to being “one to one”. Before, when the brand launched a massive message that was enough, now the consumer is much more demanding, demands brands with purpose and demands messages that connect with him. We are in a much more demanding environment where we need to work on mass customization, reach a lot of people, but in a personalized way, that’s why as I said creativity has a lot to do with this.


Increased access to information by consumers has also increased their demand towards brands. What do you think are your main demands?

Cristina: Marks with purpose, with a mission and that are really consistent with your message.


How do you imagine the near future of the advertising sector?             

Cristina: We will continue to see technological developments that will allow us to increase the efficiency of communication thanks to the data. We will move from a data- driven model to a predictive model where we can help brands anticipate consumer needs. The voice will continue to revolutionize this year the way brands and consumers connect. In addition, artificial intelligence is not far at all and will continue to change the rules of the game.


How are you preparing for new challenges ahead?

Cristina: While all this has been happening, we have understood that our role transcends and must transcend pure intermediation. For years we offer customers many more services that accompany the purchase of media, not only accompany it but also make it much more efficient: we work from strategies to measuring campaigns, through omnichannel planning, where the digital ecosystem (programmatic purchase, technology etc) has a fundamental role. Content marketing, eCommerce and data science and marketing analytics are some of the services we offer. That is why we have been preparing our structure and talent for some time to become a true value advisor for our clients. We understand that our role has to go there, and we have integrated and agile structures that make this model possible.  



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