We are just one week into 2017 as 200,000 people ascend on Las Vegas for the 50th year of the Consumer Electronics Show. Whilst CES has become the place for marketers to see the latest and greatest, meet with agencies and partners, and just have a good time, the real reason to attend CES is to get your innovation agenda in place for the new year.
Every marketer should adopt an innovation mandate – be it a manifesto, a framework or a roadmap. Innovation is not an accident. The best innovation is intentional. This is the difference between true innovation and ideation. Marketing innovation is separate from creative ideation. The two often get confused as the same. Innovation is the delivery of ideas that causes disruption or accelerates opportunities.
Successful innovation mandates are:
- True to a marketers’ organisation and brand
- Measurable (good or bad)
- Long-term visions with short-to-mid-term flexibility
- Supported broadly across the organisation (top down, bottom up)
- Safe zones for an organisation to push teams
- Not an accident: They are carefully designed and structured
If done right, marketing innovation removes friction, tells a story and allows for emotions to overweigh data. Sometimes you need to fire before you can aim. Innovation mandates will allow you to define the disruption opportunities (think Netflix 1.0–DVD distribution) as well as acceleration opportunities (think Netflix 2.0–content creation).
As you continue to walk the halls of CES or get enamoured by what’s in the trades this week, don’t forget that innovation is intentional. Reaching consumers in new ways and in new places is seldom achieved on just a leap of faith. Spend time analysing your innovation agenda and updating it for the new year, new gadgets, new trends and new opportunities.
At CES 2017, OMD has focused on Immersive Marketing at the OMD Oasis, an invite-only program structured to galvanise our clients, our global leadership and Omnicom friends around innovative conversations and extraordinary ideas. Learn more at ces.omd.com and follow #OMDOasis and @dougs_digs.
The prospect of returning to CES ignites in many an unmistakable sense of dread and excitement.
Each year, the square footage of the show floor creeps upwards so that there’s now over 2.5 million net square feet of exhibit space to potentially navigate through and get thoroughly immersed (or lost) in.
The act of purposeful curiosity
Each year, the predictions touting what we can expect to see start flooding our social feeds about a month out. Already I can expect to hear about driverless cars (again), different realities (virtual, augmented, and mixed), and we’ll see the latest developments in robotics and Artificial Intelligence. We’ll also see more connected devices and wearables that promise to churn out more data streams about our bodies than ever before. And of course, there will be enormous TV screens.
After all, it wouldn’t be CES without those gigantic booths containing massive, shiny, pixel-packed TV screens that would dwarf a large conference room wall. But as we scan these articles and start to pack our bags for Vegas (don’t forget your flat shoes and mobile phone portable charger), it seems to me that the most important part of going to CES is the act of purposeful curiosity. To actively and consistently question how the latest whirring and blinking gadgets affect our clients and their business goals, and whether those flashing, oddly-named devices are significantly changing the way we live and work must be our goal as we move through the many halls of the convention center.
At OMD, we believe that it is critically important to question everything that we do in order to make our clients’ marketing ever more powerful, effective, and accountable. CES represents a fantastic source of ideas and inspiration for jump-starting how to think differently about the year ahead, and so we go with an open mind and a desire for disruption. Interestingly, it’s been said CES 2017 will be another year of incremental improvements rather than grand revolution. But isn’t that the very definition of ‘innovation’ and the goal of so many marketers?
When I hear that CES is going to reveal the latest advances in Artificial Intelligence, it’s the potentially transformative impact on businesses that I’m most interested in learning about. When I read about the continued expansion of wearables and lifestyle accessories, I want to understand what this means for brand authenticity and purpose; how can I harness and blend different data sets to create the kind of value and utility that builds brand fans? And finally, when I put on yet another VR headset or see the next iteration of AR, I ask myself ‘how this is deepening the emotional connection and quality of brand storytelling?’
Take a tour
CES is only as rewarding as you make it. My advice to those venturing to CES for the first time: take a tour. Curation is key to making sense of the vastness of the various Tech Halls and it takes effort to extract the insights and lessons that will power your brand thinking in 2017. Personally, I’m putting myself in the hands in the expert curators; OMD’s Ignition Factory will guide me through the latest innovations that are changing the way we create and distribute content, so that I can then decide what are the inventions and improvements that I should weave into my clients’ future marketing and communications programs.
Ultimately, we go to CES to see things first, to stay ahead of the competition by asking the smarter questions, and we guide our clients on the innovations that matters most.
To find out more about what has OMD has planned at CES 2017, please visit CES.OMD.COM
OMD was recently crowned the most creative global network by the Gunn Report for the 10th consecutive year. The Gunn Report is the industry’s official measure of creativity and innovation. In the last year OMD has had an outstanding run, being awarded over 340 accolades in EMEA alone, of which almost 20 were for Agency of the Year.
This prestigious achievement is not only reflective of our global community but a fabulous recognition of the dedication of our teams and the great work that is being carried out in this region. The inspiration and drive that produces this great work comes from collaboration with some of the most dynamic and forward-thinking clients in the world. We would like to thank our clients, media partners, and all our employees across the region who ensure we are always asking, always thinking and always doing – the benchmarks for success in any marketing performance company.
Over the next ten weeks we will be celebrating this mighty accolade to creativity by deep diving into some of our award winning work from the last year: from McDonald’s Top Chef and John Lewis Monty the Penguin, to Disney Star Wars Rebels Alliance and Talk to Google. Each week we will showcase the innovation and creativity that validates our position as the most awarded agency in the world. This week we will lift the bonnet on the hugely successful Channel 4 Humans, a phenomenal campaign by OMD UK, which made the theme of artificial intelligence exciting and relevant to mainstream audiences, convinced people synths were real, delivered 6.1 million viewers of the first episode and gave Channel 4 their highest rated originated drama of all time.
President, OMD EMEA