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Trust Creative-Bred Agencies to Lead the Way


Rik Ledder, CEO of TBWA\NEBOKO unpacks how digital has changed the advertising industry forever and why CMOs need to understand technology to find new ways of solving marketing challenges

Trust Creative-Bred Agencies to Lead the Way

Everything changed. 

The way we shop. The way we interact with brands. What we expect – no – demand from brands. It’s all been upended. 

Digital already changed the way our industry does pretty much everything, but there’s nothing like a global pandemic to accelerate behavioural change at light speed. E-commerce literally, and figuratively, kept brands alive during the last couple of years. And many consumers now don’t want to engage with a brand in any other way. It’s been digital-first for years. But now it’s digital first, second and third. 

So marketing and IT are merging to deliver a total experience. This total experience is what customers are demanding and it’s what they now expect.

That means we need to change the way we operate. Marketing and tech can no longer be separate. The digital/always-on world we were used to, has now become a total experience world that includes delivery, retail and supply chains. 

It means we have to see IT and marketing as one and bring those two functions together under a CMO who really gets tech. This is how we’ll answer customer demand. 

Leading online retailers are killing it by doing exactly this. Marketing and technology working as one to nail customer experience and drive brand loyalty. And take note if you’re a CMO with a traditional brick-and-mortar background – this is not the future, this is already the new normal. 

New solutions for new challenges 

CMOs need to look at new ways of solving ‘marketing’ challenges. They need to understand IT at a deep level and get that things are probably not going to be solved by the usual suspects. 

How those challenges are solved depends on who’s doing the solving. One team might bring you a tech solution, one might bring you a production solution. It all depends on their DNA. 

At TBWA\NEBOKO, developing creative-led solutions has been wired into us from the beginning. And it’s how we’ll solve these new challenges too. 

Build outward from the creative solution 

Brands are still built by creativity – crazy, big ideas and experiences that stick and make an impact. These get people engaging with you, staying with you and buying from you. Through all the recent change, this remains constant. Always has. Always will. 

This is just one reason why TBWA\X, our digital customer experience agency, is key for us. Focusing on the total customer experience from a digital/IT perspective gives us the edge in developing creative-led solutions. 

Our heritage builds confidence and trust. It’s how TBWA\NEBOKO has built a relationship with a leading retailer, one that’s so strong that our CCO and their CMO talk 20 times a day to bounce left-field ideas off each other – pushing each other to develop creative-led, tech-centric solutions to every challenge.

But our creative-led solutions are not just crazy, wild guesses. We use all the data we help collect to create insights that inform effective creativity. Creative-led solutions based on solid insight will win every time. 

And this is exactly the kind of ‘out-there thinking’ we’ve been pioneering for more than 20 years. 

That experience of developing creative-led solutions, that creative intuition, that’s something you can’t just buy in. No matter how many great creatives you bring in to steer your consultancy. 

So, wherever the world heads next, creative-led solutions developed by creative-led agencies with a strong tech core will always thrive. And we’re very proud that we are one of the best at doing just that.

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TBWA\NEBOKO, Mon, 13 Jun 2022 11:42:30 GMT