The digital economy is the economy. The pace of change is relentless. Customers don’t buy brands anymore, they join brands. Those that accept change and embrace it the most within our industry are the only ones that are going to survive. The digital economy to us is simply the economy. It used to be a discipline within our agency, now digital is everything. Digital transformation means that we can change the way that people experience our brands like never before. You can think of the role of advertising now almost as one of service design. Our role is to ensure that the brands appear to consumers at the right moment, in the right context and at the right time. And that’s why we’ve moved away from a model of a broadcast to one of experience. In an age of utter transparency, businesses that never had to connect with their customers before are looking for a partner that can reach out to their customers in a way that’s more precise and more humanly relevant than ever before. It’s very much about how are we completing an omnichannel experience in a way that fundamentally helps their business not just their brand.
The Digital Economy
Think about Apple & Amazon. Every piece of product they launch and services, they all have complementary value and create such an ecosystem, harder for consumers to switch to a competitor. The great thing about the digital economy is; everything is measurable, so we’ve got to prove our effectiveness in more ways that show our value to our clients. The great thing about the digital economy and all of the limitless opportunities that present is that it means that there are really no boundaries to creativity. The digital economy has evolved in the last few years specifically around creativity because of consumer participation. There has become the realization that science can inform art, I think data can inform creative and as we gather more and more insights and more and more data points from our key partners; Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, we’re able to more scientifically inform what our creative strategy should look like.
We’ve always talked about audiences and audience’s interactions with media. The ability to now control for that more tightly, to narrowcast into specific audiences and using data, understanding their context in order to deliver a very salient message. We used to look at a very traditional creative brief that had a certain communications output, now we’re looking more at user journeys that encompass the entire user experience. For us, it’s about bringing the moments of inspiration and commercial interaction closer together. Something we call brand commerce. One example of brand commerce we’ve created is a VR shopping experience. So imagine you are sitting in the front row of a fashion show. If you like an item, you just simply tap on the side of the headset and it adds it straight into your shopping basket. So there you’re going from a moment of inspiration and a brand experience, directly to a transaction. In order for us to create easy and simple solutions for our clients, we need to bring the best parts of Dentsu Aegis Network together in curated teams specifically to help solve their business challenges.
The Digital Economy
The whole way that we’re set up as a business is to have pockets of specialties and pockets of experts around the network. What really sets us apart from our peers is that we can pull on all of that expertise at the same time. We look at ourselves often as conductors, we orchestrate a number of different parties around clients, so that we’re able to offer the best possible service and solution. For me, Dentsu Aegis Network is uniquely positioned with complimentary capability across the network. We can solve three problems for our clients: first, we can help our clients acquire new customers using media capability, brand experiences and commerce, secondly we can use data & CRM to retain the customer that we acquire for them, third but not least, we can harness the data we capture to create new products & services for our clients to capture new customer markets.
I think the next five years are going to be this constant state of change and I think that for us the future is very much the merging of transactional-based selling with more branded-based emotional selling and I think the sweet spot is in the middle of those two things. I think data will be a new currency and if a company cannot adapt to ‘test and learn’, quickly launch products and services to the market, those are the ones who will be left behind. We’re in a good place. We’re on the front foot, certainly versus our peers in achieving that 100% digital economy and the next three to five years will be incredibly interesting.