Judging by the Account Planning Group's recent conference, there is a fair degree of angst about what the future holds for the marketing strategist.
The APG conference had the title 'Strategy vs Robots', implying a future where strategists or planners are usurped by machines.
At the conference, delegates were relatively upbeat about how machines might augment, rather than replace, their jobs. A talk by Rushi Bhavsar, a young data scientist from Grey London, gave an insight into the kind of skills planners might need in future.
Over the past few months, we have been working behind the scenes to update and upgrade Warc's site structure. Our goal has been to make our content easier for you, our users, to find.
Today we've launched the first phase of these changes, so you should notice a few differences as you navigate around the site.
If any pages don't look quite right, press CTRL and F5, together. This will clear any old styling that might still be in place on your device.
The focus of today's changes is the Warc Index. You may not have noticed the Index – it's been a little hidden away. But it's central to the way we organise the knowledge on Warc. All the content we publish is tagged against a huge index of terms, and this helps us help you find what you need.
James Hurman, Admap columnist and founder of Previously Unavailable, has just posted his annual 'Cases for Creativity' essay. And he draws some interesting conclusions about what is 'working' in marketing.
In 'Cases for Creativity', posted on the Gunn Report, James identifies campaigns in the previous year that have won both Cannes Gold and Effie Gold.
This year there are 12 – listed below. The case studies for eight of these are already on Warc (follow the links to read the full cases).
Based on these cases, James described 2014 as 'The year of share'. "Effectiveness continues to defy media categorisation – but the one thing this diverse group of ideas do have in common is that people saw fit to share them," he commented.
I spent Tuesday this week at the IPA's Eff Fest - a conference in London that looked at different aspects of 'effectiveness'. (Watch out for a full write-up in the coming days on Warc's event reports section.)
The session I really wanted to attend was the update from #IPASocialWorks, a collaborative effort between UK trade bodies such as the IPA, the Marketing Society and the Market Research Society, with backing from several social networks. Their goal is to try to provide some guidance on how best to measure social media (and they were clear to make a distinction between 'counting' and 'measuring').
That is a topic with particular relevance for us after the launch of the Warc Prize for Social Strategy - a competition for social activity that can show business results.
This morning saw the official launch of Ad Works 21 - the book of cases from the IPA's 2012 Effectiveness Awards (which is published by Warc).
The launch was marked with a breakfast session featuring Marie Oldham, Chief Strategy Officer at MPG Media Contacts and Convenor of Judges for the awards, and David Golding, Founding Partner of Adam & Eve DDB, who talked through the Grand Prix-winning case study for John Lewis.
The start of the year is predictions time. Here at Warc we've launched our Toolkit 2013 report on the challenges of the year ahead. We've also run a slew of forward-looking pieces from around the industry.
One set of forecasts I keep an eye on each year is Deloitte's TMT (technology, media, telecoms) predictions. The report, out this week, is based on the company's own research, plus input from all over the media industry, and always makes for an interesting (and sometimes counter-intuitive) read.
Later this month, the I-COM Summits take place in Rome. I-COM (or International Conference on Online Media Measurement to give it its full title) is one the world’s biggest gatherings of online data types, and takes place every two years. Warc is a media partner, and we’ll be bringing all the key insights and arguments together in a series of reports (keep an eye on the Event Reports page).
Ahead of this year’s conference, I talked to Andreas Cohen, the event’s chairman, and asked him what the key topics of discussion would be this time round. He identified five issues he identified, which we hope to revisit after the event...
This week Warc is covering the Spikes Asia event in Singapore, a festival for the best of the region’s creativity.
event, which culminates in the Spikes awards ceremony, includes several
days of conference, bringing together Asia’s creative industries to
discuss new ideas and the best of Asian marketing.
has featured topics as diverse as whether Charles Dickens would have
tweeted (answer: almost certainly) and whether advertisers should think
more like software developers. There’s been a lot about content, and
also about participation.
New to this year’s awards line-up is the
Creative Effectiveness category (bringing the event in line with its
sister event, Cannes Lions). The category’s inaugural year brought in 34
entries – not a huge total in an event with 4860 entries, but the judges I spoke to
seemed happy with the quality.
Chris Thomas, Chairman of BBDO
Asia and the chairman of the Creative Effectiveness jury, took to the
stage on Tuesday to make the case for effective creativity.
Last week Warc Asia held its inaugural Warc Conversation event in Singapore. The goal of these informal, after-work events is to share some best practice and get people talking about some of the emerging issues in Asia’s marketing industry.
And we were lucky enough in our first session to have two particularly outspoken (and, needless to say, very experienced) panellists to help: Charles Wigley, Chairman of BBH Asia and also chair of the 2012 Warc Prize for Asian Strategy; and Tim Broadbent, Global Effectiveness Director at Ogilvy.
This week Warc is reporting from the Asian Marketing Effectiveness festival in Shanghai. Warc will be running a full conference report on the event. But as a taster, it’s worth highlighting the entertaining talk by Charles Wigley, Chairman of BBH Asia and the chairman of this year’s Warc Prize for Asian Strategy, and Rob Campbell, Regional Head of Strategy at Wieden & Kennedy.
Their theme? Five wrongheaded ideas that simply won’t go away.