LAS VEGAS: Marketers have a "long list" of tasks to accomplish in order to consistently deliver the type of content required to engage today's consumers, a leading executive from Nissan, the automaker, has argued.

Roel de Vries, Corporate Vice President/Global Head of Marketing and Brand Strategy at Nissan, discussed this topic during a panel held by advisory group MediaLink at CES 2017.

"We need to get much closer to media owners," he said. (For more details, read Warc's exclusive report: Nissan changes quickly to new content model.)

"We need to change agency structures. We need to change the way we allocate budgets. So there's a long list of things to do. And sometimes my fear is that we are not going fast enough, because we are all trying to hang on to the old model.

"And we try to hang on to the old model because we are very nervous about whether we have the skills and the capabilities to really open up and to jump into the new world."

Pursuing such disruptive change is "uncomfortable" for members of the marketing ecosystem, he continued, as consumers are increasingly in control of how, when and where brand messages are received.

"Now, the marketing job is becoming real, whereas in the past, maybe, it was a little bit easy, because we went to … networks and you just send it to everybody," de Vries said.

"The job is [coming] back to us to actually go and find our customers at the time they listen to us, and figure out what they want to listen to."

Nissan's efforts to thrive in this rapidly evolving universe include creating a Global Media Centre to formulate in-house content, and a ‘Nerve Centre’, driven by its agencies, which tracks content distribution and effectiveness.

Looking forward, however, de Vries suggested the marketing industry remains in its "absolute infancy" when it comes to the level of progress that will ultimately be required.

"In my view the consumer is ahead of us. The world of the consumer has got quite simple. Our world has become very complex, and we've got a catch-up job to do," he said.

Data sourced from Warc