AOL Hosts an Evening of Disruption with Publicis Groupe at CES
On Tuesday night, AOL hosted a thought-provoking content program for a group of 300+ Publicis Groupe agency executives and clients gathered at CES.
Christian Kugel, AOL VP of Consumer Research Analytics presented IDEA SHIFT: Human Insights into How Tech Disrupts Marketing, followed by a panel discussion with Publicis agency executives, Mark Renshaw, Chief Innovation Officer for Leo Burnett; Jeff Lanctot, Chief Media Officer for Razorfish; and Kurt Unkel, President of the VivaKi Nerve Center.
In his welcome address for the evening, AOL’s new Head of Agency & Industry Relations, Jack Bamberger, set the tone by thanking Publicis for its partnership and stating: “At AOL, we challenge the ordinary and strive for the extraordinary.”
Kugel began by observing that most marketers can agree that emerging technologies like DVRS, tablets and streaming media have and will fundamentally change the way we do business. And what better place to reflect on those changes, than at CES, where thousands of new gadgets, TVs, and businesses launch every year?
Yet, Kugel points out, “As a result of these new technologies, consumers are constantly connected. Our research shows that when consumers buy a tablet, they don’t use their smartphone any less. These experiences are additive.”
At the end of the day, it’s only marketers who feel disrupted – consumers now have even more opportunities to discover and engage with content and brands. Over the last year, AOL has invested in dozens of primary research studies – from the Explor Award-winning 7 Shades of Mobile to the most recent Short-Form, Big Impact video study – and consistent themes emerged with deep implications for marketers.
Kugel closed by challenging the group, “What is your learning agenda for 2013? And how can AOL partner with you?”
Following the presentation, Mark Renshaw, Jeff Lanctot and Kurt Unkel took the stage to discuss the implications of the research and what they’re doing in their businesses to meet the challenges presented.
Pointing out a need for a shift in thinking, Renshaw said, “We should stop talking about mobile as a channel. My kids don’t think they’re being ‘mobile’ when they’re using their tablets or smartphones. It’s about telling stories.”
Unkel agreed, “With so many outlets to fail, the key is to have a smart idea. Understand where the truths are and make sure they’re threaded cohesively.”
One theme that came up multiple times was the challenge of brands as publishers. Lanctot shared an example of Weight Watchers’ “I’m Only Human” campaign. Each brand must decide when they should publish content and when and how best to partner. In an interesting debate over “paid, owned and earned,” Renshaw pointed out, “That’s an outcome, not a strategy.” Unkel observed that even non-traditional marketers are getting into publishing and starting to realize they’re sitting on valuable content.
To truly put the human insights back into the marketing mix, however, Renshaw called for an “EU of insights, a standard currency so that we can make more intelligent decisions.”
Kugel asked each of them how they were meeting the challenge of managing resources in changing times. Unkel discussed VivaKi’s incubator and how they’re looking at compensation as a function of value creation vs. COGs. Renshaw’s group is focused on creating even more customized content, but with more scalable solutions. And Lanctot talked about Razorfish’s new Co-Lab initiative to develop new ad formats with partners.
If you’d like to learn more about IDEA SHIFT: Human Insights into How Tech Disrupts Marketing, please join us for our webinar on January 23rd at 1pm ET. Register Today.