Cannes at the Speed of Data

Mark Young, Former Contributor

Cannes Lions was in full force again last week. Featuring some of the top advertisers and marketers from across the globe, it’s an event I look forward to every year. And while it’s taken me a little longer than usual to type out my thoughts, they’re worth sharing nonetheless.

Key Takeaways: Empathy & Movement

It was hard to move past all of the discussion surrounding the tragedy in Orlando, Trump, Brexit and general uneasiness about the world and what the industry can collectively due to help. I sat in several sessions, discussion panels, and coffee chats about what we can collectively due to improve the state of empathy in the world.

Among the thousands of people in attendance, it was great to see Lisa Sherman and the AdCouncil in attendance; realize now that we need them more than ever to help organize and create content that helps drive social change. Was also lucky enough to sit with Christiana Sorrell and Alex Da Kid on an amazing effort they’re working on to bring Empathy through Artists, Celebrities called Bleach Your Brain.

If and when you have a chance to attend one of these sessions, please do. Lend your talent to the effort.  If we all give some of our time, talent, software, media, dollars to the cause, I do believe we can make a difference. We’ve seen it with the AdCouncil and I believe collectively we can put our competitive nature to use for good.

From Insights to Action & Results

I was struck by how fast our part of the business has moved, in a great direction.  Last year at Cannes, I found most clients and agencies were still talking about “insights” asking, “how can we get to insights faster?”

By the time the ANAs rolled around in October, the discussion was around “actionable insights,”; I was very happy we at Sysomos were able to acquire Expion to begin to execute on that goal. And now, just shy of six months later, we’ve built on that – now talking about “actionable insights that drive business results.”

The Focus on Paid, Earned, and Owned Media

Conversation after conversation (including those for social good aforementioned above), I found myself talking about how can we show, in near real time, how our efforts across paid, earned, and owned media are driving our goals and results.

For paid media, the asks were largely around immediate feedback on action: cost per click, cost per subscriber, cost per sale, etc.  This is not to say that branding isn’t important – it very much is. For owned and earned, clients are interested in seeing if their brand attributes are moving in desired direction, and of course if the efforts were driving sales, tune ins, visits, etc.

I was lucky to show some new products and services that we’re working on for Q3 (won’t give it all away here…), as well as how we’re doing that across paid, earned, and owned channels. Overall, the pace of change and the need for results has never been stronger and I’m happy to be at Sysomos, where we’re excited about leading some of these efforts with our great partners and customers.

Very much look forward to seeing how this discussion progresses at ANA in a few months… If one thing is certain, it will have evolved again!

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