The Future of Marketing, as Seen at Cannes Lions - Harvard Business Review

This article from the Harvard Business Review is a great review of what the advertising industry is dealing with as it attempts to disrupt itself and remain relevant and engaged with potential consumers.  That said, there is far more subjectivity, these days, to what is considered a "quality" campaign.  This years Cannes Lions proved that point.

That said, what Cannes did show us is that even the most irreverent advertising can be successful.  HBR points out how:

There are a few things that brands can do to take advantage of the emergence of these new open-system species.

1. Adapt your business models to exploit new opportunities rather than try to apply your existing one. As discussed, open-system species are agile in part because they see opportunities and create new models to go after them.

2. Take more control. It used to be that brands needed an agency to communicate with customers. Today, with the falling price of media and the real time nature of the two-way conversation with consumers, brands can do more of this themselves. Some of the best-known brands including Patagonia and Apple are building their own in-house strategic agencies, taking control of strategic and creative leadership while using an open system to collaborate with great outside talent. Those brands realize that one of their most important assets is their relationship with consumers. There will still be a place in the ecosystem for lots of players and collaboration, including agencies, but brands increasingly can take the lead.

3. Seek out great ideas wherever they are. Companies and their brands need to get away from idea myopia, the notion that one outside organization, usually an agency, must be the sole creator of marketing ideas. Not only do your most passionate fans have great ideas and the tools to communicate them but there are ideas to be found from retailers, distributors and other outside partners. Likewise, internal team members have some of the best creative ideas but are sometimes afraid to participate.