Marketing strategy conversations happen between CMOs and business leaders all of the time, especially at trade shows. Recently, Cannes Lions saw brands, agencies, technology partners and media companies converge on the French Riviera. And while Cannes is an annual tradition for many, there are several trends that set this year’s event apart from every previous one. Here are my top three.
Innovative Ads Need to Deliver Real Value
Mobile is the first screen for consumers. According to comScore, 70% of all media consumption occurs on mobile devices. And as traditional linear TV viewing shifts to OTT, smartphones and tablets, that 70% will only continue to grow. The change has had a huge impact on consumer expectations. The bar for engaging ad experiences has been raised, which means marketers and their partners need to talk about those demands at Cannes.
Avon, Macy’s and Sun Life are just some of the brands taking action.
Ad format innovation is key, now and in the year ahead. From programmatic VR to 3D ads, these opportunities deliver impressive interactivity and branding that will spearhead a new experience economy for consumers and advertisers. However, these campaigns must be relevant and customized. Brands should think about how to complement the consumer’s experience and not interrupt it, while delivering a new kind of utility. This marketing strategy will manifest via new formats that help consumers discover, interact and transact with brands.
It’s Not Just Storytelling, But Getting Your Story Heard
Brands and agencies want to create content that's data-driven, entertaining and, most importantly, actionable. Still, fewer than half of marketers are actually using insights to inform branded content creation so that it hits the mark with their audiences.
Surprised? We know this needs to change.
With programs like The Earthrise Project and Partner Collection, brands and their agency partners can put data to work, align with high-quality content and use diverse distribution channels to make sure we move beyond basic storytelling to ensure a brand’s message is truly heard.
Brand Trust Is the Best Capital
We know that brands matter and trust matters, for consumers and marketers. Brands have understandably called for change to an ad supply chain that has been too murky and opaque for too long. On the agency side, we’re seeing more clarity in spend and fees, while vendors are delivering programmatic in more well-lighted exchanges that offer greater insight into inventory, measurability and data.
Similarly, publishers have implemented fixes like ads.txt, while also taking broader steps to ensure brand-safe environments for partners. Trust in brands, or brand love, is more important than ever. Those who consistently raise the bar win the most consumer attention, trust and growth.
At Cannes, agencies, vendors and publishers alike highlighted the improvements made driving greater trust and transparency. This marketing strategy will engender more confidence among marketers and benefit the industry, at large.
Cannes is a moment to take stock in what the industry is doing successfully. And where it needs to go. Trust and accountability will be central to the conversation. It’s what advertisers are demanding, and consumers want it, too. Along with real value from the campaigns they see and interact with.