Advertising Week

AWNewYork_OfficialGuide-2017

Advertising Week 10th Anniversary Official Guide

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Advertising Week: There's been a lot of talk of about what the role of the modern CMO looks like today. From your experience in that role, what does today's CMO look like? How is it different than in years past? Frank Cooper: The modern CMO is a hybrid—rooted in both science and art. One part has a deep understanding of how to drive and measure performance. The other seeks to shape perception and create positive memories that reinforce the truths about products and brands. The modern CMO is a hybrid that marries art and science in practice. AW: We're in an age of constant change, in large part because of new digital tech- nologies. What's surprised you most about your time working in digital marketing and content creation? FC: The most surprising thing for me was discovering the era of the über storyteller might be over. The storytelling language of each new platform is unique. The storytelling language of Snapchat versus Instagram versus Twitter versus LinkedIn all have fundamental differences that require specific, nuanced understanding from the storyteller. The most surprising thing for me was the rate of this shift. It's part of the accelerating change that we are experiencing in virtually every dimen- sion in life. AW: The way we communicate is no doubt changing faster than ever. What's the key to breaking through the noise and commu- nicating your brand / message / product effectively in the digital space? FC: I always believe in starting with what is true about your product, brand, people, etc. To my mind, that is a foundational element of breaking through because it is the place from which "authenticity" will flow. Equally important, I think breaking through requires less focus on splashy campaigns that establish a brand's iden- tity and more focus on building durable relationships with your customers. AW: You've said you're a believer in the power of storytelling to change the world. What's the state of storytelling today? Has it suffered or benefited from the presence of digital and technology in the media space? FC: I think we are entering another Golden Age of storytelling. While digital technologies have disrupted the old order of things, it has also opened up entirely new ways of telling stories. Stories that are primarily visual. Stories that are non-linear. Stories that invite participation of the reader or viewer. Stories that blur the line between the physical world and the digital world. All of these things are now possible, while still leaving open the possibility for more traditional communi- cations. It's a great time to be a storyteller and a marketer. AW: How has the role of 'culture' in branding changed from what it was a decade ago? FC: One of the most important shifts I see in how "culture" affects brands is the move away from brands borrowing equity through simple sponsorships to creating equity within culture. This is not just about ideas. It's about relationships. Brands now must ask whether they are viewed as members of the cultures in which they operate. They must be active participants within the cultural space and provide cul- tural currency rather than simply making withdrawals. A good deal of branding today is actually "cultural branding." AW: In your extensive experience working in the creative industry, what has been most surprising? What trends from 2017 do you hope to see more of in the future? FC: There are a few interesting trends that I see. I'm not sure they are "surprising," but they have interesting implications for how I believe things will unfold. First, I see a slow movement toward trans-disciplinary creative development. The best creative will increasingly have a feedback loop of data nudging the creative judgment of creators. Second, I think augmented reality and mixed reality will finally go mainstream. And, finally, AI and more spe- cifically machine learning will be coupled with human intuition and understanding to create new ways of engaging people in meaningful experiences with brands. •

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