Now + Next: guest speaker panel

On Wednesday 21st May 2014, OMD UK welcomed a selection of clients, media partners and media industry figures to join us for an afternoon of insight and inspiration at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. Throughout the course of the event, we uncovered an overview of our Future of Britain research project to date, conducted a live focus group session on stage and, finally, we hosted a guest panel of pioneering industry names to discuss what the future holds for brands, media and audiences.

Our guest speakers came from all corners of the tech world, and included luminaries from start-ups, the industry press, B2B and B2C companies. They spoke on a range of topics, driven by our audience’s questions and kept in line by our fantastic host Katie Ledger. You will be able to hear what they had to say on a few of the major themes of the afternoon below. From left to right (on-screen) they are:

Harry Davis (Head of Product and Solutions Strategy, UK, Google)

Piers North (Strategy Director, Yahoo!)

Inmaculada Martinez (CEO, Swoon Media Ltd.)

Cameron Worth (Business Director, EVRYTHNG)

Mike Butcher (Editor at Large, TechCrunch)

Alex Pink (CEO, Eat Cake Media Ltd.)

Marketa Mach (Digital Consultant)

The discussion began with some brief introductions, where each presenter shared a few thoughts on the shape of media to come. The audience were then put in charge of the discussion, and the first topic to arise was that of connected media, and to what extent could media become fully trackable in the near future. Conversation ranged from the delay in tech adoption – how those in the industry can over-estimate how quick consumers are to pick up on ‘the next big thing’ – to the best ways for brands to approach an intimidating mass of media platforms and avenues. Ultimately, the discussion came around to the role of media planners in helping brands navigate an ever-changing and -fragmenting landscape that shows no sign of cohesion soon. It looks like our jobs are safe for now, then!

Watch the discussion unfold here:

Discussion of connectivity and brands’ awareness of new media gave over to a new line of debate: how can brands become early adopters, and be familiar with new platforms when (or before) consumers are? To start with, Piers from Yahoo! admits how easy it is for those in the know to evangelise new tech and the latest trends to brands, so with that in mind the conversation shifts to the difficult conversations that can take place between a good idea and a quantifiable return on investment. Tying innovation to business KPI’s, embracing innovation even when brand position is secure and attempting to ring fence a small portion of budget solely for experiementation. On the last point, Harry from Google is emphatic that brands need to respond to the results from these experiments, and scale those positive outcomes to reap the rewards.

Watch the discussion unfold here:

It seems that a major hurdle for some of our audience is getting financial sign-off for experimentation and pushing brands’ media use beyond the tradition channels, especially when those avenues yield consistent and readily understandable results. The question of how to speak the financial director’s language steered debate from adopting the language of risk management and reward – taking after venture capital fund management – to the straight-forward argument: brands need to be where their audiences are. Marketa Mach suggests building upon previous business cases; where there has been productive trailblazing in the past, marketers can use these to build a compelling case for their own pioneering ideas.

Watch this discussion unfold here:

OMD UK would like to thank all of our guests and our audience for an insightful and engaging debate, tackling a range of issues that remain vital to brands’ success in their respective markets. For more information on the content of the Future of Britain: Now and Next event, please contact [email protected].


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