The Advertising Week Europe Conference, an important industry event, wrapped up in London last week. Not surprisingly, technology in advertising – online advertising in particular – was prominent on the agenda. The industry is reaching the point where near real-time, dynamically produced, individualized digital messaging is at hand. The fuel is Big Data analytics, and the delivery channels are all things mobile. I’m guessing that many of the cutting-edge ideas discussed at this conference will be fully implemented or even considered “old school” by the time next year’s event rolls around.
I enjoyed a related LinkedIn post by Gurbaksh Chahal, chairman and CEO at RadiumOne, channeling Steve Jobs in his blog entitled “Tech and Creative: Synergy for the Future.” The content was a well-articulated assessment of the challenges marketers face today in reaching customers constantly on the move. Chahal was admonishing the big brand advertisers to get on board with the new paradigm or be left off the bus altogether.
Chahal observed, “With connected audiences everywhere, the coming together of the technology and creative industries promises great rewards for those businesses that can combine the two successfully.” Said another way, it’s all about Big Data, the customers and their online experiences.
It was interesting to me that it was the (creative) technologist throwing down the gauntlet to businesses … the big brand advertisers; you’d think they would have gotten the point long ago. This is opposite from what we hear so often; it’s the business that challenges the technologists to come over to their side to win customers and help drive growth. It appears that laggards exist in both the business and IT camps when it comes to championing closer integration.
However, there is little doubt that more technology purchases are made outside the auspices of IT; the research firm IDC expects that 80% of all such IT purchases will be made this way by 2017. This is where firms such as RadiumOne recognize that an enormous void exists. They’re there to fill it with both the platform and the software applications and tools, with companies like Peak 10 providing the backend infrastructure. The 2014 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco last month had a great deal of content directed at mobile gaming and this same SaaS infrastructure delivery model.
I have to believe at this point that the debate about IT’s evolving and essential role as business enabler is pretty much over. The transformation, however, is progressing at very uneven rates and some businesses won’t make it. Now it is more a matter of where on that continuum between implausible denial and data-driven, multi-faceted hybrid cloud each company finds itself. It’s a journey. With each innovation, each new creative company, each new cloud service, business and IT have yet another option to tailor a solution specific to their individual requirements.
The promise of cloud computing is what makes this industry so exciting; even more so when you consider it’s still in adolescence.