Colouring outside the lines
It was the early 1900s when Richard Pearce was making one of the world’s first forays into aviation with his self-built monoplane, and by 1954, that inventive nature had taken to the water as William Hamilton developed the world’s first propeller-less boat. Come 1967, Burt Munro was setting a land speed record at Bonneville Salt Flats and in 1998 Glenn Martin was selling his jetpack to other companies (Martin Jetpack is now supported by China’s Kuangchi Science, and last year posted a financial loss).
A snapshot of those 100 years show-off New Zealand’s Number 8 Wire mentality and though the marcomms industry isn’t exactly setting speed records or reaching great heights in the sky, that thinking is ingrained in it.
I love hearing the pride you all have in New Zealand and what its industry can offer the world and when speaking to Andrew Berglund, The Warehouse Group’s ECD, he said it was the likes of Soul Machines’ AI advancements that drew him back to his homeland to work.
And looking across the pages of this issue, the idea of ‘disrupt or be disrupted’ runs through it, as Jonathan Cotton delves into the wild west of technology to see what marketers are investing in and I weigh up in-house and agency models.
The internal capabilities or organisations led us to this year include a new category in the 2018 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards: Best In-house Marketing.
Like all categories, it recognises that while we all have the tools available, it’s the thinking, planning and execution that separates the good from the great.
Once again, the NZ Marketing team had the privilege of writing up the winners’ stories and seeing inside their marketing departments to see what makes them tick and how their work has changed their business’ performance.
Those marketing departments are certainly far from the “colouring-in department” Stephen England-hall, Tourism New Zealand CEO and our Horse’s Mouth, has heard marketing be referred to, much to his frustration.
However, if a colouring-in reference is to be used, I would say marketing departments are colouring outside the lines.
Silos are coming down around the marcomms industry leading to a collision of digital, marketing, creative and design.
Last month, I attended the Adobe Symposium – a showcase of strategies for bringing together creativity and data to transform and deliver experiences – that opened my eyes to the environment in which marketers are working today. Little more than a click of a button and a campaign can be planned, constructed and launched, and for creatives, AI and VR have born new canvases to play with.
One virtual world that’s being tested is a grocery store, which had me in a headset walking around collecting food, oblivious to the people in the real world having to move out of my way. When I did bump into someone, I dropped my milk and when my natural instinct had me reaching over to clean up the mess, my real and virtual worlds collided and I felt slightly uneasy about it.
My key takeaway was the capabilities AI and machine learning have to offer. At a presentation about designing digital experiences, a question was raised about the future of calculators and chatbots.
What if instead of using a calculator, we asked a chatbot for the answer?
But not just any bot, a bot of our making. If we download our own knowledge and use machine learning to keep that knowledge expanding, our brains would be free to concentrate on other things. Scary? Weird? Cool? Necessary? Regardless of whether or not I will one day be plugging my brain into my pillow each night and waking up with a clean slate to fill, I look forward to the potential of what you will be producing and what I will be writing about in years to come.
And for now, let’s celebrate the achievements of today’s marketers and their partners.
Congratulations to all the winners of the TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards winners for 2018.