Born: Salisbury, Wilshire, England
Worked in: London, New York
Describe an innovative idea or business solution of which you are most proud. I am most proud of “fast tracking” the two most critical elements of future communications, digital and retail, on behalf of my clients. Unless both channels are put at the very center of a business strategy, neither client nor agency will have a future!
Why do people see you as an innovator? My role is to understand what’s on the horizon and to insure that my clients’ communications are “future-proof.”
What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy today? Innovation has to be at the heart of communications; it cannot be some bolt-on stunt once the TV campaign has been booked. Traditional media, alone, has stopped working. It’s critical to fully embrace the digital era — both in on-line and in new ways of doing traditional media. For example, the 30-second TV spot may no longer be fit for purpose, but a creative advertiser-funded program has the potential to achieve genuine engagement. Our industry is changing; we’re now all in the content business.
What are biggest challenges you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? National barriers still exist when selling even great ideas. It’s essential to present a watertight business case if you want 40+ countries to adopt a program. Of course, one needs to build partnerships with local clients and agencies, as well as media owners, to find mutually beneficial solutions. Unless everyone wins, great innovations won’t see the light of day.
Internationalist Trvia: The best client servicing training I ever got was working as a special-effects painter in NYC.