Born: London to Italian parents
Worked in: London
Describe an innovative idea or business solution of which you are most proud. I conceived, commissioned and now run Initiative’s global CODE program or Creating Order in the Digital Era. CODE is a far-reaching venture, and is Initiative’s method of strategically integrating digital and emerging media into traditional planning. Initiative’s clients, through CODE, benefit from efficient and accountable digital era strategies built around more engaged, personalized and meaningful relationships between customers and brands. As a system, CODE is unique as it is comprised of a human community of deCODErs, or experts and enthusiasts in technology and new media whom I recruited from Initiative’s offices around the world. Together, the deCODErs form a 70-strong multinational team, coming together via the CODE Portal, our hybrid online social network and center for sharing, for which I’m also responsible. Here the deCODErs pool their research, case studies, best practice advice and links to articles on everything from Advergaming to Zapping. Via the CODE Portal, we collaboratively identify, monitor and analyze developments in technology and new media. We develop points of view on the latest hot topics and consumer trends, then gauge their impact on marketing communications.
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? People rarely get into trouble for playing it safe with traditional approaches. Experimentation by its very nature involves risk, so encouraging people to move budgets from “safe bets” to something untested is a challenge. This is exacerbated when people think that their country is not as digitally fast-moving as the U.K., the U.S. or Japan. We overcome this by immersing our clients and staff in new technology, while showing them evidence of new behaviors with supporting data and local insight.
Dictionary definitions aside, how would you characterize innovation in the work you do? I realize that innovation doesn’t stay innovative for long.