Unilever Global CMO: Digital Agencies are the Creative Agencies of the Past

Keith Weed is Unilever’s Global CMO, and so one of the most influential marketers in the world. He shared his views on marketing, brands, procurement, and ad agency new business in a recent talk.

On new business: the best way to engage is to embrace change. Stay on top of all the opportunities out there: tablets, smart phones, apps, integrating with TV, social, geo-locators, gaming, etc. There is so much complexity, fragmentation and choice. An agency’s opportunity is to make it come together in an organized manner.

On brands: In a fragmented world, brands are the vehicle. Engagement with the brand is critical – in every way possible. Brands help you simplify life. Brands need to be media properties in their own right.

On long-term agency-client relationships: AOR vs. Agency Of Collaboration vs. Agency Of the Moment? Clients want innovation and insights. Long-term relationships happen with people you connect with. It’s all about the people. Conflict is healthy: it drives innovation and good work.

Digital vs. traditional agencies: Digital agencies are the creative agencies of the past for very long-term relationships.

On procurement: Too many marketers are hiding behind procurement. They’re getting efficiency at the expense of creativity and innovation. They want the best for the least cost, but creativity is not a commodity.

On technology: How does your agency meld technology and marketing? At Caan, we created an interactive ice cream machine. You smiled into a camera built into the machine. If your smile was genuine enough (determined by software), you got a free ice cream, and your photo was uploaded to the Web. 6,000 people did it!


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