In three weeks, I’m headed off to Lions, France to attend Cannes Lions for the first time. It’s MediaMath’s fifth year sponsoring the event as a global company with deep roots in EMEA.
The Lions festival serves as a celebration of creativity, a term laden with traditional connotations such as beautiful TV commercials and innovative advertising ideas. But here’s the thing: creativity is bigger than spectacular ad creative. I was asked recently in a media interview if “creativity matters” in the new world of the data-driven CMO. “Yes,” was my answer in short-form, because creativity is as much about innovating in the face of change—thinking differently to solve problems—as anything else. Our world of programmatic and the world of “creativity” that Lions embodies are not oxymoronic at all—they have the capacity to be partners. Data and technology, when used wisely, and in concert, can breed more meaningful connections between marketers and their customers, transcending the bounds of individual channels or devices to deliver more customized content and experiences across the customer lifecycle.
Now more than ever C-level marketers are tasked with wisely choosing the best technology investments for their businesses. And here, too, MediaMath’s presence at Cannes Lions is obviously important: we, along with other technology giants like IBM and Oracle and technology innovators like Rubicon, create an interconnected web that marketers should leverage to achieve their business goals. As omnichannel media management, goal-based marketing and the convergence of paid and owned media become more important to marketers’ success, this ecosystem becomes the foundation for unearthing new ideas, testing new processes and investigating new tools and services.
I, personally, am attending Cannes as an opportunity to connect with a high concentration of innovators, thought leaders and progressive customers and partners in the space. It’s a special thing to get all these great minds in one place, and to conduct meaningful, forward-thinking conversations and engage in non-traditional modes of problem-solving. There’s still a wide variety of programmatic adoption and maturity across the marketer and agency landscape, and Cannes is a great opportunity for us to both educate, and learn from, each other on what smart, sophisticated programmatic marketing looks like. In fact, we’re explicitly creating those opportunities for marketers and agencies through facilitated discussions throughout the week. I like the idea of connecting marketers of different backgrounds and adoption curves to learn from and work with one another. Cannes provides an inspiring setting for that by doing what marketers aim to do—create human connection through value, meaning and beauty.
We are proud to be an innovator and pioneer in the Cannes space, continuing to support the ever-growing community that comes together every year in the south of France to connect, learn and imbibe rosé. I hope to clink glasses with you there.