The marketing community is at the beginning of a journey. A journey towards a world underpinned by technology and data to power the communications of the future.
Many seem concerned this will leave the industry devoid of creativity and big ideas but I'm of the complete opposite perspective; creative use of technology and data will become the propellers behind meaningful connections between brands and people.
Marketing has become increasingly focused on building meaningful experiences and relationships and technology facilitates that far better than the broadcast media we have all grown up with. The growth of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Snapchat demonstrate clearly how technology has changed the way we communicate and share as people and communities.
As Rupert Murdoch said a few years back, none of us can say with confidence that we know what the biggest company in the world will be in 2020. It's for this reason that I’m a great believer in backing future talent. The start-up community in London is vibrant and diverse but has yet to produce a game changing success story like the US. However, the work that B2Brand accelerator, Collider, is doing to assess and coach start-ups in the ad tech space has a better chance than any of producing one of these in time.
Collider promotes partnerships between start-ups and brands, helping them find their first clients and increase future revenue. It zones in on disruptive start-ups that can provide commercial value to brands and immediately coaches them to think about aligning themselves with the objectives of the marketing community.
There are now a breadth of accelerators in London's Tech City but Collider's unique offering of funding, coaching and introductions to brands is smart. With an access to large and progressive brands and founding members like Unilever and Diageo, Collider is well set up for the future and we’re already seeing success stories flourish from within the Collider stable including Seenit – helping brands and organisations create video with their audiences and Miappi – bringing social media together all in one place.
In my opinion the marketing community (brands, agencies and media owners) has in general been slow to acknowledge the transformative impact that start-up businesses will have on the industry. It’s for this reason that I have chosen to invest in Collider and hope to act as a lighthouse for others within the industry to follow suit. Perhaps I have more confidence in the future than others with my background in digital, but this still represents a bet on the future – it’s a risk but one that I am confident will pay back on every level.
Our industry is undergoing radical transformation and many of the practices of the past will be superseded by smarter, more effective routes to market and measurement.
Marketing and the industry is in desperate need of disruption and I for one am an advocate of any organisation looking to channel disruption in to a positive force. Collider is certainly one of those organisations and I would encourage others to get involved and help define the future rather than be swept away by it.