Elvis has left the building

by Toon Diependaele - March 16, 2015

David Sable, CEO of Y&R Global, was in Belgium earlier this month for the UBA Trends Day presentation and discussion about the changing landscape in our industry.

Digital has changed our work environment dramatically – and this is only the beginning. From commerce to conversations, from going everywhere to never being lost, from doing anything to being anything: our customers are only a gesture away from it all.

It’s easy to overlook just how easily Belgians are embracing this new reality. We might not be cutting edge, but we are in the leading pack for multiscreen usage, digital TV adoption and online social activities.

In line with our way of working, David’s presentation was thought provoking. He questioned if the digital evolution and the way we, as marketers, use this has delivered a new form of consumer connection.

This is the essence of the new reality of digital – even if some found the description a bit provocative. We are proud of the creativity and ingenuity of the work we do for our customers and applaud the work of our colleagues. However, this creativity is always restrained by the boundaries of the channel.

While preparing for the UBA Trends Day we jokingly discussed what makes Belgium famous. Our answers are chocolates, Hercule Poirot and Tin Tin. How do others perceive us? We believe the answer is quality, craftsmanship and storytellers. Connecting the two – what you are and how you are perceived – in a profitable way is where the challenges lies for us as your business partner.

This challenge becomes an opportunity by embracing four big trends.

1. Step away from Digitbabble ®
It’s time to stop using digital, social and mobile lingo that creates the illusion of something new, never seen before or radically different. In many ways, our way of doing business hasn’t changed. We are still here to attract and trigger customers to try our products and services. We want to develop existing relationships to improve brand loyalty. It’s time to focus on what really matters: building the connection.

2. Meet Generation World®
Today’s generation of consumers do not define themselves by the usual demographics and they often have more in common with people around the world than with their next door neighbour. It’s great to see this in action, especially agelessness where a recent survey showed a 40% overlap in the favourite artists amongst 60 year olds and 13 year olds.

3. Digital is everything
But not everything is digital. And we need to focus our efforts accordingly. These Days Y&R is expanding its offering in digital business transformation. Based on the enterprise digital solutions from VML (www.vml.com), we are adding capabilities, performance and service design.

4. Creativity is the story
Technology and innovations enable us to share and instigate conversations in a thousand different ways. Our job, as your business partner, is to ensure that your target audience responds and builds a connection with you.

After David’s visit and presentation, our strategy remains clear and focused: These Days Y&R is dedicated to driving net sales growth for our customers by bringing together the most creative ideas from across different marketing services using technological innovations to maximise the impact of the business strategy. Or to put it more simply: our reason for being is to build business together.

So let’s do as our wallpaper says: fuck the excuses and carry on changing the world.

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