Just back from a Marketing Conference that takes place on a large boat in the English Channel.

Its a good way to see the state of UK marketing across 2 days.  It was good to see that digital made up some of the key topics but it was shocking to see the breadth of contrast between agency leaders.

It is also clear that from a client perspective that the spread of digital capability is pretty mixed.

What gave me confidence is that a number of company marketing directors have begun to realize that digital is changing how we do marketing at a more fundamental level than any of us realized. Many are looking at organisation structure and at how they educate their boards.  We had some great conversations around our role in IT and how we increase digital capability across the entire organisation.

It was also interesting to see the extent to which some great advertising gurus have simply failed to understand how digital has rewritten the rules of advertising.  Creative teams also have to be Curation teams.  Yes it is still about insight and big ideas but you have to understand context.  That context is now digital.  I’d love to see a creative agency present a creative idea only in the context of search (SEO, for example.

Some of the agencies are doing some smart things like hiring more analytical teams as digital media campaign requires the same skill and mind sets of daily share trading.  Was also great to hear of agencies helping clients build connected products and use digital to pilot innovation at speed.  That said, the majority of agencies still focus on delivering digital campaigns.  Disappointing for me but to be fair probably just a reflection of current market need.

So I plea once more to marketing directors and senior managers to stop, take stock, look more closer at the digital behaviour of your consumers and ask more of your agencies.  Digital also provides a great opportunity for marketers to be a real leader in the boardroom.  We should be drooling over that steaming bowl of big data on the table.  Let’s eat up and speed up the revolution.