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Top Takeaways from Cannes Lions 2019

Leah Pope

Another whirlwind week at the Cannes Lions Festival has wrapped, but the important insights that can be taken away from the unique blend of industry leaders and forward-thinking marketers at Cannes will resound long into the future. 

This year, we wanted to capitalize on all of the important voices in one place and bring together partners and customers including Pinterest, iProspect, Merkle, m/SIX, Ayzenberg Group, and more. As a result, we had awesome conversations throughout the week on some of the most pressing issues for marketers and the industry today, and we wanted to share them with you, whether you were able to join us on the Croisette or not! Here were my biggest takeaways from an inspiring week:

1. Data is changing the creative process more dramatically than ever before

Creativity is still very much at the heart of the marketing industry and Cannes — just take a look at all of the incredible campaigns and imaginative ads that were celebrated at Cannes throughout the week. 

But as we enter an era where the creative meets customers at so many different touchpoints, gaining tangible insights from them can be an overwhelming challenge. As a result, a data-led creative process has never been more important. 

Historically, creative assets were often developed on hunch, and then released in the wild to see how they performed. Now, with so many touchpoints, tools, and the ability to test and optimize creative automatically, a guess and check method doesn’t cut it. With one holistic view of performance across all channels, it’s easier than ever to bring data into the process right from the start — and use it every step of the way to power creative in the most effective manner.

2. Better measurement capabilities are leading to growth

With marketers facing thousands of disparate streams of data, understanding exactly what drives performance and profitability of a business or brand is something that has become paramount. Gone are the days where clicks and impressions are the sole metrics of success. Marketers at brands, agencies, and publishers alike are expected to prove the value behind all of their investments and activities. And at the executive level, marketing leaders are being held to higher standards of accountability and are increasingly involved in future-focused, C-level conversations around how to drive their business forward. 

3. Data builds trust and transparency

Marketers are still reliant on manually aggregating data through Excel grids and Powerpoints charts, often scrambling at the last minute before a stakeholder meeting to showcase metrics that point back to their marketing spend. Marketing intelligence tools can alleviate this process by providing data ownership and centralization in one platform, with an easy-to-access view that supports stakeholders across an organization. This establishes transparency and allows the business to work from the same set of facts to see what data is being used, how it is being leveraged, and analyze its impact. These capabilities not only instill trust with clients and stakeholders, but also help to bring together different siloed departments across an organization.

4. Data & technology will play a key role in the future of marketing 

To close out a week of salient discussions, we hosted a panel with The Drum on the role of the future marketer, with executives from a range of large-scale, international companies including Mercedes-Benz, Channel 4 and Diageo. One thing is clear, marketers of the future will only have more responsibility to enact change and come up with new solutions to guide their customers through the funnel. Meanwhile, data and technology will enhance the ability of marketers of the future to double-down on creativity, understand the journey of their customer and arm them with the tools to ensure maximum impact on the growth and success of their business. As Nats Sijanta, Director of Global Marketing at Mercedes-Benz, said: “Marketers of the future will be in charge of 50% of the success of a company. Customers are changing so fast that [marketing leaders] have to think about how we can adapt as quickly possible and spearhead company into new future.” 

Stay tuned for more, as we’ll be recapping five of our exciting discussions from the week at Cannes on And in the meantime, check out our video below! 

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