Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: Trends and Other Thoughts from Cannes Lions

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When you’re in the marketing and advertising industry, it’s hard not to be familiar with the renowned “Festival of Creativity” known as Cannes Lions. For us, the event seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn from some of the world’s most inspired advertising minds. So when our partner, Oracle Marketing Cloud, invited us to share a panel on their central stage—complete with prime French Riviera beach real estate—we were more than delighted to accept.

As we navigated through the mixed crowds of celebrities, creatives, entrepreneurs, and executives having conversations with our fellow panelists, one thing became clear: the customer-first revolution and solution design are two of the most recent trends shaping the industry, and almost entirely contingent upon business outcomes. Make no mistake—ingenuity certainly maintained its presence in Cannes. However, we couldn’t help but notice a trend in clients’ cumulative need for business results. This means partners and strategic vendors are ripe to become trusted advisors that can help enrich the customer relationship.

If our inkling is correct and this idea takes hold, the following changes would need to be applied:

  •          Shift from a product orientation to a customer outcome orientation.
  •          Widen strategic scope and embrace specialized partners as allies.
  •          Embrace longer time frames and think more about long term relationships with proven outcomes.
  •          Build a cohesive team of experts and customer-oriented advisors.

With this process, it’s imperative to have a technology stack for collaboration in place to ensure efficiencies and faster time to market.

Another part of Cannes Lions in which we saw a drastic shift was the brand presence. What was once a creative and media agency mecca is now a nucleus for brands such as Facebook, Waze, Twitter, and Snapchat—whom you couldn’t have missed, thanks to their massive branded Ferris wheel conveniently placed at the main entrance.

All of these changes are just a taste of what’s to come as the world of the agency creative evolves. Technology partners will become the typical, as the need for marketing clouds and strategic partners grows to ensure client success and solutions that help sell positive outcomes. Building trust and long-term relationships based on customer success will eventually become a standard practice.

As far as Lionbridge is concerned, this means operating as a success platform that brings technology, processes, planning, and people into a collaborative blueprint with other key partners. Our biggest takeaway? Specialization is back—and creating great value for customers.

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