Effective technology should be table stakes for all agencies and they are the best judges of what marketing technology is worth partnering with, said Howard Stevens, global head of strategic technology of Omnicom. “The landscape is daunting,” he told Velocitize Talks.
Stevens oversees the technologies of the breadth of Omnicom’s agencies, but he said he takes his lead from the agencies themselves. The individual shops are “better able to discern where some of the winners and more valuable technologies exist, and that’s where we go after partnerships.”
Omnicom builds technologies while also maintaining some agencies apart to protect intellectual property and data, said Stevens.
Agencies have many common concerns keeping up with technologies, but few have the time to connect with other agencies in their network to share learnings. Omnicom has tried to facilitate that communication with inter-agency sessions, said Stevens. One such session produced an insight about the importance of making a space for technology.
Standards help, freeing agencies to focus on client work, said Stevens. The parent company can focus on security and privacy of data so the agencies can “focus on what they do best.” Clients are asking about security and protection of intellectual property in RFPs these days, he said.
Artificial intelligence “is going to have a profound effect” in lives and industries in coming years “and advertising will be no exception” said Stevens. We’re already seeing the effect of AI as it is tied with personalization and other features, he said.
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