Byravee Iyer
Nov 19, 2015

Innovate or die: 70 per cent of Fortune 500 companies to be disrupted - AOL

SINGAPORE - AOL's global head of innovation Jonathan Oliver had some strong words for lackadaisical organisations as he kicked off the 2015 Marketing Innovation Summit.

Innovate or die: 70 per cent of Fortune 500 companies to be disrupted - AOL

"You have to innovate or you will die," he told Marketing Innovation Summit attendees, adding that 70 per cent of Fortune 500 companies will be disrupted in the next few years. Marketing, he said, is all powerful and the marketing team is much more relevant to what we are doing.

The turning point today is that innovation is democratic, with everything accessible on the cloud. "I have been on a number of judging panels, including Cannes, where we got 53 entries in the marketing innovation category," he said. "Five of those were exceptional, three were poor and there was a whole bunch in the middle, which goes to show that marketing innovation is undergoing a revolution." 

According to Oliver, the key to innovation is giving it a human-centric design model. People think of innovation as technology, but anything that allows you to do something different is technology. He shared the 'Life saving dot' project as an example of this, which used bindis on women in rural parts of India to tackle Iodine deficiency. 

Imagination and exploration are the other two critical requirements for innovation, Oliver added. "We are the only people that imagine and create stories and structures in a way no other species can," he said. "It is essential to how we move forward, and we need hire people who think like this."

About AOL's acquisition of Microsoft's advertising business, Oliver said historically this would be strange, but in the new world order these combinations are what you will see more of. "Delivering the right message at the right time is all we want and with building this tech stack you start to see the data ooze and how it's coming together," he said.

Courtesy of, here's video of Oliver being interviewed this morning by Gary Scattergood, Campaign Asia-Pacific head of content: 



More from the MIS: Innovation process is non-linear, culture-dependent


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