Never lose sight of how much creativity matters, and always shine a spotlight on the importance of ideas. That means investing in great talent, as well as celebrating and rewarding great work, which in today’s world can be brought to life across a broad range of formats and channels.
After two fallow years, in which we couldn’t be in Cannes to see the best creative thinking from around the world for ourselves, there’s so much pent-up demand for what the festival has to offer. I know for so many of us at IPG, it will be exciting to be there.
Of course, given how much digital transformation we are seeing in every business sector, our clients need to see us combine creativity with data and technology, so as to make our ideas even more relevant and powerful. In a world where technology and culture are constantly colliding, the big unlock will belong to marketers who can combine storytelling with science, poetry with precision and performance.
For us at IPG, creating ideas, engagement and experiences that resonate in a complex and fast-moving world comes down to three things that are key to the culture of our company: trust, diversity and a deep understanding of audiences.
First, it’s essential to support an environment in which our team members – from those responsible for the creative process to the strategists who inform their thinking (and, increasingly, the data and behavioural science teams who surface audience insights that feed into those strategic briefs) – all feel a high degree of connectedness and psychological safety. It takes courage to take risks, whether with your internal partners or your clients. But without risking failure, there’s no way for creativity to thrive. So, trust is a big part of what it takes to make great work.
The second ingredient is diversity. We all know how valuable it is to have people on our teams who bring new ways of taking information on board, synthesising that information, and putting distinctive, creative messages and ideas into the world. As we look to extend our brand and narrative skillsets beyond traditional channels and reach individual consumers in ways that are relevant and meaningful to them, teams that reflect the broadest range of backgrounds and experiences will consistently have a competitive advantage. We’re proud to be a leader in this space, but we still have a way to go, especially when it comes to representation among our creative teams and leadership.
Third, we believe that our ability to forge deep connections with consumers hinges on our ability to understand them at an individual level. We’ve invested significantly in adding the necessary data and behavioural science assets to be able to inform our world-class creative teams with the insights they need to create content that informs, engages and inspires. Making that data accessible and actionable across our company is also key – so creative teams in every discipline can use it to fuel great ideas that have an impact in the marketplace.
Of course, we know that talent is ultimately the key ingredient for creativity. People need to be part of a culture that feels right for them, and they need to work with people they can learn from. That’s why we invest in our agency brands, in order to keep them vibrant magnets for top talent. The story isn’t about us as a holding company. It must always be about our clients and their brands, and the ways we breathe life into them through modern creative ideas and solutions.