ME* Conference 2010

Nick Brien at ME Conference: 'We Are in the Community-Management Business'

McCann Chief Says That, in Media 3.0 World, IQ Equals Innovation

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NEW YORK ( -- The driving force behind the democratization of media is technology -- and marketers must understand that platforms, content, consumers and distribution channels are as fundamental to marketing as the message. That was the advice that Nick Brien, chairman, CEO of Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Worldgroup, had for attendees today at Ad Age's Media Evolved Conference.

Nick Brien
Nick Brien Credit: Pete Kolonia
Mr. Brien said that when he started in the advertising business, it was about strategy meeting creativity. But that's now evolved into strategy meeting creativity meeting technology, and this new equation creates a whole new fusion in terms of ingenuity, creativity and possibility that he calls Media 3.0.

"When I think of Media 3.0 and I talk to my clients about it, I make them appreciate that the definition of 'media evolved' is one that impacts everything that has to do with their brand and the marketing strategy," Mr. Brien said. "It's addressable, customizable and highly immediate, and fundamentally it's creative. Media 3.0 equals IQ and innovation."

He stressed that marketers and agencies need to recognize the power consumers now wield because of the technology at their disposal. Consumers now decide which media to consume, when, where and how they are going to consume it. That's resulted in time, location, device and authority shifting.

"The individual businesses have to understand that we are thinking strategically and creating experientially. We aren't just in the storytelling business, we are in the community-management business," Mr. Brien said. "If we are not participating and if the brand is not at the center of the stage, there is no way it is going to be embraced or [we will] build an organic business relationship."

Technology has also significantly affected the ability to measure the performance of agencies. "There is no shortage of data," Mr. Brien said. "It used to take me five days to get a TV rating, and now it's instantaneous. We can think through all of the elements of a journey and not just where we are going to create the engagement, but how are we going to piece that together?"

Among some of the Media 3.0 marketing trends Mr. Brien sees changing the business of his clients everyday are: hyperlocal marketing and brand activation at the local level; owned media and self-management platforms; shopper marketing power and social and earned media.

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