It’s no secret that the world of marketing has changed dramatically in the age of digital. Fragmented consumers and customers switching between devices and platforms spread across multiple locations makes for a state of elusiveness and perpetual change for today’s marketers. No one is more keenly aware of this perpetual state of evolution than today’s CMO. With marketing processes, methods, technologies, consumer behaviors, and business models all evolving in real time, CMOs have lots more to worry about than what commercial’s running on this year’s Super Bowl broadcast.
Which is why, when it came to kicking off Deloitte’s Next Generation CMO Academy “The Evolving Role of the CMO,” bringing this constant state of evolution to life wasn’t just a theme, it was an opportunity for us to create a truly immersive, data-driven creative experience.
When you examine it, the role of a CMO is truly a left brain/right brain challenge. CMOs are dealing with loads of data – insights analytics, media metrics, customer behavioral data, lead generation, and conversion data – it just goes on and on. At the same time, they’re also dealing with the poetry of brand storytelling – ad campaigns, creative, and content that has to emotionally move customers to take action. We wanted to acknowledge this expansive role by creating an immersive experience that brought to life both the art and science of marketing.
To help kick off the CMO Academy, we built an interactive installation that invited attendees to create individual frames of what, by the end of the evening, would become a collaboratively created short animation entitled “Perpetual Evolution.”
Here’s how it worked: as CMOs entered the space, they encountered a large canopy floating overhead that drew their attention to a combination of vibrant, animating imagery above them. On a series of standing pedestals beneath the canopy, polished crystal spheres functioned as a user interface - inviting participants to “roll the ball around” to activate data sensors inside that triggered various shapes representing the evolutionary art and science of marketing. Because each participation interaction was different, the resulting depth, color, and flourish of the animation constantly changed, making it an exciting and dynamic interactive experience.
Individual frames of each attendee’s personal expression were captured every 15 seconds and matched in real time to dynamically generated music (also triggered by the rolling green dots). The culmination of the night’s participants was then rendered and presented as an animated short film titled Perpetual Evolution at the close of the evening. They were also given a sharable link to the final animation, as well as a copy to take with them as a keepsake representing the evolution of marketing and the CMO’s expansive role within it.
Marketing is in a very liquid state right now – a state of perpetual evolution. With AR/VR and AI looming right around the bend, who knows what the toolkit of CMOs will expand to next. One thing’s for certain, though. It’s likely that it – and the customer – won’t be standing still for long.
Alan Schulman is managing director, brand creative and content marketing at Deloitte Digital.