Douglas Rowell

OPINIÓN- Douglas Rowell de Advertising Week LATAM: What 2+ Years of Pandemic Can Teach CMOs About Guiding Their Companies Into the Future

25 de octubre de 2022 | Leer en Inglés

Shortly after Advertising Week LATAM 2020 wrapped on March 5, the world changed forever for most of us. COVID-19 - forced the majority of the world into their homes, causing a mass adaptation to new ways of living, working, communicating and prioritizing during an uncertain economic future. Consumers who were forced to spend more time at home changed media habits, becoming even more dependent on the internet for information and shopping, as well as connection.

And now with the pandemic receding, brands and marketers will have a crucial role to play in rebuilding economies and getting people back into the workforce. Out of this pressure filled environment comes new innovations, better ways of working and leaner companies ready to face the modern world. The industry, like the rest of society, faces a much-changed future. Those who took the time to learn, reflect and adapt are now in the driver’s seat.

As Advertising Week prepares to return live and in person to Mexico City, one clear lesson coming out of the pandemic is that consumer expectations don’t respect category boundaries. Defining yourself by a category means competing for marginal gain. However, if a brand thinks horizontally—outside the category—it is more receptive to things like partnerships, cultural and technological inflection points, unconventional competitors, and anything likely to disrupt it.

Today you’re not just growing a brand; you’re building a business. Beyond attracting more than just people, you are assembling an ecosystem. And if your brand is thinking horizontally then you’ll find one to integrate with, not just compete within. The key point here: competitive advantage is done. It has given way to something more rewarding and abundant: collaborative advantage. From influencers and media to businesses, brands have entered the age of collaboration. Competitors are now partners, too.

To create shared value, the modern CMO must ask herself: What are those in her ecosystem looking to achieve? What value are they looking to extract? And what does she need from them to grow her brand?

Douglas Rowell
Founding President & Co-Chair
Advertising Week Latin America (LATAM)