The innovation challenge: the opportunity of voice and blockchain disappointment

Ahead of our Dragon’s Den-style Innovation Sessions event, where innovative tech companies will have the chance to pitch their solutions to agencies and brands, we talk to the judges to discover their views on innovation in our industry.

We spoke to Martin Beauchamp, Head of Data Strategy at Wavemaker to discover what was exciting and frustrating him when it come to innovation in our industry.

What are you most hoping to see from the pitches at the NDA Innovation Sessions event?

Practical solutions that are answering business or consumer need. Lots of innovation that we see coming is often trying to address non-existent problems or trying open up new marketplaces.

Bleeding edge technology is great to show us a future vision but until it can prove value and scale few are willing to invest and take risk.

What are the biggest challenges for agencies and brands in finding and deploying the best technical innovations?

Our clients are complex organisations with multiple stakeholders that need to all be aligned for successful projects to be deployed. Innovation usually looks to disrupt business as usual, which means the timing of projects and their budgets needs to be carefully managed.

Capabilities across all parties needs to be considered and drafting in skills from other teams in clients can be a challenge (again as it disrupts BAU). There is also the final stage of adoption, this is often a forgotten element of tech deployment.

What tech innovation have you been most excited about so far this year?

The largest force of disruption right now is identity management in a cookie-restrictive future. All eyes, therefore should be on how we solve this problem moving forward.

It is perhaps no wonder that bunkering and clean rooms are such hot topics. It also nicely coincides with how we are all living right now, bunkered away in nice clean houses.

Voice also continues to impress, it is such a massively growing area, it will be interesting to see how that takes over our daily lives.

What hyped tech innovation have you been most disappointed in over the last year?

Blockchain. It is touted as the solution to so many things and while it shows promise, I’ve not seen a solution that gives an ROI or that solves something that proper accountancy practice and auditing doesn’t.

 What impact has the pandemic had on innovation in our industry?

The pandemic, I believe, has brought out some of the best work I’ve seen.

Teams are working on tighter deadlines, less money but bigger problems. I think we will look back at this period and say innovation accelerated massively as brands/companies adapt to this strange situation and position themselves for the new normal.

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