The AdForum Summit 2014 The Nordic Perspective


Is it worth flying to New York for a week’s summit if you are an agency search consultant in the North; Finland, Sweden, Denmark or Norway? The answer is a clear ‘yes’.

Meeting search consultant colleagues from all over the world and listening to the smartest agencies in the industry gives an excellent view on where the marketing industry is going and what clients should be getting.

This year’s programme was versatile and compelling; holding companies, independent companies, special digital top talents, media agency, PR agencies, content specialists, the most relevant top-noch resources in today’s marketing.

The scale of course is very different compared to the Nordics but there is a lot that can be learned and adapted to our Nordic circumstances.

The world of business is global. Most companies need the best talents available. Digital is at the core of everything. Peter Kim, Chief Digital Officer, was the person we met from Cheil, an agency we are going to hear more about in the future. Critical Mass is doing progress year after year in a convincing way. Huge has grown from seven persons to one thousand professionals in ten years’ time and can only recruit a tiny proportion of the digital talents sending in their applications. Work & Co. Impressive team, work that speaks for itself, product development definitely is part of the future marketing.

World-famous agencies, which belong to holding companies, had great presentations. JWT, Lowe, Y&R, DDB, Publicis. However, their interest is mainly in the growing markets. And their Europe is often made of the UK, Spain and Germany.

Retail is facing big, big challenges. All screens have to be shoppable, people want snackable content, mass personalization is essential. Iris Worldwide, a modern, fresh agency with excellent delivery. Geometry Global, you are needed in the north.

‘We understand the mainstreams, we understand the consumer’, said Mark O’Brien, NA President DDB Worldwide. I liked his comment on ‘there is marketing that exists and marketing that works’.

Creativity is still in the core but agencies are more and more like business consultants who focus on clients’ business problems. The valuable contribution to the business challenges is that these guys are able to use modern marketing in the most intelligent way.

Maker culture is definitely the future. However, human beings still have a role in the world of marketing. Maurice Levy, CEO Publicis Groupe,  impressed us all in three seconds. His sharp intelligence and charm are incredible.