All the headlines tell us that consultancies are disrupting the traditional agency business. But unlike others Deloitte Digital, founded in 1999, is built on a solid foundation of creativity. Last year its creative arm Heat won the John Hancock creative business after three decades at Hill Holiday. With $4 billion in revenue, Ad Age ranks Deloitte Digital as one of the world’s top 10 agencies. At the helm of creativity and experience is Alicia Hatch, their rock star CMO. DPAA President and CEO Barry Frey recently caught up with Alicia for a brief interview and a look at her upcoming talk at the Video Everywhere Summit on October 30. (Frey also interviewed LUMA Partners CEO Terry Kawaja and author Ken Auletta, who will also speak at the summit.)
Barry Frey: You began your professional life with the World Health Organization in a non-marketing role. Please tell us a bit about that, and how it ultimately prepared you for a career in marketing.
Alicia Hatch: In the role with the World Health Organization, I was part of a diverse team of scientists, doctors, community health educators and anthropologists trying to address a disease found only in the most remote areas of West Africa. Our goal was to work with local communities to better diagnose and treat illness. I didn’t fully recognize it at the time, but I got a crash course in marketing. We faced significant resistance in the villages because they believed the disease was a curse. I had a front row seat to watch how perceptions are both built across a collective of people and how to work across group dynamics to ultimately influence and change those perceptions.
Frey: Is there a particular individual you would consider to be your mentor? What lessons has this person imparted to you?
Hatch: Bonnie Ross, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, taught me to be at home in the land of things that had never been done before. She taught me to embrace ambiguity and explore the messy gray space, to think expansively and creatively about possibility and to have great courage.
Frey: What are the biggest challenges you face on a regular basis?
Hatch: Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is ultimately how I ended up in my role at Deloitte Digital as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer. The best thing about working in consulting is the sheer variety of problem sets I get to wrap my head around, and being surrounded by every type of genius in a dynamic environment that combines creatives types with technologists and business strategists.
Frey: What's on the horizon for Deloitte Digital?
Hatch: Deloitte Digital continues setting the creative trends and pace as it relates to prioritizing customer experience -- engaging companies be their best and innovate.
Frey: What role do you see digital-out-of-home playing in the media landscape?
Hatch: Experiences are now so critical to building brands, digital-out-of-home is now positioned to bridge the physical and digital worlds and unlock new, powerful types of experiences.
Frey: What media do you consume on a daily basis?
Hatch: I have my feed and notifications set look at the headlines across everything so that I can constantly see the macro shifts and patterns, and then dive in where I’m curious.
Frey: Tell us a bit about your upcoming speaking appearance at the Video Everywhere Summit.
Hatch: It’s titled “AR Kills the Video Star.” Augmented Reality is often referred to as the 4th transformation, and like PC, web, and mobile, it will transform our daily lives. This technology is already impacting how brands interact with their customers and how media and content are consumed. It will also dissolve preferences across channels, how we are able to view marketing data and reporting. As AR technology advances, there is a new promise of using neuromarketing data that will impact not just video marketing but also capture our emotions and reactions to elevate the new role of audience engagement. Considering consumers are at the center of marketing, what happens when our brains become the new platform and our thoughts are the controllers?
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