19th March 2015

Guardian Media Summit – day one

Yesterday I went along to day one of the Guardian Media Summit. CubanEight were invited to attend by The Guardian who we do a lot of work with for various clients, and my colleague Jo is there today for day two.

The Guardian Media Summit is one of the key events for the media industry and this year celebrates its 10th anniversary. The summit looks at disruption and innovation across the media industry, with a focus on how digital technology is changing the landscape.

A major theme of the day for me was the balance marketers need to strike between using data and technology effectively, while still maintaining creativity and a human touch. In a discussion around programmatic buying much of the discussion centred on how technology allows things to become more efficient. However, no amount of technology will ever replace the creativity needed to make people fall in love with your brand reminded the panel.


I particularly enjoyed the opening keynote session by entrepreneur, blogger and author Gary Vaynerchuk who talked about the ever changing world of social media. He reminded the audience that the consumer internet is still so new that we are still figuring it out. New platforms are emerging all the time so brands must adopt them quickly to take advantage of the opportunities. Make sure you have respect for the room you are telling your stories in he reminded us – very important if you think of the different ways we interact with Instagram, Facebook and the multiple other platforms we now all have access to.

One of our clients, Outbrain, was also speaking during the day in a session on native advertising. Along with publishers and an agency, Outbrain’s UK MD Stephanie Himoff discussed the potential of native advertising for brands and publishers and how the space in moving. It was great to meet up with a couple of journalists at the event too.

As well as a lot of fascinating insight, there was also some innovative new technology on display at the event. As well as virtual reality headsets, I managed to shake hands with a bionic arm – technology which is being developed to help amputees.

The pace of tech innovation remains just as fast and in the constantly changing media world there is so much that brands and agencies can look at using. It seems clear to me that human strategy and creativity can never be replaced by technology but rather boosted through clever use of tech.