Simon Francis, 'word of mouse' and the 'participation economy'

Saatchi & Saatchi's EMEA CEO, Simon Francis, kicked off the Summit's sessions at the fabulous Copenhagen Opera House. Once we'd all taken our eyes off the spectacular views across the water, found our way to the correct one of 1,500 rooms, and avoided accidentally ending up on stage in the midst of a rehearsal, we were all ears.

In an engaging and assured presentation, Simon explained the agency's thinking. "These days, there is simply no chance of having product superiority, in any market. Clients are under pressure." Comparison websites - and almost identical competitors - are everywhere.

Simon Francis, EMEA CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi

Apparently, "Lovemarks is part of the answer. In the last 15 years, there has never been a better time for Lovemarks. It is vital for brands to connect with consumers, both emotionally and rationally."

How will Saatchi & Saatchi EMEA work the problem? Simon says, it's down to 'word of mouse'. "You have four seconds to make an impression - and that's even if you have a strong brand and strong communication".  

But there is also something else that can help: 'the participation economy'. Why? Because, according to Simon, consumers want to co-create the brands. He cited examples in the form of a quiz, which included the fact that all top 10 websites are participatory.

Finally, Simon presented the agency's keys to success:

Single P&L - no silos and no solos

The Saatchi & Saatchi Ark - people from different disciplines

Lighthouse centres of excellence and liquid talent - moving people to wherever the client problems are; 'creative tribes'

Training & development - 6,000 man days of training in the last 12 months

Accountability - the balanced scorecard.

Oh, and by the way, I won the quiz.

Simon Francis working the room - quiz time

Simon's effect on the audience.

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