Are You Ready For The Future? Most Global Senior Business Decision Makers Aren't

When it comes to packaging up data, creative and technology optimally, most global senior business decision makers (BDMs) are at sea, according to a new study from WPP agencies Wunderman and Penn Schoen Berland.

The shops have just released a report called "Future Ready," the findings are based on a survey of 250 senior executives from global brands. Some 68% reported they are still struggling to bring their data, creative and technology together.

The report found a wide gap between companies’ abilities to identify the many challenges of digital transformation and their capacity to adopt and benefit from technology and creative investments in their sales and marketing operations.

The leading cause of this disconnect, per the report is the inability of the companies to “sacrifice short-term gains to achieve long-term benefits.”

Wunderman believes that to become “Future Ready,” companies must stop reacting to change and start inciting it — easier said than done, per the report’s findings.



For all the talk about data and how important it is, many firms don’t seem to be able to make effective use of it. The survey showed that 99% of global BDMs believe data is critical to achieving success. But a whopping 62% said they’re unable to turn data into insights or action.

Which raises a number of questions. Like what the heck are all those data scientists and chief data officers and strategy poohbahs and others with highfalutin titles at brands and agencies doing all day if not turning data into insights and action?

So much for real-time marketing: 68% of companies can’t change their creative based on insights from their data.

And 73% say their companies are siloed, with most of those respondents believing these silos impact their ability to deliver cohesive messaging. So why not get rid of the silos? Because the companies these respondents work for are political snake pits? Where everybody is pretty much ducking for cover to protect their own asses instead of trying to effect real change?

Just one possibility, that’s all I’m suggesting.

Among other suggestions, Wunderman recommends that companies set clear KPIs and business goals with effective processes for tracking and measuring results. And I guess in a perfect world every company would be doing that.

Also recommended: A unified vision for an organization’s goals and the roles each person, team and discipline plays. That makes a lot of sense too. Devil is in the details, right?

There are some other consultative type recommendations that Wunderman has to offer. Check in with the agency if you’re interested.

“While many brands have invested heavily in technology to improve their business outcomes, few have shown the ability to use these new assets for true competitive advantage,” stated Jamie Gutfreund, Wunderman’s Global CMO. “The time has come for leaders to face the reality that if they don’t have an effective means of activating their digital assets to benefit and motivate consumers, they will be left behind.”  

Who wants to be left behind? Nobody but freaks and weirdos, like the people in those DirecTV commercials who love spilling burning hot coffee on themselves or slamming their heads into two-by-fours.  

And they don’t really count, do they?



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