Tessa Conrad, Global Director of Operations, TBWA\Worldwide.
Tessa Conrad, Global Director of Operations, TBWA\Worldwide.

How to stay relevant in a changing world

By Omeshnie Naidoo Time of article published Apr 15, 2019

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Reports by the World Economic Forum show 75 million jobs will disappear and 133 million new jobs will be created by 2022. 

While this is true - Tessa Conrad is optimistic about change given that while AI is still intimidating to many, there will also be a large amount of new jobs created and upskilling opportunities. 

Also, with the rise of AI comes the rise of the importance of creativity, which sets apart people from machines and grows an opportunity for unique and disruptive marketing that secures businesses a larger share of the future.

Conrad is a Canadian that was born in Vancouver and has lived in Nova Scotia, Montreal, Hong Kong and currently in New York. She offers an international perspective on growth to clients, among them Nissan, Infiniti, Datsun, McDonald’s and  H&M.

She says ten years ago digital was innovative, “now it's integrated and mainstream...It allows us to be measured.

 “Innovation now, not just in the digital sense, is the opportunity for creativity.”

Here are Conrad’s top tips to stay in the game:

Be disruptive

Be provocative. You want to get attention but not for attention’s sake. It is key to connect to your business objectives and work at building brand affinity.

Be a conscious creator

Influencer marketing, voice, privacy, AI and mixed reality among other things have great potential, but may be used as a stepping stone towards true innovation and creativity.

In TBWA’s Breaking Ballet campaign, they needed to change how ballet was typically associated with a bygone age and reframe it in the minds of consumers to showcase how it’s still relevant to current day society and cultural. Using Disruption Live, they were able to build a format to deliver just that, against cornerstone cultural moments that got people to attend the ballet and follow the Joburg City Ballet on social media.

In whatever aspect of society or business you operate, find the triggers and push up against them.

Engage individuals

Influencers across the world are similar to each other in many respects. You might say they commonly apply very similar formulas. South African influencers are unique; they have a strong sense of pride in who they are and it comes across. Their perspective is through their lens.

We all love celebrities, and there are influencers that are celebs in their own right, with thousands of followers. But the market is segmented and what is interesting are those influencers with a substantial following in their circles. It’s the difference between

a Minnie Dlamini Jones and a Trevor Stuurman. Stuurman’s Afrocentric approach - his world through his unique lens is authentic. Be who you are, where you are. The approach in the future is individual or customer-centric if you like.

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