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From the Innovation Diagram to Creative Strategy: 5 Key Takeaways From C—S’s First Annual Festival

Under the theme "Let's Talk Creative Economy", the Creative Industry Summit's Annual Festival taught us a lot this year!

The Creative Industry Summit’s Annual Festival 2022—under the theme “Let’s Talk Creative Economy”—concluded on Sept. 29, but the insights we derived from its keynotes, panels, and workshops are quite evergreen!

That’s what this piece is all about. So, turn your note-taking mindset on and scroll through for our curation of the eye-openers that pertain to marketers the most …

Senior Vice President & Head of Innovation at VICE Media, Mark Adams

Mark Adams, SVP and Head of Innovation at VICE Media, delivering a workshop titled “How to be the Luckiest Brand on Earth”.

Insights: Grasping the Innovation Diagram, Being EDGY & COOL, & Relying on LUCK

One of the world’s first Chief Digital Officers, Mark Adams is an expert on leveraging innovations and leading creative minds. He delivered a keynote titled “How to Stay Innovate and Stay Relevant in 2023” and workshop on “How to be the Luckiest Brand on Earth” at the Creative Industry Summit’s Annual Festival 2022.

The Significance of Grasping the Innovation Diagram in the Creative Economy

The Innovation Diagram is a model for dividing the phases that any innovation goes through. It always starts with the innovators themselves, then the innovation’s early adopters. Subsequently, the innovation either sinks into the chasm or soars into the mainstream. You’ll find an illustration detailing it below …

Adams reminds us that even the internet has fallen into the chasm 5 or 6 times before it reached the mainstream!

What the Innovation Diagram looks like …

But how do we know when is the best time to capitalize on innovations? Mark gave us his answer

“You don’t want to be getting something when it’s already hit the mainstream, because you’re not early. But you usually don’t want to be investing really heavily when it’s just with the innovators. Because then, you’re really taking a risk. [ . . . ]

If you could look at the velocity growth of something and try and see whether or not you think that in the next—you know, whatever time frame is acceptable to you from a risk point of view—it’s gonna make that jump, then you take the decision to invest at that right time. And I’d say that, if you’re lucky, you’ll probably nail it and get the moment when it does jump across.”

Being EDGY, COOL, & Relying on LUCK

Mark also walked us through some of his most valued acronyms: EDGY, COOL, and LUCK 

When it comes to innovation, Mark believes that EDGY could help us remember that Early Detection Guarantees Yield.

For creatives, he asserted that they have the responsibility to be COOL, or Conscious of Other Life, which means identifying the communities worth your time and effort then going on dates with them, getting to know them, and understanding what they need.

Finally, he also advises creatives not to put their soul into something that’d break their hearts, and instead, invest their efforts into LUCK, or Labor Under Correct Knowledge!

During his keynote and workshop, Mark went into the tiniest details of the aforementioned insights with magnificent elaboration and mind-bending examples from creative industries around the world.

Global Creative Strategy Director at The Coca-Cola Company, Islam ElDessouky

Global Creative Strategy Director at The Coca-Cola Company, Islam ElDessouky, during his keynote at the Creative Industry Summit’s Annual Festival 2022.

Insights: The Building Blocks & Common Pitfalls of Creative Strategy

As one of The Coca-Cola Company’s key Global Creative Strategy Directors, Islam’s leading role is one that’s unique and uncommon in the corporate world. At the Creative Industry Summit’s Annual Festival 2022, he held a workshop on “Creative Strategy” and delivered a keynote on “Creating Meaningful Brand Stories”.

After attending them and networking with Islam, even though we couldn’t encapsulate the value of his sessions in a single article, we extracted the following takeaways:

  • A Strategist is not a Brand Architect.
  • The brief needs to include clear and precise pain points.
  • A brand problem is always at the heart of your strategy and execution, and brand problems shouldn’t be mixed up with creative problems.
  • The foundations of Creative Strategy are at least the target audience, brand architecture, platform, and integrated marketing.
  • Your target audience isn’t just age and gender. That’s not how people define themselves, they do so with beliefs and passions.
  • Brand Architectures must include a purpose (why), benefits (what), and persona (how).
  • You need to clearly define your brand architecture because how the brand sees itself is how it will appear to the world.

As he engaged with the Annual Festival’s attendees, Islam went into the depths of all the above and more, while thoroughly discussing it with participants and providing real-life examples and valuable know-how along the way.

Executive Vice President of b_labs & Digital Commerce at B.TECH, Mohamed Khattab

EVP of b_labs and Digital Commerce at B.TECH, Mohamed Khattab, during an interview at the Creative Industry Summit’s Annual Festival 2022.

Insights: Physical & Digital Aren’t Separate, While E-commerce & Digital Transformation Are Different 

The EVP of b_labs and Digital Commerce at B.TECH, Mohamed Khattab, was a panelist in the Creative Industry Summit’s Annual Festival 2022 panel on “Sustainable E-Commerce: The Key to a Future-Proof Business”.

Since he spearheads the digital transformation at the largest Egypt-based retailer for home appliances and consumer electronics, Mohamed had the following insights for us …

“We don’t think of physical and digital as separate channels, and we’ve seen that from the data. We see different customers move between different channels very differently,” he stated. “But we saw e-commerce sky-rocket over the past couple of years.”

According to Mohamed, in the consumer electronics and home appliances industry, e-commerce now constitutes around 8% of the market. Although that may be low when compared to some developed economies, it’s almost double what it was pre-Covid-19!

He also predicts that once factors like infrastructure and consumer behavior are ready, digital transformation in Egypt will catch up because “it’s only a matter of time …”

Additionally, he pointed out something we believe all brands and marketing agencies should pay attention to, having an e-commerce channel doesn’t entail digital transformation

In times when the term ‘digital transformation‘ is used and abused, Mohamed asserted: “There’s a very big difference between e-commerce as a digital commerce channel, and digital transformation as transforming the way an organization operates.”   

Head of Meta Creative Shop, MENA, Ahmed Younis AKA Fizo

Ahmed Younis AKA Fizo (left) in conversation with the Founding Partner of the Creative Industry Summit, Mai Salama (right) at the Annual Festival 2022.

Insights: Return on Ad Spend in the Metaverse is Currently Exclusive to Augmented Reality

As marketers, advertising in the Metaverse is top-of-mind … So, is it possible to advertise your brand in the Metaverse while being able to calculate Return on Ad Spend?

Ahmed Younis AKA Fizo, the Head of Meta’s Creative Shop in MENA answered this question during the event …

Fizo first mentioned a couple of global brands that are present in the Metaverse, clarifying that there are a lot of brands “being present in the Metaverse—in a way or another—to express the playfulness their brand kind of associates itself with, [ . . . ] but there isn’t an actual Return on Ad Spend in the Metaverse except in AR.”

He then went on to list an example of AR ads: “That includes makeup brands that let you try the makeup on before you buy it from Facebook and Instagram.” In the future, however, Fizo predicts that brands will be able to calculate ROAS on ads in different shapes and forms …

Managing Director at FP7 McCann Cairo, Amr El Kalaawy

Managing Director at FP7 McCann Cairo, Amr El Kalaawy, participated in a live debate titled “Pitching in Egypt is Broken” at the Creative Industry Summit’s Annual Festival 2022.

Insights: Enhancing Agency Pitches to Clients in Egypt

The Managing Director of FP7 McCann Cairo, Amr El Kalaawy, participated in the Creative Industry Summit’s first debate, which was one of the most crowded sessions in this year’s Annual Festival!

The motion of the debate was “Pitching in Egypt is Broken”!

Meeting Amr after the friendly but intense exchange, he shared with us a couple of points that earned consensus from both the client and agency sides:

Firstly, clients should do their research before requesting pitches, and then limit their requests to a maximum of 3 agencies.

Secondly, the agencies pitching should be from the same category (creative boutiques, integrated agencies, etc.)

And finally—since the pitch costs the agency time and resources—it should entail that the client pays for it. Although the pitch fees may not cover the entire cost of the pitch’s creation, it shows commitment from the client’s side.

What’s Next for the Creative Industry Summit?

After presenting the Creative Economy in Egypt with plenty of golden networking and learning opportunities at its Annual Festival 2022, the Creative Industry Summit is flying to Saudi Arabia for a regional edition that’s happening from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 at the Riyadh International Exhibition Conference Center!

It’ll be titled “The Advertising and Creativity Forum”, and you could learn more about it here, or register and find out more about its agenda here.

Omar Amin

Stemming from a need to monetize his passion for rhetoric and writing, Omar Amin is on a journey to find the perfect balance between data and gut feelings in the chaotic world of marketing.