Editor’s Letter: Adweek and Accenture Interactive Are Creating a Digital Transformation Playbook

Our guide to education, connection and amplification

Headshot of James Cooper

Welcome to Adweek’s Digital Transformation Playbook, a guide to education, connection and amplification in partnership with Accenture Interactive.

Let me explain: three years ago, the excitement of covering the business of media and marketing seemed to plateau. Even as data science was beginning to recast the ad sales proposition and mobile was rerouting the customer journey, legacy ways of doing business remained firmly in place. Pages and banners were still being bought, a certain amount of waste was acceptable in pursuit of reach, the Super Bowl and the TV upfronts remained our holiest tent poles, CMOs were stepchildren in the C-suite and creativity was the closely held alchemy of a tiny few.

James Cooper

But about 18 months ago, things started to stir. Brands, with not only their core businesses but their entire categories under assault from upstarts like Airbnb and Uber, began to realize that these barbarians at the gate simply understood the consumer journey and experience in a more sophisticated and increasingly mobile-first way. If the brand-marketing ecosystem didn’t rouse itself from sleep soon, it never would.

And then, suddenly, there was an urgency—something, anything, had to be done.

So after years of unproductive fetishism about digital disruption, modern marketing and media executives are moving past that hurdle and boldly starting to take steps toward transforming their businesses for the digital future. Covering that business not only became compelling again, it also became meaningful—a generational story; a 100-years story; the story of the customer-centric revolution. And we are still in the early days.

However, this journey will not be an easy one. It will be full of twists and turns, myriad complexities, misinformation and potential missteps. Adweek realized that in order for us to remain valuable to our audience and clients, we needed to find a new way to help guide the industry through the transition from disruption to transformation. We spent the better part of this past year working on pivoting our vision and creating a cross-brand product designed to help executives on this journey gain the education, connection and amplification they need to reinvent themselves digitally and to become competitive and relevant in the decades to come. Thus, the Digital Transformation Playbook was born.

Adweek realized that in order for us to remain valuable to our audience and clients, we needed to find a new way to help guide the industry through the transition from disruption to transformation.

This is obviously an ambitious lift, and we quickly realized that we would be better able to execute such an undertaking with a partner, not only to underwrite the effort, but also to share its transformational experiences with us and help co-create the playbook with its wealth of data, insights, community and thought leadership. Accenture Interactive became that partner, and this issue kicks off a 10-month partnership series that spans every platform in Adweek’s considerable editorial arsenal, as well as new events and brand content activations.

Starting with the Dec. 4 issue, Adweek’s Accenture Interactive Playbook will dive into key themes that brand marketers must deeply understand, from the rise of the CMTO and what’s next in VR and AR to the future of experience.

“Change is inevitable. Progress is optional.”

Maybe because it’s so concise—or blunt— but “CEO Whisperer” Tony Robbins’ quote about change sums up the transformational challenge our audience and clients face, as well as the opportunity Adweek and Accenture Interactive are embracing to help them do their jobs better and be indispensable resources for progress—and, ultimately, for success.

This story first appeared in the Oct. 30, 2017, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

@jcoopernyc james.cooper@adweek.com James Cooper is editorial director of Adweek.