BBD Perfect Storm launches tech focused social and digital division

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Brand new research of over 250 UK senior business leaders has revealed that 3 in 5 are worried about the digital world evolving faster than their business can keep pace.

BBD Perfect Storm

In response, BBD Perfect Storm, a brand and cultural transformation company that works with major brands such as Kraft Heinz, Etihad Airways and PepsiCo, has launched a new division designed to help business leaders confidently embrace and participate in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Shockingly, two thirds of business leaders say they have been scared to admit when they don’t understand technology.

Reasons cited include: being embarrassed, looking old, and afraid of looking behind the times.

Rather than appearing to not understand, the majority would rather refrain from admitting and simply learn what it is and how to use the technology at a later date.

It also looked at the psychological effects of digital acceleration, with half of business leaders admitting they have lost sleep or felt stressed worrying about the speed of change in the digital world and the technological landscape – with a quarter worried this may soon happen to them.

Additional fears cited were AI taking jobs, not understanding new tech, competitors getting ahead and losing relevance with consumers.

The research looked at what the effects of these views are and how making fear-based decisions only exacerbates the problem.

With over half of business leaders admitting to have spent money on digital services without understanding them or that haven’t helped or worked for the business, it’s more evident that C-Suite roles have become a lot harder.

Accelerated digital innovation and changing consumer behaviours are creating more decisions to make, at the same time growth is harder to achieve.

Choosing where to invest and how to connect with consumers, is becoming complicated.

Understanding this business landscape is critical for leaders. Recognising that social and digital are both inseparable and the backbone to a successful modern brand as well as the largest single connection point to customers, has never been more important.

BBD Perfect Storm believes it’s the right time to launch CO/LABS, a specialist social and digital innovation division designed to help brands that are being left out of culture as human behaviours and demands evolve faster than they can respond.

Laura Redman

The agency has recruited former Group CSO and MD of JOE Media Group, Laura Redman to lead the new division.

Redman comes from an extensive background in social-first publishing and working with leading creative agencies.

In her former role, she led the branded content division and acquired a unique understanding of how to get attention online.

She helped leading brands such as Hotels.com, Amazon, Spotify and Carling connect with diverse audiences across an array of niche passion points and online platforms.

Prior to that, as CEO of creative agency Therapy, she was the driver behind bold and disruptive digital campaigns such as #newqueenintown for insta-famous retailer, Beauty Bay and launched the first of a kind, interactive global think test, for internet security giant, Kaspersky.

Redman brings expertise in strategic planning and business growth across social and digital experiences, while cultivating a breadth of talent at CO/LABS.

Assembling a diverse team of social-first thinkers and digital innovators across skill sets – data & insights, strategy, creative, design and content production.

Doing so will allow brands to originate distinctive, culturally potent campaigns that live in and beyond the main social media messaging platforms, diving deeper into digital playgrounds.

CO/LABS will emphasise thinking “beyond the social feed”; encouraging brands to embrace digital culture.

“The research proved what we had expected – that business leaders are often acting out of fear rather than understanding when it comes to new technologies and digital culture”, Redman said.

“Worryingly, half of business leaders surveyed also feel it’s not their job to understand digital technologies and change. But the lack of understanding will likely increase the fear of being left behind which leads to investment in the wrong places.

“BBD Perfect Storm is already working with leading brands and shaping culture – I’m thrilled to be heading up this exciting new division. Marketing as we’ve always known is changing.

“We want to cut through the ‘hype cycles’ and encourage brands to find ways to authentically find their voice and deliver real-world business results.”

Jason Foo, CEO, BBD Perfect Storm said: “CO/LABS and Laura’s appointment is an important step forward in a clearly much needed area.

“Laura and her team will take our journeys with clients in new and defining directions, giving solutions to the problems of the digital age which keep business leaders up at night.