More than 50 years ago, the United States achieved what many had seen as an impossible dream: landing a man on the moon. The Apollo 11 mission marked both a “giant leap for mankind” and totally revolutionized the possibility of how we can use technology to push limits and connect people all around the globe (over 600 million people worldwide eagerly tuned into their television sets to witness history). Today, the power of technology isn’t just seen in these milestone moments in front of the family TV; the internet touches every moment of people’s lives from the moment they wake up. The overarching influence of the web has propelled digital transformation across all industries and reimagined how organizations connect with their audiences.
As the CTO of global brand experience agency VMLY&R, David Mitchell works to expand the scope of what technology can accomplish to build memorable and connected customer experiences. “Marketing begins with inspiration. Then that inspiration moves toward building connection, deepening that connection digitally and making experiences that can be shared with others,” he says.
As an Acquia global select partner and a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Global Marketing Agencies, VMLY&R has created award-winning campaigns for renowned brands like Wendy’s, Heinz and Sprint. During his career, David has seen a large shift in how companies achieve success. Brands today are moving away from product-focused offerings toward a service-based economy. “Our clients come to us for the rubric of how to create a connected brand,” David says.
Launching Connected Experiences
The biggest differentiator for brands today is building experiences the right way. The focus is no longer on what someone’s selling, but on building trust and memorable connections with the people you’re selling it to. Within their own leadership, VMLY&R includes a range of creative and tech roles such as a Chief Connections Officer and a Chief Experience Officer who work to integrate innovation strategy, technology, human-centered design and brand purpose throughout the entire customer journey. David and his team design transformation from a human-centric perspective rather than a tech-focused approach. While everyone may be talking about the impact of “digital transformation,” VMLY&R frames this shift as “experience transformation.” They create seamless experiences where technology feels like a natural extension of the human journey. Innovating for new touchpoints and ways to connect is why VMLY&R uses a technique that they’ve dubbed “Content Rocket.”