Who knows about the future of technology at Wunderman? Let’s ask John!

Who knows about the future of technology at Wunderman? Let’s ask John!

Wunderman Prague’s esteemed guru of the digital multiverse, Vladimir Rejlek, recently caught up with the newest member of the Wunderman global elite, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) John Cunningham, on the Prague leg of his Wunderman office world tour.


Chief Technology Officer (CTO) John Cunningham. Autor fotografií: Josef Jelínek/Wunderman Praha

Let’s meet the man and find out what John has in store for the technological future of Wunderman.

Welcome to Prague John. I know we are curious about your visit and your role. So, could you describe what it means to be the Chief Technology Officer at Wunderman?
Yes, so, I’m the Chief Technology Officer across the Wunderman group of brands. That means responsibility for Wunderman, Possible, Salmon, Cognifide, Acceleration, and Barrows. That’s a diverse group of brands that do lots of different things – everything from commerce to experience platforms, marketing automation and strategy.

So, for me it’s making sure that if somebody has a need in a particular office, then we route that request through to the group that has the most experience and the best chance of delivering that opportunity in an efficient and cost-effective manner, coupled with quality.

You came to us from Possible. Could you introduce Possible to us and describe what role it plays in the Wunderman family?
I’d say what Wunderman has done by acquiring large agencies, Possible did by acquiring small agencies – which means that Possible today, coming into Wunderman, is seen as being very strong in AR, VR, and mobile development. Last year, they won eight or nine Cannes Lions for Adidas Glitch. I think Possible, globally, has very much that kind of entrepreneurial type of approach and spirit, because it’s a group of acquisitions of small agencies.

I can remember a difficult project for us, which was making a mobile app for Nestlé on a global level. We approached some external developers because it was challenging for us to do the whole thing. Now instead, Possible is here to support these kinds of projects?
Yes. So, there are two different areas. In Hungary, there is Possible, Budapest, which does AR, VR, and mobile gaming. And then, there’s also Possible, Mobile, which is in Denver, US. (“Mobile” is the name of a city in the US).

They are purely mobile, about eighty or ninety people that just do mobile. But, they do set-top box work as well, like Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Roku. They often do a lot of work for big American brands like JetBlue, NBA basketball, PGA golf.

You’ve mentioned a lot of technology, so this is a bit of a visionary question – what are the key trends and technologies for this and next year that Wunderman should really focus on?
For me, it’s turning machine learning (ML) and AI (artificial intelligence) insights into something which is actionable at the point of conversation with the consumer.

As Wunderman, I think we are placed at an inflection point in time, and we can start to join up all of the bits that we do individually – so, the ML piece, the AI piece, the data mining piece, the content creation piece, the marketing automation piece. If we can join all of those bits up together, and make it actionable, I think that’s a challenge for this year.

I want those insights to be affecting the next best action in real time in conversation with the customers.

So, to turn these trends and insights into real marketing solutions?
Yes, because by the time they get turned into a creative campaign, the world has turned, and customers have moved on. So, you need to be able to affect that behavior when it exhibits itself in real life.

People talk about a one-to-one conversation, or one-to-one marketing –  that should be like the conversation we’re having now. We should be able to read each other’s body language, tone of voice, and then use that to inform the next step in the conversation, as opposed to sending an email, sending an SMS, push notification, and hoping for the best.

I know you’ve just arrived in Prague, so maybe it’s too early to ask about your first impressions of the city, but, what were your first impressions of Wunderman Prague after you saw our credentials?
I think it’s super-impressive, it’s sophisticated, and it shows a maturity of thinking. You know, I started off life in the early nineties at CompuServe, when there was no Internet and there was dial-up. So, I saw the first dotcom boom and bust, and the coming of different iterations since.

I think there are people who come in to what we do in digital, and they think it’s all brand-new. You guys take such a lot of thinking time, that actually a lot of your approaches are very mature, and sophisticated.

One last question, what do you do besides travelling around the world from Wunderman to Possible and back again? What are your hobbies?
I collect classic cars and watches. They’re the things that interest me. Thank you. I will send you an update when I get around to seeing the city. So, there you have it. It’s exciting to think of all the ways the very newest technology is going to inform and improve what we do at Wunderman, especially for mobile platform development.

Thank you, John Cunningham. We’re looking forward to an awesome 2018...

Autor článku: Vladimír Rejlek

Kategorie: Agentura, blog