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CMOs of the Future

What does it mean to be a storyteller?

Perhaps the word conjures up images of ancient nomads gathered around campfires, or Steven Spielberg making E.T.

In the business world, storytelling is the common thread that unites marketers, advertisers, publishers and creative communicators. The goal is deceptively simple: create narratives that persuade consumers to make a purchase. But the rapid digitization of, well, everything means marketers’ world is more complex than ever before. Stories are told across multiple channels, targeted to specific audiences, and compete for attention amidst a deluge of content that will only grow larger.

In the time it takes to master today’s technologies, tomorrow’s new innovations will have already arrived, giving disruptive startups fresh opportunities to topple the establishment. In other words, we’re not just swapping tales around the campfire anymore. So what does it mean to be a storyteller now?

C Space is the place to explore that question. From its headquarters at ARIA in Tech South to Tech East and Tech West, C Space connects attendees with the world’s most renowned brands, advertisers, and content platforms. In essence, C Space tells the story of storytelling as it unfolds at the convergence of marketing and technology.

The brands at C Space including Hulu, AOL, Google, Vox Media and NBCUniversal know the challenges of modern storytelling. But they also know the tremendous rewards for those who rise to meet those challenges. Leveraging powerful narratives to move consumers isn’t just good for business, it’s perhaps the most meaningful thing a marketer can do.

In celebration of C Space, i3 spoke to eight marketing leaders about the future of storytelling. On the following pages, you’ll find both boundless optimism and honest skepticism about the world tomorrow’s CMOs will inherit. Most importantly, you’ll also find stories of a changing industry, told by the people who are shaping what’s to come.

C Space, of course, is part of CES, the show that presents the world with the latest consumer technology. And as CES answers the “what,” C Space is focused on “how.” How should brand storytellers use the latest communication tools to specific audiences? How will new ways of capturing and distributing content remake the storytelling experience for both brands and audiences and how can marketers ensure they’re prepared for what’s new? How should marketers do their job today, and prepare to do it tomorrow?

As marketers ask these questions, they must also ask themselves what parts of their profession remain constant. What fundamental truths stay the same even as technology changes? Perhaps one such truth is that, no matter the media or the millennia, a good story is the most powerful magic a person can practice. In that sense, we’re really not so far removed from those nomads sitting around the fire.

BobLiodice_100.jpgBob Liodice
President and CEO
Association of National Adverstisers


BrianOKelley_100.jpgBrian O'Kelley

JeffLevick_100.jpgJeff Levick
Chief Revenue Officer

LisaGevelber_100.jpgLisa Gevelber
Vice President of Marketing


AshuGarg_100.jpgAshu Garg
General Partner
Foundation Capital


JaneSchachtel_100.jpgJane Schachtel
Global Head of Mobile & Technology Strategy

IrwinGotlieb_100.jpgIrwin Gotlieb
GroupM Global

JoePrusz_100.jpgJoe Prusz
Head of Mobile
Rubicon Project


CTA Staff