Before his panel at the upcoming ad:tech New York conference (Agency/Brand Relationships: Meeting the Needs to Build Long-Lasting Relationships), Isaac Garcia, CEO of Central Desktop, a leading cloud-based collaboration platform for marketers and agencies, chatted with us about the bright future of collaboration from the cloud.
On Cloud Computing—The Future
I still believe we are at an early stage. There's still a tremendous amount of work that continues to happen on our desktop. All work, eventually, will be moved into the cloud. People continue to say that, "we'll always have some local instances, we'll always have our desktops, we'll always have our own private servers." I think those are the kind of things that, over time, will go away and everything, literally, will be in the cloud.
There are segments that are just now moving into the cloud or are being disrupted because of the cloud. Which brings us directly to advertising and marketing. We believe that the cloud is changing how advertising happens, how marketers work. They need new tools to work, and those are all in the cloud—and if they're not there today, they will be in the future. All of the walls that are up now continue to fall year, after year, after year.
On The Future of Advertising
The advertising world is in the middle of a major shift, which everyone calls "the shift to digital." So instead of people working with agencies and marketers coming up with campaigns around TV, radio, print, billboards—today, all of these agencies, brands and marketers are working toward digital. Mobile apps, websites, YouTube videos, social media, etc. And all those assets are in the cloud. It forces brand marketers and agencies to work differently.
For the workforce in the future—let's call them the cloud-based workforce—obviously accessing everything through browsers will always be preferable. And when we look at the mobile side of things, that's when everything gets a little more active. As soon as you put everything in the cloud, that means you can work from anywhere, which means your mobile device. The future of cloud computing is mobile. So at Central Desktop, we already have a mobile app today, but we continue to do more and more development on the mobile side because everyone is moving around.
On Agency/Brand Relations (The Topic He Will Be Speaking About at ad:tech)
As a technology provider to both brand marketers and agencies, we have a lot of insight and perspective. We also did some surveys earlier this year on how brands and agencies interact, what do they think of each other, what do they think of technology, etc. Some interesting stats came through. We found that at just under a third of agencies, the brands that they were serving were requiring them to use some sort of collaboration solution. They were saying “Look, just sending us a bunch of emails and FTP links, isn't going to cut it anymore. You need some better tools to collaborate.” We found that very interesting.
Another stat on the brand side that was pretty interesting was that more than 60 percent of the brands said that when an agency comes to them with some sort of collaboration technology as part of their pitch, they found that a huge competitive differentiator. An agency can say, “Hey, we're really great and creative,” but the execution of that creativity can really fall behind without the right tools.
On Building a Brand
Marketers are serious, but at the end of the day marketers are all about having fun and being creative. So we wanted a voice and brand that really spoke to them. Marketing has a lot to do with disruption and being a little bit irreverent, pushing the envelope and living on the edge. We want to externalize that brand because that is how we are here internally, too.
Some of it is in my personality—there's a little bit of a geek flair to what you see on the website. In my heart, in my business partner’s heart, we're tech heads. We're a little big geekish, we're the nerds; but we also run the company. The brand reflects that a bit.
On How He Went From an M.A. in English to Where He Is Today
When I graduated after five years of college, studying English and literature, I had absolutely no marketable skills at all. I could read quickly and type really fast, those were the things I did well. So I took a job as a word processor, and I ended up being the IT guy by the fact that I was the youngest there.
They said we need this user tracking system to manage our database. And I said, "OK, I'll code it!" So I leveraged my reading skills and called all my friends and said, "Hey, how do I do this?" So I read a bunch of books on programming and I literally hacked my way through it. And then, later on, someone asked me to be a software rep, and again I said "Sure, I can do that!" Again, with no other marketable skill to fall back on. And I read some books and called my friends and figured it out.
I merged the two together–software sales and technical knowledge–and I met my business partner and we said let's start a company. It freaked out my wife when we jumped off a ledge financially, but you just do it. So I stumbled upon it, that's what happened.
On His Philosophy
I have this weird feeling that I can kind of do anything. I'm a big believer that all the answers, whatever you need, already it exists. It exists and you just got to go find it. That's my personal philosophy.
This article is part of Allvoices’ series on ad:tech, the largest digital marketing and technology conferences and expositions. Check out allvoices.com/adtech for more of Allvoices’ ad:tech New York event coverage. This series is supported by ad:tech.