Ogilvy UK's Social Strategy Director, Chris Walts, is named among the 10 most powerful people in tech you haven't heard of (yet) by Phrasse. 

The list names 10 people making waves in the tech world to keep an eye on.

The source of his power:

A self-described “acute understanding of the human condition and an innate ability to interoperate and apply insight through the lens of a cultural zeitgeist” has enabled Chris Walts to carve out a comfortable niche for himself as Social Strategy Director at Ogilvy UK – an agency that brings together bespoke teams of specialists to work on every brand to help each market itself more effectively. As Social Strategy Director, Chris keeps his finger on the pulse of new and emerging trends, technologies and behaviours, and translates this knowledge into tangible solutions for Ogilvy’s clients.

Why you should care:

With social media platforms dominating the digital sphere more with every passing day, and with digital channels playing an ever-growing role in the lives of consumers, true social media communication experts are in higher demand than ever before. Anyone specialising in social media marketing who has the expertise to deliver tangible, quantifiable results for brands is worth their weight in gold these days. Just ask any of the myriad brands which have shot themselves in the foot with tone-deaf, ill-advised social posts in the past few years with disastrous results: a quality social media leader who “gets it” has become indispensable. And, as any of the many huge Brands Chris has already worked with will tell you, Chris’s input can mean the difference between social media stasis and social media success.

Chris’s take:

How is the way brands represent themselves on social media evolving right now?

In many ways, social media is the world’s water cooler. It’s where people get their news, discuss the latest cultural phenomena, and vent when something’s gone wrong. The sheer amount of time spent on social networks has led to consumers prioritising where they give their attention, which in turn has led to a scepticism of being sold to. To cut through the tremendous amount of the noise and ‘fake-news’, brands are learning that honesty, transparency and utility are key. Brands that understand how to provide value – through entertainment, utility, or inspiration – are the ones consumers remember and tell their friends about. While most brands now understand that ‘social isn’t free’, the clever ones have realised it doesn’t have to be expensive. Relevance and value are far more important than the execution.

Where is the relationship between brands and social media platforms headed in the years to come?

In an effort to provide greater value to consumers, brands were working hard to create frictionless, personalised experiences. Unfortunately, the correct rules and regulations weren’t put in place, and people’s personal data started getting abused. Rightly, this has led to scrutiny around how brands and platforms could and should use people’s personal data, but it has slowed down the creation of curated experiences. Moving forward, I think additional controls will be added to let individuals decide ‘how’ and ‘when’ they want their data to be shared to create frictionless personalisation. This will be expanded even further through clever Messenger/Chat/Voice interfaces and artificial intelligence as brands seek to seamlessly link specific products and content to individual consumer needs at the exact moment they need it.

 

This was originally published on Phrasse. To see the full list click here.