At a Digital Strategy Session I ran the other week for a creative agency, one of the management commented that she’d recently been to an advertising conference and felt like she was at a technology show. Her comment was that if an alien had landed at the event, it would have assumed advertising was largely about software calculating small differences in consumer behavior and purchasing patterns. Certainly all very different from the days of the fabled Big Idea, where ad agencies would arrive and unveil the result of their reductive brain-mashing. These days, a lot more attention is paid to the brute-force style analytical approach where the goal is to maximise clicks, fans and followers. Undoubtedly, the apparently revolutionary advantages brought by automated markets trading signals and attention data are highly alluring for CMOs with data-hungry procurement officers breathing down their necks. However, as media companies increasingly morph into software houses and drive the big data agenda forward, it’s very easy for the power of good creative to get lost. Or become confused with innovative data management platforms or whizzy, layered look-a-like and life event targeting techniques. No doubt, it’s all just part of the ebb and flow occurring in media and marketing as the rising tide of digital and networked media continues.