Today we formally launch 360iU, our agency’s educational center created to cross-pollinate our deep and diverse knowledge base across culture, design and technology. The formalized hub will serve as an aggregator of and extension to our on-going educational and thought leadership efforts, which include our Playbooks, whitepapers, reports, speaker series, annual Client Summit, and more. Innovation through education has been ingrained in our mission from day one – it’s in our DNA – and the launch of 360iU marks an important and exciting step in this goal.
Education is critical in a space marked by such rapid change. The digital world changes fast, and keeping up isn’t enough. Brands, agencies, media companies and technologies are all challenged to stay ahead and constantly think beyond the now and into the vast opportunities that lie ahead. More specifically, we see two critical things that we believe agencies and marketers need in order to keep pace with consumer change:
- A fundamental understanding of the way technology changes behavior. Technology is a driver of culture – if you don’t understand it, then you can’t become a part of it and certainly can’t integrate cross-platform marketing programs.
- A framework for integrating culture, design and technology that will drive more meaningful value exchange with consumers.
It’s a thrilling place to be, but also one that requires a conscious dedication to learning and collaboration. This learning takes place outside of one individual’s own area of discipline or expertise.
360iU is designed to help our Fortune 500 clients, employees and the industry at-large think more expansively when it comes to reaching people through digital. To lead this effort, we’ve recruited Mark Avnet as Dean of 360iU. Mark joins 360i from the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Brandcenter, widely heralded as the nation’s top graduate school in advertising and marketing. Avnet served as Professor and Chair of the Creative Technology Track at the Brandcenter, which is part of the VCU’s School of Mass Communications.
At 360i Avnet will educate employees on cross-functional skills and conduct intensive training to inspire big ideas catalyzed by the collaboration of strategy, technology and creative. For 360i’s roster of Fortune 500 marketers, Mark will expand the agency’s thought leadership programs and lead client workshops that advise marketers on how to leverage digital technologies to create closer connections between people and brands.
We hope you’ll join us in this quest for broader thinking – specifically regarding the role of digital media and technology in culture – by entering the conversation yourselves. Comment on our blog, send us a tweet, or email us to share your thoughts on how brands can connect with people in more creative and meaningful ways.