• Adam Conner

The Future of Content Tech with CLICKON Founder & CEO Rich Wilson

This is the Authentic Avenue podcast cover for The Future of Content Tech with CLICKON Founder & CEO Rich Wilson

This is a link you can use to find Authentic Avenue, a marketing podcast hosted by Adam Conner, on Apple Podcasts. Remember to subscribe, rate, and review!

Today, my guest is Rich Wilson. He's the Founder & CEO of CLICKON, which is a new-age creative agency specializing in content tech.

Today, Rich and I speak about how he got into the advertising world, beginning with the documentary-style storytelling and brand work he began with. (As someone into long-form content, I definitely related to this!)

From there we explore why he's leaned into content tech, and what it means to build a platform around the creative process rather than just be a resource towards its production.

We touch on the coexistence of creativity and technology (including how AI is likely not the answer), and hypothesize what brands will be asking for in the future when it comes to remote content production.

I believe the agency world has a long way to go with its tech investments as a means of being agile globally and employing local talent and taste. Rich understands this, and I think you'll enjoy his perspective.

Follow Rich: https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-wilson-bb03a855/

Learn more about CLICKON: https://www.clickon.co/

Enjoy! Full transcript below. And, as we're getting used to here -- the YouTube live video version:


LinkedIn (Authentic Avenue): https://www.linkedin.com/company/68049428/

LinkedIn (Adam Conner): https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamjconner/

Email Adam at adam@authenticavenuemedia.com

Learn more at https://authenticavenuemedia.com/.

TRANSCRIPT BELOW (powered by Descript; accuracy not guaranteed):

Adam Conner: Rich, how are you? Good to chat with you. Want to learn more about your story, but first, um,

Rich Wilson: I'm good. Good to see you. How are you? Uh,

Adam Conner: I've been fine. I have a, it's been a little while since we talked last listening to do a little bit of prep, actually, viewers, we do a little bit of prep.

It's been like one to two months in the planning here. Uh, but we both had things going on and now we get to come together. We get to talk about, uh, content tech using cool content tech, which is nice. CLICKON. Let's start there. I want to learn about how. Like what the inspiration was to start it. And then how you experienced such a meteoric rise and a, and what's next generally, but we'll do what's next later.

Let's start with that baseline. Let's learn more about you. Let's learn more about your, why

Rich Wilson: more about the why. Wow. CLICKON CLICKON has been a sort of. I sort of work of work of love, really, you know, we, we, we, we started, you know, quite a few quite a few years ago and it's, I think at the core of CLICKON, it's always been a, sort of a sense of purpose and mission and, and storytelling.

So, you know, we started in the publishing space, uh, and we were doing branded content as well. Um, and we saw huge shifts, you know, huge shifts in the market. And I think just as Facebook and all of these social channels were starting to grow at a frightening. There was those, those disruptions starting to happen.

And actually what we saw happening as our publishing side was scaling was actually brands were realizing that they didn't need to go through intermediaries anymore. They could go directly to the audiences by the, by the platforms and, you know, CLICKON CLICKON was sort of living. And we were living this as this huge shift was, was happening.

And, and what we ultimately realized was that, you know, brands could reach audiences directly. They just needed people to show them how to do it. Um, and I think that was really the nexus of, of how we got outbreak. Um, you know, and I think fast forward to where we are today, social platforms is still has stronger than ever.

And, and I think more than ever, brands are realizing that they can own their relationships. You know, that that ability to do that requires amazing people that requires technology and, and, and we're right in the middle of that right now. It's, it's kind of exciting.

Adam Conner: When did that break happen? Can you talk about the break for a second?

Everybody's got one. I just want to know when it finally clicked for you because Facebook was there for several years before in terms of social content. At least in my recollection really started exploding probably once in 20 10, 11. And then again in 1314, I'm curious like where along where along its trajectory, yours.

Rich Wilson: Yeah, I think as was probably in a, in a sort of the, that sort of 20 14, 15, where I think audiences are hit a critical mass. And everybody started to take note because I think in the earliest days, people looked at Facebook as a sort of collegiate sort of collegiate platform and almost a bit like people see sports, you know, today and over the last three years, you know, we know there's something huge here, but we don't really know what to do with it.

You know, these people here are they transient? Can we reach them? And so I, I think we joined at a time when. You know, publishers we're getting into that mix brands were getting into that mix. And when people have to figure out how to speak to people, which is quite a weird thinking back now, because you know, who would, who would have thought we'd all be worrying about one by ones and 16 by nine and nine by sixteens.

You know, it was, it was another one, another world back then, that was just a much simpler.

Adam Conner: So then I got to ask, before we go onto the actual. Meat and potatoes of what, of, what CLICKON is and doesn't, and the trends that it supports you saw that happen. And your, your, your background is you have a shrewd investment mind that that's what you, you know, how to do allocate resources.

Well, so what about the timing of it? I mean, because. Facebook did have its wave a couple of different times where you attempted before that, where there people nudging you on the shoulder, like rich, nobody knows how to actually do this. Or like, or there's a big opportunity here. Like we should dive in.

Tell me about some of that. Like, did you bounce the idea off of people? How did they react to you? Did it happen prior to the launch? Take me through that process. I love the idea of people sort of testing the waters before they finally go in with.

Rich Wilson: You know, it's really funny. Cause I always go back to a story that we had.

So Ben, uh, my, my, you know, my co-founder CLICKON, we, we set it up and we went into one of the huge publishing offices in London at the time publishers were doing well. They were the high and mighty and I won't name any names, but we went in there and we sat next to one of the, one of the editors and chiefs, you know, the, the, the big, the big cheeses.

And, you know, we had, we had, you know, we were doing a lot on social. We had huge audiences. And they sort of looked at us and they sort of said, you know, what are you guys talking about? We don't need you. Um, you know, we've, we've got this figured out, you know, you, you, you guys are just another little sort of transient company, you know, with big ambitions, we're fine.

We've got this. And, and I remember just sitting there and we just looked at each other and, uh, myself and Ben, and then we looked at this guy and he was just being dead serious. And he was almost so unimpressed with what we were trying to do. He just kept looking up at the wall at his photographs, almost so disinterested in what we were doing.

We were just sitting there thinking, you know, this is, this is really interesting and in a weird way, it makes you want to try harder and it makes you want to prove people wrong faster. I felt like that was a really interesting moment. I always go back to it when people tell you no, and they say you're wrong, you sort of double down and you just push harder.

And that was, that was an interesting moment for us because we just knew that even the biggest people in the space just, they couldn't see it.

Adam Conner: I love that idea. Somebody sits there like disinterested and looks right at me or, or, um, let me trade a story with you first, because this, this idea is super strong.

No matter where you, you, you, you come from no pretense. There is, if you come in and somebody like challenge you directly to your face, like, I don't care how I felt when I was outside the door. I'll walk in the door. If you tell me something, I probably to a fault, like in my head first, I'll just, I'll get I'll react.

Don't get mad. And then I won't really like bear down and be like, Nope, I'm going to prove you wrong and I'm going to embarrass you. And then I'm going to, and then I'm going to maybe disrupting, take you over or do something better. Uh, so this, this happened where I was, um, interviewing. I was in New York listeners to a previous podcast of mine will, will know this interview, but they won't know the context.

So I'll get to give it. I was in New York for an advertising conference. I. 12 minutes to interview this big cheese. So you say in, in, in advertising, who's from the UK, sir, Martin Sorrell from, uh, who had founded WPP and now is doing S for capital where he's like building another huge, mostly digital powerhouse, which I wonder how close that approaches, what the thing you're trying to disrupt is, um, I'll never forget this within like the first minute or two of the interview.

He, uh, he started calling me by the way. And I didn't have like the courage to like correct him because this was the biggest name that I'd ever gotten in front of, in the advertising world. And so I just sort of internally boiled and then later on, I was like, man, is it like, is it that I just didn't like garner the respect as like an interviewer as a podcast?

Or like, am I not hard hitting enough? And that was in August. 19 or maybe September of 19. And after that I just hit the pavement super hard. I like double, triple my output. I like never stopped again. And haven't, I love those moments in the moment. I don't like love and love, but then looking back, love them.

So cool. I'm glad you had that moment because it spurs a lot of action and it's, you know, for whatever reason. Anyway. Cool. Nice. Now your job today it's proved like I wrong, but to broadly help brands be better storytellers the way that you've done it, as I understand it. And you'll tell me more about it is specifically through documentary based storytelling.

I love that because I'm a fan of long form, mostly in the audio format, dabbling in video. I think that's great. You did that several years ago. Can you explain, I guess, for the super untrained eye and here, why what's different about documentary based storytelling from other like typical storytelling we see brands do and an example or two of how you made it different for somebody.

Rich Wilson: Yeah, sure. It's, it's really interesting. Cause we, you know, we got a big, I guess another one of our defining points and we, we, we, we seem to have many, you know, I guess a relation to how quickly this industry shifts. It's documentary content. So Ben and I, we sat down and probably 2017, maybe a little bit before.

And we, and we sort of said, right, we're really going to commit to, to building an incredible story, driven content. And we created a huge pool of original content, you know, across a whole different array of people and topics. And in addition, we started then offering that to brands as a way of sort of building almost authenticity within, you know, within what it was that they were doing.

Cause I think there's no better way. Then documentary storytelling of just getting to the real nuts and bolts of who you are and what you do. Um, I mean, got, look at YouTube, look at, you know, you look at Netflix, I could all these channels now. It's, it's, it's all long form. Um, you know, I mean, God, can you imagine, literally three or four years ago, people were saying long-form doesn't really exist anymore.

It's like, go and go on YouTube. I'm telling you right now it does. And it's still going strong. Like a podcast. So we, you know, we, we, we, we sort of got a big break and we started working with brands, you know, w you know, from special Olympics and an incredible organization in the U S you know, promoting inclusion.

And I worked with them was just telling stories. And it sounds really simple, but it's really not because everyone's idea of stories and content difference, but, you know, how do you actually reposition a brand and tell amazing stories about the people. The work, they do the lives, they change and do it at scale.

And you know, what, what you started realize is you actually get into the DNA of, of, of who they are and, you know, the sort of beating heart. And that's been a great love, a great. Love for us working with those guys. Cause I think there's probably no greater mission than what they're up to, you know, across all of the American American schools and the American youth.

So I think that's one great example. And I guess another one is probably the, that the us Navy for, for American audiences, we worked with amazing agencies and, you know, and, and, and the Navy to help promote. Recruitment. And I think what they realized was that, you know, chess banging and, you know, big Michael bay movies and blockbuster star TV ads, just weren't, weren't doing the job anymore.

Young people are too clever. They know the game. You've got to tell stories. Um, you've got to inspire people at the grassroots level. Why do people join it? It's not to BGI Joe it's it's to actually be given a sort of sense of purpose and a real mission. And I think the Navy enables that and that's the difference.

That's the differentiation that you only get through storytelling and documentaries. So

Adam Conner: yeah, I saw that with the, I mean, I. Focused specifically on the Navy, but the thing that most hits me about like, what's an ad for the army that I remember at this point, I don't know how many years ago it was probably 10 or 15, but for a while, the army in the U S did these like sandstorm, like charges, like that was basically the whole ad was like the soldiers running through the thing and it's like, oh, okay.

But then over time it was discovered that. Not discovered. It was just, it became more generally known that like, man, that's not it at all. I mean, really, unless you're in like full-time war. So anyway, I, I, I agree. I think that the same can be told for, uh, brands who aren't in the military, uh, externally or internally.

I think there's a huge, uh, still untapped opportunity there though. You're chipping away at that. And. You took this ability to document and just tell stories, which as simple as it sounds a little harder to pull off and it gave you the right from what I understand to turn your business from just, we tell stories into content tech.

Now here's where my knowledge starts to like go off the rails a little bit, because when I think of content tech, I think. Maybe a website that I can plug a video into and resize it to the 16, 9, 9, 16 that you're talking about before me. Like, I really don't know as much about it. Um, but I do know there's a heck of a lot of opportunity there, and there's a heck of a lot of brands that probably need that because it makes content so much more versatile.

So what was your inspiration, I guess in the second, jump from help brands tell stories to, we gotta be a platform for that, as opposed to. Um, more maybe bespoke house that just told one brand story and moved on. Can you explain that a little bit? Yeah.

Rich Wilson: I, I think that's really interesting and in a weird way, it's actually kind of the two journeys coming to coming together.

So you take a company with DNA and digital publishing, creating hundreds, thousands of assets at scale every day. And then you fuse that with sort of branded storytelling. Um, and, and you sort of, you, you, you know, publishing requires technology expertise, you know, creating original, great content, you know, requires creative expertise.

You know, we w we were getting more and more requests from clients to sort of deliver, you know, a thousand assets in five days, you know, ridiculous requests.


Adam Conner: hang on a minute. That seems like I don't care if you have the best. You know what? I almost said, they're almost at AI, but I know that we're going to talk about that in a little bit.

Hell nah, hell do you do that anyway? And

Rich Wilson: it's we, we just realize that the content is not going to go away. I mean, you could see, you know, you can see that from the growth of the platform. So we started investing in technology just to help the creation process. So, you know, I think where do all the issues fall down when you, you know, you get overloaded with requirements, you just have to use technology to do all the heavy lifting.

So we started investing in technology to help, you know, the thought thousand assets and five day kind of clients. So. You know, we built it. You know, one of our advisors calls it, eating your own dog. Food's a horrible analogy, but it is what it is. And, um, we, we, we, we built it and scaled a business off of it.

Um, and ultimately then started turning that product into something that we knew other people would also need because it was solving such a big problem for us. So that, that, that is how we sort of morphed into being, I guess, more. I guess from publishing at scale to storytelling and documentary, that scale to being a hybrid creative and technology company, the sort of fusing the two together.

Adam Conner: Let's talk about that process next, because you have managed to build a process for this distributed content at scale, but also the ability to do. Remotely, which in this case, it's not just, oh, I sit at home at a desk and I, I can't get the onsite filming experience from here at the desk, but if I can distribute the people around, I can get things done a lot more quickly.

And you've, blueprinted this, I enjoy that because I like talking to people who have blueprinted certain elements of business. And I would like to ask without you peeling back the entire onion to learn, how did you blueprint it? And what, what is that process of remote content production as CLICKON, see.

Rich Wilson: I think it's, I guess you have to sort of look forward and then look back. So, I mean, you know, you, you brought up some Ansara earlier and I think there's a really interesting now analogy that he's, he's, he's obviously a hard, a hard interview, but I think his, you know, his model and the model of the sort of companies have evolved, you know, you, you always have this sort of the big holding groups and then you have these new era companies, you know, you're sort of best for capitals and, and some of the stuff that lack is doing, and then you come into the new third space.

If you were going to build a global agency today, wouldn't you build half of it on technology, you know, wouldn't you accept that ESG and sustainability is where the world's going, that people won't travel as freely as they did that. Remote working as a thing. Um, you know, wouldn't you be when you build a company that's half technology, half people, you know, where technology can do a lot of the heavy lifting drive cost efficiencies, reduce carbon emissions.

And then, you know, support that with human creativity, I people, and I think that's where we find ourselves now. And that's the model where we find ourselves that, that the demand for content is bigger than it's ever been before. You know, brands are looking to do more in house. They need the technology to help them to do it, and they need access to sort of remote teams all around the world.

You know, it's almost everything coming together for many different reasons, but all at the same time,

Adam Conner: That that's what I've seen for sure. When I talk to brands are like at the CMO level, lot of it is like, oh, we've done a lot of this. We've brought a lot of this. In-house the source locally. I've I've like to go and find talent somewhere and be able to manage them remotely.

I've actually seen. Less, but maybe that's catching up really. The only way that I can visualize it is okay. I'm a brand in the Washington DC area of the U S but I would really like, I have a client that wants to film something in Paris or whatever. Well, I could take a whole team here and fly him over there.

That's probably the carbon footprint you're talking about, or I can source locally and find somebody in Paris now that where the rubber meets the road for this. Again, ignorant brain. I'm still thinking like, well, I'll just take that file and upload it into like Google drive or whatever, and they'll send it over to me and I'll pull it down and that'll be it.

That's not how you, that's how you get one piece to one piece, not how you get to one to 1,005 days. So then let me ask you this, because obviously that's been on your brain. What are brands or people who are hungry for that sort of scale asking about next? Because my question is that, how does the technology.

Finally, like coexist with all of those people. Like how can you can source that person locally, but how do you teach them to create the content at scale? Or do you take that upon yourself? And secondly, how do those two pieces, where will they ever like serve to strengthen each other rather than serve as like two pieces, which will have constant friction?


Rich Wilson: Pretty good question. I think honestly, the two have to work harmoniously together. I think anybody or any industry careers, genre that, that says that it can't work with technology going forward, I think is going to, it's going to have a real hard time. Um, but I think brands are, you know, brands that brands need to change.

You know, we we've met with global brands this year alone and they've said, look, go on to the days where we could send people around, you know, from Paris to New York, to Shanghai, to LA. You know, doing projects, you have to find people on the ground. And if you bring people on the ground, you have to keep a certain quality.

All right. So, so that, so that means that you, you have to find a way to keep that quality and keep everybody communicating and delivering together. And that has to be technology there's no, there's no other way. Um, and, and so I don't think technology is ever going to necessarily replace creativity. I don't, I don't believe in that, but I think the two can work.

Side-by-side. As equals, um,

Adam Conner: let me bring back the AI conversation because that's, most of the time, like for instance, in the podcast world, this does exist a little bit, which is kind of a cool idea, but it's very early take a, we take this podcast that we do, right. We're going to lay down probably 30, 35 minutes here.

So I have that 30 minute chunk. I throw it into a platform. Something happens. And then boom, I got 20 pieces of stuff that are like audio clips and video clips and quotes and texts and transcriptions. And isn't that all great. Wow. I took 30 minutes to record. I hit a button and I got a month of content.

Now, the reason why I know that's in its early phases because, um, that's what I'd like to build a business around. And I know the tech doesn't exist to do it. You also, as I understand are under the impression that the answer for that co existence is probably not a. So then where does the technology meet to creativity?

If not via some higher computing power?

Rich Wilson: That's a great question. And I think it depends on the output. So for example, if you're creating a static, a static ad or, or a 15 second ad, and you're trying to sell cars to, you know, 18 to 35 year old women, yes. There is technology that might be able to very arbitrarily, you know, patched together.

You know, the footage of the car to footage of a, of a female that age. Footage of a particular hobby. She might have put that together. And then that's the kind of asset you distribute at mass scale by mass scale. I mean, you know, tens of millions of impressions, if not more, but on the flip side, if you go back to the long form content that there's just, um, I don't think AI can replace human empathy.

Uh, I think it can do a good job at understanding what people and audiences like. It can't create content. You, you, it needs that human, that human touch, that human, that human input. So I think it depends on the end use. I think AI has a place. I think a lot of people sort of mix up, you know, sort of AI and machine learning, you know, AI.

Very few people have cracked that yet. Um, it's but it's a widely used term, but I, I, I think right now, I think it just depends on what is being, you know, what are you trying to achieve at the end of the day, if you're trying to create, you know, award-winning long form content, I don't think you're going to find a machine, an AI that could go out, write a script, film content, stitch it together and, and resonate with people.

Adam Conner: I agree. I've seen attempts at it right now. It's like, ah, normally they're just like funny videos that Tik TOK of, like I told a robot to write a script about this and it's ridiculous. Right. You'll never get that truly. Um, you know, and then on the other end of it, there's some other people who have talked to that, tell me straight up.

AI is not real. I don't know about that, but basically that it's just a mathematical application that has done to a degree which humans cannot do in a certain amount of time. So. Okay. So at the end of the day, sounds like the a, uh, can't stand for artificial. It's gotta stand for authentic, according to you.

Uh, which is a great segue because I like that word a lot. So I will, uh, start the defining portion of the interview, where I ask you to define some things, um, start with that word. Authenticity. How do you look at it? How do you define it? How has it changed? What is it.

Rich Wilson: What does it, what does it to us? I think the question is what is authenticity to everybody?

I think everybody has differing opinions of what authenticity is. I mean, if we speak in the brand context, some brands think they're being authentic by doing, you know, very, very, very arbitrary communications. And, you know, they might think that's authentic. You know, the average person might look at that and actually just see, you know, see completely the opposite.

But for me, authentic nurses, how do you go down into the weeds of, of who you really are? You know, what, what is your actual purpose? What is your meaning? What do you stand for? Um, and, and do you actually, do you actually live it, you know, you know, you might talk about being empathetic and authentic brand, but you know, right down to the deepest level, when, when your customers or your consumers or your stakeholders look at you, do they see it?

Do they see it in your actions and the messages you give, the people that you work with employ? I think that for me, it's sort of authenticity. I think a lot of people probably got away within the past, but I think people are so smart now consumers are so smart. They know where to go looking. Um, and I think that's that for me is authenticity from, from the top level message right down to the real core of what it is that you do.

Is it transparent? Can people see it? And then I think you're authentic.

Adam Conner: So then let me ask you another question. I'm not gonna give her deep here maybe a little bit. It's broad. All right. We'll try it. We'll try to make this as, as, as eloquent as possible. What do you stand for

Rich Wilson: then? So what do I stand for?

I think it's really interesting because we've actually been going through, you know, where we're going, going, going forward. And I know we haven't talked about that, but I tried to imprint as a, as a founder sort of what I believe into to, and to CLICKON. Um, and I think actually we, we riffed on it for a long time.

Yeah. You know, you go down this route of all these arbitrary values. And I actually came back to what, what do I, you know, what do I stand for and what do we stand for as founders? And actually it's more about legacy. And I said, rather than commit with six random words, be bold, be, you know, be, be this, be that just stand for legacy.

You know, you are, you know, you are how you, you know, how you act with your clients, how you act with others, you know, the products you build when you go to work, you know, your at. EV everything you do is contributing towards something. Just make sure it stands for something, you know, give it, give it your all look back in 10 years time and, and feel like you've contributed either to creating an amazing business that stands for something or, or giving back to society or brands or, or just done something that, that, that, that stands for something.

So in a weird one about where we're now trying to sort of integrate, I guess what I believe into the, into the company. I think it's just, I think it sits around legacy. It's, it's one word. It means many things and people can remember.

Adam Conner: Where do you think brands are misstepping in their path to get there?

Why do I think that

Rich Wilson: probably mixing, mixing up the need to, you know, the, the, the need to sell and the need to sort of achieve their overall business mission and not focusing on the reason why they, why they exist. I think your brand struggled with this way less than, than, than older brands. Um, you know, because generally the newer age brands that are more founder led, uh, that rooted in a sense of purpose and a lot of larger, more established brands aren't necessarily.

You know, if the founders aren't still there, that the reason for existing aren't necessarily as strong as they were when they were created. So I think it's, I think they just need to try and go, you know, for, for, for older brands, they have to try and go back to what is the core, core reason for their existence and try and be authentic and what that is.

And, and don't try and just patch it up superficially for, for modern brands. I they'd been around in the digital age. They probably don't need to, they don't need to sell it. It's there for everyone to.

Adam Conner: Let's stick with brands for a second because you, as far as I know, again, I, I'm not as like worldly knowledgeable and this as I should be, maybe this whole world of content tech, again, it's even a term that I can't fully wrap my brain around where where's it going?

Because like, you're not the only person thinking about this surely. So what is. W w what our is going to expect. And I don't know what timeline you want to use here, because a year is probably short. Um, but let's say five. I mean, where, where, what will brands expect within five years with regard to the technology side of it's content?

Other than like one of their using CLICKON, would you be cool? Which would be great.

Rich Wilson: That'd be, that'd be, that'd be great. And that's where we, that's where we want to be hiring creativity for the, for the brands of the future. That's, that's where we want to be. But w where do I think it's going? I think a lot of it is just automating that, that sort of the creation of content, getting better at it, doing more of it at scale content is not going anywhere, the need for it.

It's not going anywhere that platforms. You know, just, just that, just as everybody thinks that you know, that Twitter and Facebook have reached their sort of their apex pinnacle Tik TOK comes along. And I think it's it's

Adam Conner: and me as a podcaster, I like to tell you a story. I make podcasts, I've talked to some fantastic people, advertising legends, right?

Um, the audience is just different between that and a 15 second tick talk about some like crazy move a brand made and the attention is one. Yep. Maybe happy for like the opportunity at the same time, I was like, geez man. That's some people are going to listen to 15 seconds long, you know, more so than 15 minutes.

Anyway, go ahead. I didn't mean to cut you off.

Rich Wilson: I read recently a hundred million, a hundred million Americans. Listen to podcasts. I can't remember this now is whether it's every day or every year. I can't remember, but it just, the growth.

Adam Conner: Anyway, that is a lot of Tam for me to go after. I'm going to keep that hundred million B suite.

Rich Wilson: I'm not answering your question. I, for me, so w where do we get to, I think brands adopting technology more and telling, telling better stories at scale, I think is where they're trying to get to in the short term. And then you get onto this topic of the metaverse and everything, and like a sort of five to 10 year play.

Um, I, I dunno, I haven't got my little,


Adam Conner: the way. Can I, I know, I know what the metaphors wasn't on our list of topics we're going after, but is that real like,

Rich Wilson: well, no, I think everybody I speak to, I should ask you, I like, so what do you think in the metaverse and everyone looks at me, you know, he has written interesting.

I was like, just tell me what you think it is. And then he looked at me and they, you see, they see the panic in their eyes, and then I get a different explanation from everybody. Um, I think we may get to a metaverse world. I mean, You know, there's enough money going behind it. But if a metaverse is an alternate reality, surely that means that everybody needs to be using Google glasses or an Oculus headset, but less than less than nought point, not, not 1% of the world's population uses it.

So, I mean, what does that, what does that mean? I guess it has a long way to go.

Adam Conner: Yeah. Okay. Let's exclude that from the timeline. Cause like they, they will, uh, brands will ask about it, but I don't even, it's not real enough yet. I mean right now, it's just some like overly animated ad. Isn't it? Which wasn't even filmed in a metaverse.

Rich Wilson: Yeah, I think, I think, I think we'll get there. Um, you know, I think every, a lot of people think it's a great thing. Some people think it's a bad thing, you know, and our Facebook, the right people to be the ones building a metaverse, who knows that's a whole nother, that's a

Adam Conner: whole nother podcast. That's a whole nother 35 minutes.


Rich Wilson: Um, so, so what do I think, I think it's adopting technology, creating great content and just standing for something over the next sort of three, three to four years. Um, automation will come more into the mix, but I think it's just brands understanding how to create more at scale. The metaverse comes that comes next.

Adam Conner: Right. Agreed. Well then I'll end with an ask for. And I do. And I ask everybody that's pretty much, but especially somebody who has made their whole business in like, like showing brands that have better storytell and knowing how to do it in a way, which is authentic to whatever you believe in, whatever they believe.

What advice can you give these listeners or viewers who are in the most case they're, they're one of two buckets. They're either at the CXO level, there's a lot of them. And then. Uh, people who are just trying to like call the way up the ladder of, I probably most likely their marketing groups, but people who are trying to get a little more creative and cutting edge and maybe even start throwing thing.

What advice can you give to them about how to find them their own or their brand's personal truth? And essentially what I'm asking here is what advice can you give? As to how to pave their own Authentic Avenue, which I had to do.

Rich Wilson: Of course you did kosher. I knew that was coming. I knew that somewhere, boil it down to the honest stories of the, of the, of the people that make up the brand, whether it's, whether it's employees, whether it's the people that you're selling to, or the other people that you're helping, uh, depending on what sector you're in.

And just craft on his stories, you know, every campaign that you do make sure it always feeds back to something of meaning something of purpose. And we've seen huge results with that. You know, if you're trying to sell, if you're trying to sell bottled water, cause I'm looking at something here, you know, make sure that when you're, you know, you're blitzing people with ads, make sure that you actually build a journey back to something that actually stands for something, whether it's a long form piece of content, a story about who you are, how you're giving back, what you, you know, what you mean.

Because I think there are audiences out there now who I think they do care about that stuff. And they are starting to look for that stuff before they consider buying that bottle of water. I think that's the big shift that's that's gonna start happening. Um, I really do. I really do believe that

Adam Conner: every called belief driven buying.

Rich Wilson: Yeah, I, I honestly, I'm, I'm seeing more of it. I've seen it. It doesn't matter what it is, whether it's belief driven employment, you know, it's, it's, everybody is asking these, you know, what do you stand for in this context? You know, what do you believe in, what are you, what are you supporting? You know, how are you, how, how were you going to help me as an individual, um, give back or, you know, I had that yesterday and I thought that was really powerful because that's exactly what we want to be doing.

It's actually, how do you help employees get back from the point of the brand? How do you show your consumers that you're also giving back as well as selling them something?

Adam Conner: Hmm. Well, I think we all need to take after that example a little bit more. And, um, I think what people who are listening to this are reviewing this probably should do is lean more into how you can invest properly in tech that isn't just like file storage, um, because.

I tend to agree when I think of content groups. I still think of people behind the camera. Mostly. I don't think about the technology side because I still think it's early, but I'm glad I was able to learn a little about a bit about it from you and CLICKON story. Obviously being an at the front of the charge is cool.

So thank you for the time. And joining me here and teach me a thing or two and best of luck for the next five years at CLICKON.

Rich Wilson: Great to chat.