Strategy’s Most Read of 2019: Tech

The tech and innovation stories that got the most attention from readers this year.

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This week, strategy is counting down the most-read stories from all our areas of coverage over the past year. Today, we are looking at the technology and innovation stories from our Tech newsletter. Be sure to also read up on strategy’s most-read news about brandsagenciesaccount wins, and news from the Shopper Marketing Report and C-Suite newsletters.

WestJet’s smart nightlight projects a flight’s path

A smart use of technology in marketing doesn’t have to involve the latest in AI or AR to be effective – sometimes all you need is a consumer insight, some creative design and a clever application of readily available data. In the summer, Rethink developed a connected nightlight for WestJet, shaped like one of the airline’s 787 Dreamliner aircrafts, that used real-time flight data to project a flight’s path on a ceiling. Aimed at kids to help them feel connected to parents on overseas flights – and give them a heads up about when they would be home – the nightlight helped bring WestJet’s recent global ambitions together with its longstanding brand positioning around going above and beyond to provide care for its customers.

WestJet has been focused on using new technology to ensure it provides the best service and addresses travelers’ pain points as it expands its routes to more global locations, this year expanding the services it offers through voice platforms.

How to take control of your own digital upskilling

Learning new digital skills is a task that is equal parts intimidating and vital to creative advertisers and marketers that want to ensure their jobs are secure in the industry’s tech-obsessed future. This is a fact that is well know to Microsoft’s Lisa Gibson, who has not only seen the roadblocks to upskilling among the company’s customers who work in the communications and marketing fields, but has experienced and overcome them herself. In this column, she attempted to not just make another case for why digital upskilling is important, but also provided a few tips on how to commit to learning new skills and doing so successfully and easily.

The Innovation Roadmap

The rate of change in tech and innovation can make it hard for companies to keep up with the investments they need to make in order to stay competitive – especially in Canada, where budgets are not as big as other markets and where decisions about innovation are often handed down to Toronto and Montreal from the global HQ. But the cover story of strategy’s October issue tried to provide a bit of a guide.

The story looked at Canadian companies like L’Oreal Canada, RBC and Telus from the investments and strategic decisions they made early on that to becoming tech leaders in their respective fields. What it showed was that effective tech investment is not just about throwing money at AI or data systems at the right time, but in creating the right structures, culture and processes for innovation (and learning from experimentation) to gain momentum and pay off.