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The annual Cannes Lions festival is the destination for honoring creativity in marketing for brands, agencies, and celebrities. This year, it looks like the so-called design elite will be inviting their geekier counterparts to the party. The festival announced a new Digital Craft Lions award, which celebrates tech over visual design. Judging criteria will be digital execution and user experience.

An excerpt from a statement on the Cannes Lions festival website reads: “The popularity of digital technologies and their ability to gather vast amounts of consumer data has meant a change in attitude towards the role of digital design and user experience. From desktop to mobile, to virtual reality and beyond; digital design is now more than ever driven by user need and point of access.”

This is big news for those who slog in windowless offices (OK, they probably have windows) to architect and build digital campaigns for apps, sites, smartwatches, and beyond. And this is significant acknowledgement from the awards world that these digital experiences have to not only look good, but also work well.

And for these experiences to work well, they need marketing technology to connect the design, experience, and data.

“In the period since our first State of Marketing Technology report was released, martech has seen over $54 billion in investment, and triple-digit growth in the number of available solutions. The industry has also seen considerable growth in the number of technology-led marketers,” said Stewart Rogers, director of marketing technology at VentureBeat Insight. “The Cannes Lions festival has been highlighting great marketing for some time. It is encouraging to see it embrace marketing technologies, and the people that drive them, in this way.”

It looks like some lucky chief digital officers and customer experience specialists will be headed for sun and champagne on the French Riviera.

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