In her role as President of the Webby Awards, celebrating excellence on the internet, Claire Graves gets to see the best of digital marketing and initiatives. It’s through this lens she’s been able to see how brands are becoming more accountable for their content and for the way they use technology. And it’s why her Shiny New Object is responsible technology.

Responsible technology means considering accessibility, equality, data governance, addiction, and thinking holistically about what impact your work is having on the world. It’s something that Claire is passionate about, which is why at the Webby Awards, they have also created the Anthem Awards – recognising purpose and mission driven work.

Brands need to own the influence they have online

Through their decisions on where they spend their marketing budget, brands legitimise and fuel certain platforms over others. While it’s not reasonable to expect that brands stop spending money on Facebook ads altogether, they need to understand and explore the influence they have and how they can make a positive impact on the world as a result.

Audiences will begin to support mission driven brands first

Moreover, as people overall become more aware of and focused on their impact in the world, Claire believes that they will gravitate towards brands and organisations that also have a mission and that can exhibit this mission in how they behave online and offline. Therefore, being more sensitive to having a positive impact in the world is also good business for the longer term.

Move away from addictive technology and towards responsible tech

It’s difficult to know the best way and the quickest way to make positive impacts in the world of tech. However, there are some good examples of brands looking to move away from addictive social media and into a more inclusive and genuine space. For example, the Be Real app encourages users to be authentic and share their true self with their social network – in opposition to the drive to be an influencer on Instagram.

Claire advises brands to consider what platforms they work with, how they spread their message, and also which types of communities they’re tapping into. We are now at a pivotal moment where this can be done – where brands can truly start thinking about the work they create and the technology that underpins it, before moving into web3 and the next phase of online advertising. So, why not take advantage to build inclusive teams, diversify the perspectives around the table, and reconsider your online marketing strategy?

The host of the Shiny New Object podcast is Tom Ollerton, founder of Automated Creative.