That’s the tagline of the Marketing Society. I always thought that was a big claim, but this week’s annual conference proved they can live up to it. The fantastic line up of speakers included Sir Martin Sorrell, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Ellen MacArthur to name just three. All provided food for thought and the frantic note taking and tweeting of the audience was testament to that.
Looking back on my own notes here were my highlights:
Sir Martin Sorrell talked about preparing WPP for a future dominated by non-western economies and said ‘I don’t like the term emerging economies, I prefer ‘fast growing’. He referenced the 10 most important trends in marketing for people to follow. He told us that the average CMO only last two years and that marketing had lost its way and as a result, the cost based focus of businesses today does not engender long term vision or decision making.
“The growth of emerging markets is biggest economic event in history”, said Peter Haden of McKinsey and revealed that their research shows that consumers in developing markets are far more likely to get recommendations from friends pre-purchase.
James Harding, the former editor of The Times, reflecting on London 2012 said that one of his key learnings from the summer was that while seemingly everything is available instantly in the digital age, nothing beats the experience of being there.
Alistair Luckies of Monetise, a leader in mobile payments said his company’s business lies in the delta between the fact there are 6 billion people with mobile phones and only 2.5 billion with bank accounts.
Greg Levine shared 4 management gems that they have learned at the race track and have transferred to selling cars through their own dealerships:
“take a decision at the point of most knowledge, not hierarchy”
“short sprints are more effective than long jogs”
“one team, many tribes”
“management is a contact sport” (as in personal contact, rather than fighting)
They are all self-explanatory really but Greg told the story very well
Disney uses 60 languages (including Pirate) on Facebook; which sounds funny at first but also allows them to make the “think global, act local” policy more real.
Ellen MacArthur talked about how sailing had taught her the value of finite resources and how we needed to move to a circular economy in which build things with re-use and re-cycling in mind from the start. She also referenced the switch from ‘ownership to access’ – something I have heard many times at events around the world this year.
The final world should to to Sir Ranulph Feinnes because no one would want to follow him on stage: he was excellent. He was asked about how he planned for the next mission while one was underway, he simply replied that because ‘success required total focus, there is no next mission until this one is completed’.
There is a more in-depth overview here at WARC (thanks to Joe Clift).