And the future of marketing is…

The Marketing Association’s 2011 “Marketing Today” Conference held at The Langham Auckland began with an apt quote from William Gibson. “The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” And, as well as an update on all on traditional the marketing concepts like market research, direct marketing, brand management, the conference also provided fresh insight into ‘new-age’ marketing concepts like closer integration of marketing with IT, gamification and social media marketing.

  • Check out the tweet stream here.

Billed as New Zealand’s largest marketing event, the all-day conference, which returned after a few years’ hiatus, was well attended by business leaders and senior executives and featured a stellar panel of speakers, including international guests.

The morning kicked off with IBM NZ discussing the results of its first CMO Global Marketing Study with a few invited guests over breakfast. And there were plenty of the highlights throughout the day.

Stephen Smith, general manager of digital, Maori Television and MC for the event, spoke about how serendipity would be taken away from content marketing as algorithms became smarter and grew more personalised.

Debra Hall, chair of the Marketing Association and long-time researcher, spoke about how new media is the biggest news, the media explosion in China, the importance of staying on brand, the proliferation of mobile apps and smart devices and the fast-diminishing art of handwriting.

Eric Morse, director of direct-to-consumer marketing operations at Warner Music Group (guest speaker from NYC) spoke about the growth of the web and how it allows marketers to target individuals, rather than markets. And he did so without dropping big music names (except Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton).

Joi Ito, director of the Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, came in live from Boston via videolink to share some brilliant and radical thoughts on the future of marketing, such as the role of citizen media, collective intelligence, power of pull and agile leadership.

Paul Thompson, group executive editor, Fairfax Media addressed the global challenges facing print and publishing, the role of content, the power of audiences and the interaction between the two—and the need for high quality journalism.

Stefan Lecchi, head of telecommuncations, Samsung NZ, gave an interesting talk on the Korean giant’s leadership areas, how it operates in global markets, its approach to consumers and key areas marketers should focus on.

Russell Browne, marketing manager, DB Breweries, rounded off the conference with a fantastic talk on the power of story-telling, citing how the brewery not just engaged audiences but increased sales for DB Export through stories well told—and smartly sold.

A panel featuring heavy-hitters from the local circuit (Paul Maher, TVNZ; Mark Jackson, NZ Post; Ande Macpherson, Mediaworks Radio; and Lynda Hallinan, NZ Gardener) fielded a variety of questions on media and marketing from the audience during the Q&A session (and Hallinan got Eric Morse’s endorsement as the best speaker of the day).

After a day of much tweeting and smart talking, attendees were invited to mingle over a jingle – with a live DJ in accompaniment — and share some marketing wisdom, as they fittingly brought an end to a conference about the ‘liquid consumers’ by sipping on a chilled one.

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