A Glimpse of the Future: American Marketing Association Unveils Four Scenarios for the Role of Marketing in 2015

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At its signature Mplanet conference, the American Marketing Association unwrapped the results of a year-long project to help marketers map future scenarios and possibilities in the marketplace. The work, created in partnership with Decision Strategies International, used scenario-building to predict four archetypes of CMOs and their potential impact on marketing in 2015.

If you really want to be a strategic force within your organization, you have to live in today and tomorrow

At its signature Mplanet conference, the American Marketing Association unwrapped the results of a year-long project to help marketers map future scenarios and possibilities in the marketplace. The work, created in partnership with Decision Strategies International, used scenario-building to predict four archetypes of CMOs and their potential impact on marketing in 2015.

The process of "disciplined imagination" used by AMA and DSI gives marketers a way to organize all of the uncertainty in the market and create possible stories or pictures of the future.

AMA's CEO Dennis Dunlap challenged industry leaders to use the scenarios and be flexible enough to market in the moment while still planning for a continuum of possibilities.

"If you really want to be a strategic force within your organization, you have to live in today and tomorrow," said Dunlap. "The marketers who will win in the new marketsphere will be the ones who systematically plan for future scenarios. They will identify not only the strategies and tactics best suited to the future, but also their role in navigating what they foresee."

See the attachment for a summary of the project.

Marketing Luminaries Share Expertise
Chief Executive and Marketing Officers from Xerox Corporation, American Express and McDonald's revealed their innovative leadership skills in navigating the marketing industry through today's information age. The speakers discussed both the opportunities and challenges organizations face while building and maintaining a brand in both a local and global market.

Keynote speaker, Anne Mulcahy, Chairman and CEO, Xerox Corporation, followed Dunlap by offering her point of view on what really matters in today's world of information. Named 2008 CEO of the Year by Chief Executive Magazine, Mulcahy said organizations must reach consumers who are living in a world of information overload. She noted that more than 4,000 new blogs were created while she was delivering her remarks at Mplanet.

"I think we can all agree that there is more information available to us than ever before," Mulcahy said. "We spend more time sifting through it. It's less reliable. And it's all getting faster and more pervasive than ever - - not just by a little, but by a lot."

Mulcahy said companies can make their message stand out in a sea of information by using technology for more personalization and by really listening to the customer.

"Staying in touch with customers used to be considered a "nice" thing," she said. "Today smart marketers know it is critical. We bring customers into our research and development labs. We open up their eyes and their minds to what is possible. We ask them to identify their "pain points" and to dream along with us on how we can make their business problems disappear."

Additional program content:

  • John Hayes, Global CMO, American Express, said, "The consumer is going through a massive shift in their behavior. People are redefining what's possible, what's real and what's next." Consumers today need to be heard and understood - and this generation of marketers must courageously step outside communication that is comfortable and continually adapt to consumers needs. "Our generation of marketers has the opportunity - no, make that the responsibility - to help lead our country back on the road to economic recovery. We create hope. We create a better tomorrow," said Hayes.
  • Mary Dillon, EVP and Global CMO, McDonald's, brought the conversation about new technologies and innovation back to a central theme focusing on the brand promise. By focusing on the promise, Dillon said, "We put a stake in the ground and we crystallized what we stand for. Your brand promise needs to be a part of your company's DNA so that it's genuine, but also it must be aspirational. It's your brand on its very best day‚ĶThink about your brand promise as a beacon that guides your actions."

Throughout the day, break-out sessions of strategic forums and application spotlights emphasized specific issues in the marketing industry. John Aiello, CEO and Co-Founder of the SAVO group was joined by Joseph Galvin, VP and Research Director, Sirus Dicisions, to explain how winning marketing organizations are driving greater impact on sales and where to focus time and resources in 2009

Presentation Information and Interviews
To view a full listing of Mplanet speakers, please visit http://www.mplanet2009.com/speakers.shtml. For further information on AMA's Future Role of Marketing in 2015 report, a session or to request an interview with AMA or a speaker, media may contact Christine Heath at christine.heath@fleishman.com or 312-932-2804.

About the American Marketing Association
The American Marketing Association is the largest marketing association in North America. It is a professional association for individuals involved in the practice, teaching and study of marketing worldwide. It is also the source that marketers turn to every day to deepen their marketing expertise, elevate their careers, and, ultimately, achieve better results. American Marketing Association members are connected to a network of experienced marketers nearly 40,000 strong.

For more information on the American Marketing Association or Mplanet 2009, please visit http://www.MarketingPower.com.

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