As you can see from Jeremiah's post below, our 2009 Marketing Forum is up and running in Orlando, Florida, with Shar VonBoskirk kicking off proceedings with (after lifting the audience with a resounding rendition of “M I C K E Y M O U S E!” – well, they are at the Disney Resort!) a keynote addressing how marketers affected by the recession, across the globe, need to treat their online planning and strategy teams as core parts of their business planning, taking account of the advantages of more accountable marketing channels. She urged marketers not to be stifled by the idea that a recession is a bad time to innovate; on the contrary, as interactive marketing channels continue to grow strongly, now is a great time to take innovative steps to reach consumers across online channels, with far less risk than many marketers perceive.
>More experts from the likes of Microsoft, Starbucks and iProspect take the stage on Friday to share their insights into how to get the best value out of interactive marketing in a recession.
The Forum is being held in the US, but the recession is an equal reality in Europe, and European marketers are faced with the same challenges – how to get the best out of their marketing spend, how to take advantage of the flexibility and measurability of interactive channels, and how to best reach and talk to consumers also feeling the bite of the downturn. Marketers struggle with understanding how they can identify key consumers in their European target countries, what technologies to use to reach them, and how to innovate, say using social media, to make a brand stand out from the crowd?
Many recent innovations in the mobile space are led by new entrants such as Apple or Google. However, let's be fair with telcos. They invest significant amounts of money in R&D and have very creative staff. There has been some skepticism in the industry on selected Orange services such as Pikeo, Djinngo (ex Bubbletop) or Soundtribes where Orange was trying to "reinvent the wheel" without partnering with the right Internet players. However, these services have never been really marketed and does not prevent strategic partnerships to be signed. Orange in particular has many Orange Labs worldwide and is driving innovation.
I saw recently some interesting demos of products and services to be launched by Orange: