If you've never been to Barcelona, you may not know that the local language here is actually not Spanish...it's Catalan, the native language of Barcelona's region: Catalunya. Children here are taught in Catalan, and while many also learn Spanish and likely English, I've run into several locals who speak only Catalan. And then of course, since the attendees at our event are from all over Europe, there are dozens of languages filling the air during networking breaks and one on one sessions.
I mention this because it struck me that as the world becomes a smaller place (easier to travel anywhere you like, similar businesses/foods in different regions around the world, even the same pop-culture icons and references), cultures are becoming fiercely proprietary about the things that do define their culture from another: like language. What a perfect thing to establish who is qualified to be a member of a given community? If you speak our language, you must be similar enough to us, and proud enough of our heritage to be in our community. Language then, isn't just a mode of communication; it is also an expression of identity.
Mark Taylor followed Jaap by discussing a new take on Wunderman's long-term strategic approach to relationship marketing. Specifically, he mentioned marketers must acknowledge the shift to "The age of influence marketing" by embracing two new channels:
1) The Channel of Me and 2) The Channel of Us
Both channels actually leverage the *consumer* as a marketing vehicle as well as as a target audience.
Greetings from Forrester's EMEA consumer and finance forums in Barcelona! We've just finished the first two speakers of the event: Forrester's VP and Research Director, Jaap Favier and Wunderman's Chief Marketing Technologist Officer, Mark Taylor.
The presentations were an excellent introductions to the themes for both the consumer and the finance tracks: Share Your Brand (for the consumer track) and Beating the Competition With Superior Customer Experience (for the financial track).
Jaap had a few particular soundbites which I thought really crystalized the current state of marketers today, and also the changes they need to make in order to accommodate the growing influence of user generated content and virtual communities.