Introducing the MAD//Fest theme - Marketing + Innovation = Everything

By Dan Brain, Content & Marketing Director, MAD//Fest29 May, 2018

“Business has only two functions - marketing and innovation”

- Peter Drucker, legendary business consultant & author, The Practice of Management, 1954

Here at MAD//Fest, we’ve been reading a bit of Peter Drucker, the godfather of business consultancy.

Whilst Drucker was writing in the 1950s, a time when madmen Don Draper-like characters ruled advertising, it’s amazing how his words could still be used as a call to arms for the marketing industry today.

We’re taking Drucker’s famous quote - “Business has only two functions - marketing and innovation” - as a challenge for marketers and tech innovators to re-discover their mojo and take their rightful place as the beating heart of business.

Brands struggling for purpose, big name casualties on the High Street, fears of a GDPR-induced apocalypse, the decline of traditional advertising, adtech consolidation, media owners losing revenue to the duopoly of Facebook and Google, agencies haemorrhaging talent - are we all doomed?

But where there’s risk, there’s opportunity.

When you think about Drucker’s quote, 65 years on, we should take comfort that marketing and innovation - alongside customer experience - are still what matters in business. And here’s how brands - and other businesses in the supply chain - can prosper.

Storytelling and creativity combined with analytics-fuelled customer journeys are the lifeblood of customer experience. Customer experience is how brands create meaningful engagement, action and loyalty, essentially what’s needed to create thriving brands.

From shiny new-ish things like AI, blockchain and voice tech to good old fashioned programmatic, data strategy and imaginative content, never have we had such a powerful arsenal of tools at our disposal to shape the journey.

Marketers have always been great problem solvers, adapting and pivoting when things change. Brought together, bold brands, savvy agencies, data geeks, media innovators, creatives, techies, disruptors, upstarts, opportunists, do’ers and dreamers are a strong crack team to tackle 2018’s marketing and advertising challenges.

So this is exactly what we will do at MAD//Fest London - put everyone in a room to fix problems, pitch visions for the future and hack solutions to brand challenges in a series of punchy and to-the-point 20 minute pearls of wisdom.

The game is vastly changed and more complex than the good old days. Hell, even sacred institutions such as the media lunch have been disrupted!

But the prospect of realising a future golden era of brands and business remains firmly in our hands - and that’s why only marketing and innovation matter.

Interested in speaking at MAD//Fest? Submit your paper today.

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