Forrester Marketing Forum - Kicking It Off

Josh GordonTwo things became clear from Christine Spivey-Overby’s opening comments to the 2009 Forrester Marketing Forum. One, “It’s harder than ever for you to get out to conferences,” she said, addressing the crowd. This is a backhanded comment on the current economic conditions, and a theme she continued with throughout her brief opening talk. Two, she mentioned that both consumer and B2B marketing spending is down in the last three quarters. To her, this means marketers need better solutions.

She framed up her perspective on the economy by looking at Walt Disney’s risk taking during the struggling Depression-era economy. This is particularly timely, since I’m writing this from Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club (jealous?). She said Disney recognized and capitalized on several consumer conditions with vision and the capacity to take risks that, in the end, drove his brand forward. He designed “products” (e.g. Mickey Mouse…) that conveyed empathy, that utilized new technology (animation) and topped it off with the requisite great marketing that has continued to define Disney’s business 90 years later.

Interesting way to frame up the conference. Smart to recognize that the economy isn’t perfect right now, but that there are opportunities for those who are willing to the understand what risk means and how to take the right risks. More on that later.

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