Posted by Cognito on Fri, May 08 2015

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The 2015 IAA Global Marketing Summit - Marketing in the Era of Engagement

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Last week’s IAA Global Marketing Summit brought the international advertising community together at the top of the Time Warner building in NYC's Columbus Circle for an action and insights-packed breakfast. With top leaders in the space addressing everything from creative methods of engagement and strategic measurement to globalizing marketing impact - there truly wasn't a dull moment. So what was the main thread that ran through almost every discussion? I would have to say it was the irrefutable and growing importance of storytelling.

As we all know, it’s the cornerstone of modern day marketing. But Jeannine Haas CMO at Avis really brought this to life with her new #whatdrivesyou campaign which features beautifully shot videos on what drives personal success for 7 well-known social influencers and entrepreneurs. Although not traditionally thought of as a brand that connects and inspires people and ideas, Jeannine seems to be heralding a new era for the company in which they draw a circle around the customer, and everything else permeates.

With a similar thought process in mind, Amir Weiss, SVP Global Digital Marketing at MetLife brought to light what storytelling means to their brand by presenting a video recently created for the APAC market. To say that it illicited a few tears would be an understatement. What Amir talked about was essentially a return to “mom and pop shop” type selling as a movement that industry is and must be making. With the prodigous targeting capabilities that are now available to us, marketers can rekindle that personalized relationship and achieve both a more holistic view of the customer and humane representation of the brand. And the numbers don’t lie – a staggering 87% of viewers actually watched the video past 3 minutes. Think about that in the context of today’s undeniable attention deficit and it’s quite a feat.

But, said Amanda Rubin, Global Co-Head, Brand and Content Strategy, Goldman Sachs – the content opportunities out there are endless. The important thing to remember is that you’re building content within the guardrails of your brand communications plan, and that the rich tapestry of messaging you’re creating feeds up to a broader initiative. Having a strategic overlay and narrative of logic to everything that goes out, is non-negotiable.

And rightly so. But the strategic challenges facing marketers today surpass just what content to create and how to distribute it. It’s about the infinitely delicate art of engaging consumers in a meaningful and thoughtful way, whilst staying on property, on audience, and on brand, all at once. It seems this visionary nirvana is what we’re all striving towards, but as long as brands keep on testing and learning with stories that are creatively executed and culturally penetrating – the light at the end of the tunnel isn't so far off. 

To learn more about the International Advertising Association, visit


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