Greater Consumer Control Means Better Data for Marketers

From the AMA's Inaugural MPlanet: Innovation Trumps Marketplace Fragmentation

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AdAge.com) -- By 8:30 this morning, a DJ was blasting house music, the audience was bathed in mist and blue light, the main stage resembled a Magritte painting (don't ask) and the "Orange Man Group" was banging out a beat using gardening tools.
'There's no reason why a CMO shouldn't also be the chief innovation officer,' says Dennis L. Dunlap, CEO, American Marketing Association.
'There's no reason why a CMO shouldn't also be the chief innovation officer,' says Dennis L. Dunlap, CEO, American Marketing Association.

Welcome to MPlanet.

The first thing you should know, said Dennis L. Dunlap, CEO, American Marketing Association, is: "This is not your father's AMA."

800 marketers in attendance
And as was apparent to the more than 800 marketers attending the group's inaugural MPlanet conference at Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort today and tomorrow, this isn't your father's conference, either.

From the outset, Mr. Dunlap let it be known that MPlanet was to be a journey of discovery "born of the desire to bring together the marketing community to share fresh ideas, thinking and solutions." He asked marketers to confront the challenges of a fragmented marketplace by becoming innovators who drive business and organic growth.

"There's no reason," Mr. Dunlap said, "why a CMO shouldn't also be the chief innovation officer."

He also outlined other keys to marketing success in the MPlanet age, starting with the importance of understanding consumers and their growing demand for personalized attention and customized products. Marketers should be customer experts, he pointed out, and they should control every consumer touch point in order to provide consistency.

It is most crucial, however for a marketer to "know who you are and create who you want to be," which Mr. Dunlap suggested should be a consumer-centric organization with the right technology in place to both serve consumers and provide measurements for the company to move forward.

AT&T's three-screen strategy
Case in point: AT&T's chief operating officer, Randall Stephenson, delivered the keynote in which he outlined the company's "three-screen strategy" and how it will work for consumers and marketers alike.

He said AT&T is only steps away from being able to provide a fully integrated TV, computer and mobile phone program that would easily allow consumers to access information from any of the three screens and transfer it to another. The company's first step is its recently launched Uverse TV system that allows for an infinite number of niche, ad-supported channels.

Mr. Stephenson also suggested the same IP technology that will allow for easy connecting between TV, computers and mobile phones will also allow data collection that could lead to "granulated marketing."

"If you can believe it, some people are willing to pay extra to receive personalized information and advertising," he said.
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