Marketers say intellectual capital key in ’06

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Feb 8. New York—A renewed investment in intellectual capital and less of an obsession with return on investment are among the major themes that will dominate the marketing landscape this year, according to panelists who spoke at the Business Marketing Association’s What to Expect in 2006 event Wednesday in New York.

 “We need to refocus our attention on creativity to create big ideas,” said panelist Jim Speros, CMO of Ernst & Young.

“What I see is a preoccupation with ROI; but the role of marketing is to stimulate activity, while ROI is more of a rear-view mirror. We have to get back to thinking about ideas that drive new business.”

Carl Anderson, CEO of Doremus Advertising, said: “I’m only beginning to see an investment in intellectual capital. Not enough time, energy and money have been put into [developing intellectual capital in] the b-to-b space. Knowledge and insight are now king.”

Spencer Spinnell, head of business and industrial markets at Google, echoed the others, saying, “We've ROI'd ourselves into a corner, but that doesn't mean we can't measure and adjust our strategy day to day.”

Other major trends that came up in the discussion included marketing with wireless portable technology, finding ways to measure online and offline elements of a campaign in tandem, as well as the continued importance of live events to maintain the high-touch contact necessary in marketing to b-to-b customers.

—Carol Krol

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