Inside the #WMS17 - marketing conference

A better world through marketing? That’s the tagline that the World Marketing Summit organization, headed by Philip Kotler put on display at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre during their annual event on Weds 15th Nov 2017.

World Marketing Summit (WMS) is an independent global organization, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, committed to the nice idea of creating a better world for our future generations through marketing.

Philip Kotler at World Marketing Summit -WMS Toronto 2017

Their all-media marketing maelstrom began in 2010 when a business-minded author and educator named Philip Kotler, a marketing guru with a penchant for anagrams and insider-business lingo, put a group of go-forward individuals to work enacting some of the better ideas in his books.  He started the organization to do good in the world and his success has drawn this audience today.  A crowd of about three hundred people sat five or six to a table taking notes, looking for solutions or rather the path to solutions in what is becoming all around confusing practice. Philip started the WMS17 Toronto – Opening Keynote by decrying his new president Donald Trump, and changing American values. He cracked some jokes about making America moderate again, and of course all this segues nicely into the WMS mandate to improve the world by engaging global and community leaders in marketing and business, research and academics, politics and society, women and gender, and to ensure sustainable business growth of products and services and thus improve the lives of everyday people, everywhere.

WMS2017 Toronto – Opening Keynote presentation was well spiced with prognostications, each of which Philip Kotler spoke about, as he added flesh to the ideas by charting out likely scenarios and cautionary tales, past, present and future.

To be or not to be? KODAK probably didn’t fear that computer technology would revolutionize photography and make chemical film obsolete.

To this author the whole show was a conflagration of common sense marketing ‘broad strokes’ and seen-before big picture ideas.  But there was some gold – let’s look at some of the better the pictures and the slides.

slides from Customer Culture Imperatibe at #WMS17

Below is one of the better slides from the opening keynote where Philip Kotler discusses the work of Eric Ries and exposes his process for a methodical marketing in the broadest possible sense.

Its not possible to get granular as every business is different, and so from the perspective of the marketing folks in the room it was a good look from 10,000 feet at the process by which professionals set about marketing something using all tools and platforms and focusing on results. Indeed this author was struck by how often Philip Kotler took the perspective of the executive struggling to find out what went wrong. By backtracking over the nodes and asking ‘did this happen? was this expectation too high? etc its possible to learn and of course this is the second greatest outcome behind gushing get-rich-quick mega success.

Brian Rotsztein, Author, President of CIMA, Canadian Internet Marketing Association

Right after the opening keynote presentation and without any break in the proceedings, the moderator invited some notable marketing professionals to the stage for a panel discussion. Their topic was timely, ‘how to be heard and trusted in a noisy world filled with fake news?’.

Brian Rotsztein the President of  CIMA – Canadian Internet Marketing Association crushed it when they asked him about the idea of making a valuation system for people to know reality. He said Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, YouTube, and even Uber driver reviews are already out there acting as crowd-powered testers of quality and truth. And then the conversation turned to measurement.

CIMA President and panelist Brian Rotsztein at World Marketing Summit discussing Twitch TV
World Marketing Summit panelist Brian Rotsztein talking about disruptive marketing. Photo by Rob Campbell

Brian had more insights on the rise of connectivity driving platform experience. He was asked to comment on Twitch TV and he shared a really insightful anecdote about watching TV online with people in a group collective and being able to respond in real time to the TV show as it’s happening. Now where is the brand in the experience?  Reducing brand presence in those scenarios can actually improve its impact and perception as benevolent and cool provider of goods and services.

Exhibitors at #WMS17 included Event Planners and the CMA

Outside in the lobby there were other interesting businesses and one booth run by dynamic individuals proffered parties designed and executed by femme fatales.

Femme Fatales event planning in Toronto

In summary, Philip Kotler and the World Marketing Summit are worth watching today and in the future. The organization works in different continents including Asia and South America and plans to expand some projects into Europe and Africa.

Today Philp Kotler and his staff strive to be objective and independent, and they are not tied to any political, partisan or national interests. WMS’s marketing and business initiatives include an annual marketing summit, seminars, research, an annual journal, and academic courses and programs, and the Toronto exhibition was a terrific example of their mandate.

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