Can we really throw out our old marketing books?

In the last week of November it was time for the Marketing and Innovation Event 2010 in The Hague organized by the Dutch MOA organization. Two days full of new insights of the latest market research techniques and hottest topics in the market.
Already in the first workshop it hit me, was it me or do I have to throw everything away what I learned at university? ‘Follow the consumer’ was the main message of Egbert Jan Bel where he immediately addressed the main shift in marketing. The power lies with the consumers, a brand is no longer owned by a company but by its consumers and they have the power. However, what he rightly addressed was that the well-know models of amongst others Treacy and Wiersema are still our foundation upon which we built our marketing strategy. Nevertheless, we should make adjustments. The case of Sanoma and Sara Lee put the message of Egbert Jan Bel into practice. Their way of co-creating was innovative, deep and with total control for the consumer. They handed over the control to their co-creation panel, not only the control of the decision for the new coffee flavor but the control over the entire flow of the project. This workshop learned us that giving power to the consumer leads to brand fans who will do anything for their brand.
All very exciting workshops of the shift in marketing, however the winning workshop was even more exciting. The Conversation Manager put into practice by the Danone case giving by Steven van Belleghem and Annemiek Temming was the Best Workshop for a reason! This case has all the elements InSites Consulting is living up to. Openness by bringing a case which is a negative case where companies normally do not talk about; Forward thinking by using an approach to solve the negative effect of “het gouden windei” which is new for both companies; Dedication by putting all efforts in this case from both ends and Passion about the product nevertheless what has been said about it in the market.
What I personally learned from the MIE 2010 was not to throw my marketing books away, but let them act as a basis. Add new insights, cases and bring the focus to the power of consumers and their conversations and you will have the perfect mix for new marketing plans.
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