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A soccer legend, a business angel and wrestling royalty all walk into a restaurant…. and with that we kicked off the first WFA CMOLUNCHEON as part of the WFA’s partnership with AllThatMatters Conference and as the pre-cursor to a half-day of Marketing Matters that afternoon.

A session tailored to provide time-strapped CMOs with executive insights from across the four-day conference, the WFA CMOLUNCHEON saw close to thirty CMOs share views on how current trends in entertainment, sport, music and technology will impact the future of marketing.

With a diverse range of perspectives spanning industries and sectors, the best takeaways proved that ‘convergence’ is as real as ever and that as the lines start to blur there is so much we can learn from  – and with – each other.

#1 Brands as publishers: Emma Banks of the Creative Artists Agency offered her observation on the shifting forces in music and the increasing role brands can play. “In the past, you had to release an album with BMG. That isn’t necessarily the case today. Why can’t a band release an album with Bacardi? Why can’t Bacardi be the answer?”

#2 Authenticity is everything and trust is paramount. With over 1 billion views and counting, YouTube superstar Bethany Mota explained how staying true to herself and her 12 million subscribers keeps her extremely selective when it comes to brand partnerships. “I don’t really work with a lot of brands but prefer collaborations that allow me to put my personality into partnership so that I remain as authentic as possible. I see my viewers as my friends and it’s important that they are able to trust me.”

#3 Subscribers? Followers? Consumers? Audiences? It’s all about customer-centricity. “We refer to our passionate supporters as fans,” said Tom Glick, CCO of Manchester City FC. “But it’s less about the term we use and more about how we keep them engaged. We have 400,000 fans. We’re thinking about them all the time. They’re at the heart of what we do.”

#4 Innovation isn’t always about technology; a great ‘start-up’ idea doesn’t always mean a great tech. “Most people think that ‘start-ups’ are synonymous with technology but that’s not true,” challenged Dave McClure, Angel Investor and Founder, 500 Startups. “Look at Dollars Shave Club. They started with just one product and a great video and just got acquired by Unilever for a billion dollars. That’s not tech.”

#5 Want to connect with your consumers? Build strong emotional bonds. “There’s so much being said about connections,” noted Stephanie McMahon – Chief Brand Officer, WWE. “But really, it’s about emotions. To truly connect with people it’s about emotional engagement, going back to the fundamentals of good storytelling.”

For more information about WFA’s activities in Asia, contact Ranji at r.david@wfanet.org

 

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