CMA Summit: How do we create our own future?

“How can we create the future we want? That’s what companies are keen to know for the next year,” claimed Melanie Howard, executive chair of the Future Foundation at today’s (28 November) CMA International Content Marketing Summit 2012 .

Ruth Mortimer

Howard says the idea that brands can create and control their own future is a change in mentality from the last few years. 

At this time last year, she claims, firms mainly wanted to know how to combat upcoming problems with the dismal economy or their industry. Now brands are keen to seize back control from external circumstances and invoke their own version of the future.
So how can they do this? Howard suggested five trends that she thinks marketers need to know for the next 12 months.
1. Magic nostalgic. This is all about creating an emotional connection with consumers. It involves emphasising heritage while bringing the past into the present. One example is The Gentlewoman magazine, which is a style magazine that looks modern but is not only focused on young readers. Veteran actor Angela Lansbury was a recent cover star. It fuses a modern look and feel with more traditional editorial values.
2. The end of adventure. These days people are so well informed that they will check a restaurant menu out online before they go to eat there. People research everything. There is a role for brands that can offer consumers a feeling of adventure, real experiences and a sense of risk missing from the rest of life.
3. Gamification. Although this trend has been around for several years, it is going to reach an increasing number of companies and industries. All brands, including even supermarkets, need to consider how to set their customers challenges and reward them, as is done in gaming.
4. Native marketing/advertising. This means bringing consumers into the brand and its operations. Think about mobile phone network Giffgaff, which gets its users to participate in aspects of the brand’s marketing or customer services. More brands will use collaborative techniques in future.
5. Murdered by modernity. This trend recognises that 50% of people never turn their phone off; this apparently rises to 70% among younger people. This means there is a market for brands that can offer consumers a chance to escape the ‘always on’ culture that pervades the rest of their lives.
Interesting ideas. But do these five themes sum up where your brand is putting its energy in 2013? Let us know.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here