Media manifesto is golden opportunity

When Babs Rangaiah, Unilever’s vice-president of global communications planning, takes to the stage at The Annual, Marketing Week’s flagship London conference on 29 September, I’ll be in the front row hanging on his every word.

For I suspect his presentation, entitled The Consumer Manifesto, is going to provide a lot of answers to some very common marketing questions.

Babs describes his key responsibility at Unilever as working with global brands and agencies to “infuse media strategy and channel thinking into the creative development process”. That kind of know-how and understanding of the current media landscape is as valuable as it is rare.

As the world’s experts seek to explain new technologies, new business models being experimented with by media owners (see Lucy Handley’s cover story on page 12) and how the battle going on among the likes of Google, Facebook and Apple will determine how advertisers spend their marketing budgets in future, all good insight is welcome.

Before the internet, the media world was straightforward. Brand and media planners relied on their audiences staying still long enough to feed them push-based advertising messages.

“How are we meant to keep up and be responsible for deciding how much of the ’new stuff’ justifies our media and marketing spend?”

Then the internet arrived and turned that world and its cosy status quo on its head.

Our customers are engaging with our brands in ways that weren’t even possible five years ago and there are new applications and devices becoming relevant to them every day. How are we meant to keep up and be responsible for deciding how much of the “new stuff” justifies our media and marketing spend? Few have the rich global view to help provide us with clear and practical information that we can apply to make our marketing that bit more effective.

The Annual, Marketing Week’s new conference on 29 September 2010
The Annual, Marketing Week’s new conference on 29 September 2010

The presentation that Babs gives will not be the only answer but it’ll be more than just a good start. A shrewd operator and a fantastic communicator, he will reveal ten key points that he lives and dies by when understanding and engaging the 21st century consumer. Each one comes with a real-life Unilever case study to help reframe how we think about the old-style interruption push-based marketing.

Babs Rangaiah and anyone else that can offer solid, stable and constant consumer truths, are worth their weight in gold. In the coming weeks I will use this column to introduce more of the marketing leaders who will provide solutions to your business challenges on 29 September.

Mark Choueke, editor

For more information or to book your place at the Annual go to


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