We are in a “perfect storm” fueled by big data, technological change, media transformation (especially mobile), and global competition.  The conventional model of linear digestion of media followed by the linear transaction process is disappearing.  With digital media, consumers have multiple sites and screens open at the same time.  This year the number of Internet users in the U.S. will grow to 239 million, nearly 76% of the total population.  We’re not moving to a digital world, we’re there.

Rapid technological change in mobile devices and wireless service (4G and 4G LTE) fundamentally change how advertisers and consumers interact.  Material information is increasingly delivered to consumers not only at the most relevant touch points, but also – through geo-location – at the most relevant places and times.  Think of it as “just-in-time” marketing.

This means real opportunities, with real questions for advertisers, regulators, and lawmakers – just as the hitchhikers are arguing about in this clip.  Marketers are charged with balancing evolving technological capabilities with consumer protection, including privacy and data regulation, and with adhering to regulatory standards and disclosures.     Continue Reading Settling the Argument: Regulation and Disclosure in the Digital World

It’s hard to believe it’s already mid-November.  The Presidential election is now behind us and the devastation of Hurricane Sandy is still all too real for many on the East Coast.  This week, many in the marketing and promotion industry are heading to the Windy City for the 34th Annual Promotion Marketing Association Marketing Law Conference.  This year’s conference is titled, “Converging Platforms & Diverging Laws” and I’m honored to be giving a keynote address again this year.  Throughout the PMA Conference this week, I’ll be sharing my thoughts and perspectives with you.

The Promotion Marketing Association is one of the largest and most influential industry trade associations and has been since its inception in 1911.  PMA represents businesses that motivate behavior, activate response and build brands.  These disciplines include promotion, shopper/retailer, digital, sponsorship and experiential marketing.

The Way I See It

  • I see the PMA’s Annual Law Conference helping marketers and agencies understand the implications of new developments, regulatory updates, legislation, and the effect of new technologies shaping the marketing world.
  • I see candid presentations, panels, and conversations on the critical issues facing the industry:  digital and mobile, data and privacy data security, shopper marketing, the role of the regulators – Federal, state and local, self-regulation, consumer direct action, protection of children, and so much more.
  • I see the PMA changing as the industry changes, and I see the influence of PMA increasing as the industry grows and gains even greater influence.

The Way the Industry Sees It

I sat down with Bonnie Carlson, the President of PMA, to give you an inside look at what is planned for this year’s Marketing Law Conference, current issues driving PMA’s work in the industry, and how PMA – and the industry – has changed since its inception just over 100 years ago.

I can’t believe it’s time again for the PMA Annual Marketing Law Conference. Can you give us some insight as to what the title of this year’s conference, “Converging Platforms & Diverging Laws,” means and how the panels and sessions aim to address it?

The title is a reflection of the continuing evolution of traditional media/tactics converging with new technology and the challenges this brings legally, often pioneering new ground and testing principles such as self-regulation, marketing to children and First Amendment rights.  Consumers are influenced by a myriad of media and are connected globally, especially because of the internet and social media, which also challenges the overlap or divergence of international and federal/state laws.

This year’s program really touches upon the key topics and issues brands and marketers face – the rise of social media, the importance of the mobile platform, the new regulations and regulators (like the CFPB), the focus on consumer activation, and the need to succeed in a global economy.  Given the developments during the past few months alone, what do you think will be the main themes driving your industry next year?

The consumer will continue to be in charge, expecting more transparency, authenticity and value from brands.  Marketers and retailers will continue to be pressured to do more with less, to advance new technology, stay competitive with a speed-to-market mentality, and have accountability for results.  On the legal side, the themes will be a focus on privacy rules (dot com guidelines, mobile app, and International data privacy rules), renewed attention to the COPPA rules, health and food claims, and cyber cafes.

Continue Reading Gearing Up for the 34th Annual PMA Marketing Law Conference