FM’s third CM Summit is just two weeks away (register here), and as I have in the past (and will with other speakers as well as folks I’ll interview at Web 2), I turn to the collective intelligence of Searchblog readers to help me prepare. I’ll be having conversations with Evan Williams (co-founder Twitter), Gian Fulgoni (founder Comscore), David Rosenblatt (CEO DoubleClick, now at Google) and many others.
But first up in terms of thinking out loud here is Laura Desmond, Chief Executive Officer, Starcom MediaVest Group, a unit of the Publicis Groupe. For those of you who might not follow the world of marketing too closely, SMG is one of the largest and most influential marketing services companies on the planet, its clients include Kraft, Allstate, Kellogg’s, Walt Disney, GM, Coca Cola, Proctor & Gamble, RIM (Blackberry), and on and on. The company collectively controls billions of dollars of marketing spend, including a significant chunk of the monies that fuel the Internet Economy.
In other words, Laura is one Very Important Person in the world of the web, even if you’ve never heard of her.
Given what I do for a living, I’ve come to know Laura and find her extremely candid and refreshingly absent the marketing-speak that sometimes creeps into top executives’ vocabulary. GIven the economy, it’s an extraordinary time to have a conversation. Here are some of the topics I plan to cover:
- SMG’s clients represent a comprehensive sampling of the largest marketers in the US and global economy. Given the economic crisis, what are they saying to you now about their plans for spending? Are they going to continue to shift to digital, or are they going to pause or move spend to places where they’ve lived in the past (IE TV, print)?
- CPG (consumer packaged goods) brands are just starting to lean into digital. What have they learned, and how far do they have to go before they view online as central to their plans, if ever?
- How has the digital world changed how agencies within SMG do their work? (This in light of my writings on CPG vs. Conversational Media, here).
- Lastly, I’ve asked Laura to bring examples of work done by SMG agencies. I’m looking forward to the show and tell.
But here’s where you can help: What else should I be asking Laura? Chime in in the comments!