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Mark Evans' best books

In a new content series Direct Line's Mark Evans chooses his four favourite books for the discerning business leader, with reasons why you should read them.
Library

Burkitt's best books

In a new content series Marketing Society Editor-at-large, Hugh Burkitt, chooses his six favourite business books for the discerning marketing leader.
Gym

Default settings

“Of all of the tools in the choice architect’s repertoire, default rules may be the most promising; they are almost certainly the most discussed. Whether the area involves savings behavior, poverty reduction, or the environment, default rules have had significant effects on outcomes.” Cass Sunstein, 2017[1] Introduction The concept of creating or changing default settings is possibly one of the most powerful ‘nudges’ in any behavioural scientist’s ‘toolbox’ - one of the surest ways of changing people’s behaviour. By defaults, we mean that when people are presented with default options already set, or are automatically enrolled into something, they tend to accept them. We accept the status quo and go with the flow, without considering other options or investigating further. A very simple example is the default (factory) password setting for our mobile phones or our voicemail, which an astoundingly high proportion of people never get around to changing.
Library

Ideas make a difference

At AAI the most exciting thing in the ‘glory days’ was to sit in conference room after conference room, and watch the reality of ideas being sold, and now and then bought. During the couple of days when the final presentations were being made, all the agencies would be offering ideas – developed to specific briefs – that simply had not been there before. It is a thrilling moment for a client team (particularly on a global brand, where people don’t meet that often) to see shiny new ideas for their brand. Most of us dream of finding opportunities where there used to be a problem. To meet for the first time an opportunity in the shape of an idea makes all the late nights and travel worthwhile. So much of the conflict I have seen over the years between what agencies are trying to do and clients’ lack of receptiveness is mainly because I don’t think there’s sympathy for the idea process. I think if you’re not stretching the idea brain regularly, you don’t even notice your lack of ideas. It’s a bit like the huge change we’ve seen with eating sensibly, keeping fit, and going to the gym or running. If you keep fit you can do so much more.
Clubroom

Go Big or Go Home

I just got back from the annual TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference in Vancouver. It takes ten hours to get there, and costs ten thousand dollars a ticket, and this was the tenth time I’ve been. I’ve been asked a few times what it’s like and what I get out of it – so this seemed like a good time to reflect on why it’s worth attending. When I first came in 2009 it was already quite well known but it wasn’t the phenomenon it is today. Now there are over 2500 talks available online, they’ve been watched over a billion times and the most popular talks have been viewed over 50m times each. The original annual conference has spawned all sorts of complementary branded properties including TEDEd (schools programme), TEDSocial and there are now ten TEDx events worldwide held EVERY DAY!

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Editor's choice

Invisibility of queer women in advertising

Why is it that marketers find it so hard to recognise and embrace the nuances of gay women? Reassuringly, today there are some queer female faces visible in mainstream media - Rita Ora, St Vincent, Cara Delevingne, Kristen Stewart, Miley Cyrus... But interestingly, these women still look, to varying degrees, ‘feminine’' writes Forever Beta's Olivia Stancombe.

Opinion

Behavioural Science 2019: the past, present and future

'In the last decade, behavioural science has, without question, become mainstream. It’s now over sixteen years since Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2002 for his work with Amos Tversky founding and developing the field of behavioural science.' By Crawford Hollingworth and Liz Barker of The Behavioural Architects.

Think

10 things we learned from Debbie Hewitt MBE

'Many of us in our careers will have presented to a board, been grilled by some seriously fierce people and in some cases, we may get to be that director delivering the heat. Very few of us will have a career like Debbie Hewitt, a successful CEO turned “plural” non-exec Director and board chair.' Insight by Marketing Society's Alex Ricketts.

Insight