Erica Kerner: Singapore Chair’s note

Q1 2019

Welcome to our first Marketing Society Singapore quarterly update. Globally, The Marketing Society is an exclusive network of 3,000 senior marketers (and counting). We encourage our members to become bolder marketing leaders, helping them to think differently about the challenges they face. Having launched in the UK in 1959, The Marketing Society has become one of the most influential drivers of marketing in the world. This year marks five years for us in Singapore and we have already started 2019 with a series of events that promote the value of marketing by sharing best practices between East/West and developing the next generation of BOLD marketing leaders. 

In 2019 The Society will be relaunching our brand and purpose. We have been working with the creative forces at Bloom - an agency who, like us, aren't afraid to step out of their comfort zone and take risks. At our first event this year, we discussed the story behind our brand revamp and the importance of keeping bravery at the forefront with Bloom’s Executive Chairman, Andy Fennell, and our own Chief Executive, Gemma Greaves, who both flew over from London to attend. Andy also discussed his thoughts on bold leadership and reflected on his 18-year stint at Diageo, where he held the role of CMO and President of Africa.

Our second event was what we call our Fishbowl format - bringing together brave marketers for an insightful conversation where they bring their true selves to the conversation, are open, honest, provocative and share insights about topics that are considered taboo – but that we believe should not be. We want to make the invisible visible and understand how we as leaders can make a positive impact at work and on society. The first of these topics we addressed was Mental Health, where we advocated the fact that it is ok to not be ok. We will continue with this innovative format as it is an informal, relaxed conversation where all attendees can become contributors by stepping into the fishbowl to share their story, challenge or experience on the topic. I hope you will join us for the next one.

Our final event in January was the launch of our new series Brave Conversations, part of our partnership with The Drum where we aim to bring together a small group of our members to discuss key industry talking points, to stimulate conversation, share ideas and work together to solve challenges. At our first in the series in Singapore we discussed Gender Equality, with an aim to educate our members about gender equality issues, hear from inspiring speakers who can share personal and corporate stories, and learn from brands that are having success in this space.

In February, alongside our partners at Accenture, we invited 25 senior marketers to an intimate dinner where Accenture revealed key findings from their exclusive new research that explores what pioneering CMOs are doing to drive growth. The aim was to open up a provocative conversation about the reality of how CMOs influence the growth agenda. It was an opportunity for senior marketing leaders to share their experiences and challenges with a like-minded group of peers.

Our final activation for the quarter was the launch of this year’s Marketing Leaders Programme (MLP). Brand Learning have worked with The Marketing Society for the past 16 years to develop and deliver this ground breaking programme across London, New York and Singapore. I had the opportunity to meet with this year’s participants in March. This unique development experience addresses the strategic, commercial and leadership challenges facing senior marketers and their teams today. The power of the programme lies in the way the MLP brings together today’s marketing leaders with those of tomorrow in an open environment. This enables candid discussions between our participants and our globally renowned speakers.

I hope you agree with me that this was a strong start for 2019 for The Marketing Society Singapore…I truly believe this will be our BRAVEST year yet…and I am so glad that you are on this journey with us…

Erica Kerner
Chair, The Marketing Society - Singapore


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