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The Future of Marketing, being hacked and the global response & more from The Drum: Editor's Overview

Stephen Lepitak

The Drum editor, Stephen Lepitak offers his weekly take on some stories and events from the past week and highlights a few things ahead for The Drum.

Hackers and the world we now live in - be warned!

The world was hit by 'an unprecedented' cyber attack on Friday that was as cowardly as it was cruel in attacking the computer systems of hospitals who are ill equipped to defend themselves after years of being underfunded. Every day people's lives will surely be affected by the act - and you can take it from someone who recently lost a parent, every second counts in a medical emergency. This act is sickening in that it has directly attacked people when they are most at need.

The hackers themselves are probably not of the mindset to realise the gravity of their actions, however governments have been shown up here too, not to anyone's great surprise. If we can't look after our sick and protect them effectively by preparing for such situations then what sort of a world have we allowed our politicians to create.

The digital world is one that mainstream society does not fully comprehend, and in Donald Trump's What is Digital? Interview last week, we can clearly see that those in charge don't comprehend it either.

What does this have to do with marketing you maybe wondering? Well worryingly it has a lot to do with this sector which holds consumer data as gold dust. The servers owned by the widespread marketing sector is an obvious target to be held to ransom, and would cripple any business if such an attack did occur targeting them. This should be a wake up call to protect what you have and make sure you back it all up and host it in a secondary location otherwise you are wide open to extortion. And what choice will you have really? Get your IT infrastructure locked down if you haven't already. And even if you have - double check that regularly. It may save your entire business.

So what is The Future of Marketing?

Last Thursday (10 May) The Drum held its second Future of Marketing event which ranged across numerous sessions examining TV, personalisation and social media among other topics. The speakers were uniformly brilliant and there were lots of fantastic insights to take away, many of which have and will be covered in The Drum website.

What was clear was that the future of marketing is far from linear. There are so many roads to take and so many methods for marketers to choose from. I was especially interested in the session by Alexandra Willis, head of communications, digital and content for the AELTC who admitted that the email marketing function of Wimbledon had been far from suitable in recent years and that the event "would only survive" by improving its personalisation abilities to draw old and new fans to the it. What an honest statement but as marketing quickly evolves, consumers need to seek out more innovative and powerful methods of engagement to gain their attention.

Every brand is now learning something new and every marketer is now vying for their attention more than ever. Personalisation is one clear answer to gaining that attention, and that it can be so granular and marketing can be take place automatically and bespoke shows that the entire sector has to become interested and educated in order to utilise that potential. If a globally loved competition such as Wimbledon needs to review and revamp its email communications, then the likelihood is you need to as well.

Elsewhere at The Drum...

Ahead of Cannes silly season (the calendar really kicks into high gear from April onwards I find) The Drum will host a couple of events in New York next week, hosted by myself. More details will be made available on The Drum Diary over the next few days.

The winners of the Moma Awards were announced last week at a ceremony at The Emirates Arena, more details of which can be found here, and we will be hosting one of our regular Breakfast Briefing sessions in London on the topic of Performance Marketing on Wednesday 24 May at Hackney House from 8.30am. Register to attend here.

Have a great week everyone.


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