Senior marketers from across the Asia Pacific region gathered in Tokyo on October 24 at the Tokyo American Club for the CMO Council Asia Pacific Virtual Summit, the Council’s first Asia event. The CMO Council launched its Asia Pacific chapter earlier this year and now counts over 100 members, representing Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Australia and New Zealand.
The day began with a press conference at the Foreign Press Club. Executive Director Donovan Neale-May, CMO Council Asia Pacific Advisory Board chairman Jun Kamo of BearingPoint, Japan, and fellow Advisory Board member Charles Nikeil, senior director, regional marketing, Symantec, presented the assembled regional media with perspective on the CMO Council’s entry into the region and the business value proposition it offers to senior marketers and their organizations.
The Virtual Symposium, which was simulcast live over the Web, kicked off with an animated keynote from Asia brand strategist, Martin Roll, who has spent the last fifteen years closely analyzing the evolution of the marketing function in Asia and studying Asia brands and branding strategies and communicating the attendant opportunities and challenges to Western marketers. Among his key points: successful brands must be managed by the top level of management – which must include a senior marketing executive -- and implemented by the entire organization through multiple actions, behaviors and customer touch points – a view echoed by the CMO Council in several of its recent thought leadership initiatives.
Panels on “Pipeline to the Frontline: Integration and Alignment of Marketing & Sales” and “Market Entry and Growth Strategies for Asia” featured scintillating, informative discussions from Council Advisory Board members including: James Alderton, marketing director, Tektronix, June Chan, vice president, marketing, AT&T; Simone Wheeler, marketing director, Factiva; and Jeremy Cooper, vice president, salesforce.com. The panelists offered a breadth and depth of knowledge and insight into the complexities of marketing across such a diverse range of cultures, economies, and business mindsets; attendees, representing a mix of local Japanese businesses, regional brands and multinationals, responded with engaging Q&A.
The Advisory Board also convened for a luncheon to develop a strategic focus for 2007. The members identified a number of topics and issues they feel are most compelling to marketers around the region and which the Council will evaluate in developing thought leadership initiatives, on-line programs and forums to introduce to members in the coming year. Among these include: better alignment of sales & marketing; professional development for mid-level marketing personnel; elevation of marketing as a strategic function within the organization; and, of course, defining the role of the CMO in the region