Marketing Week 2009 Kicks Off!

Apologies for the late post, Ladies and Gentleman. Ironically, with this being the  student blog and all, I actually had to duck off to a class right after the Australian Marketing Institute Gala Lunch and have only just gotten a chance to sit down in front of the computer.

Before getting too ahead of myself, formal introductions are probably in order. My name is Rob Frost and I am currently studying Writing and Creative Communication at UniSA. It is my great ambition to write words which people find compelling and interesting and one day make my mark in this industry; however, it is quite likely I will end up in a dingy cubicle writing the celebrity factoids one finds on a Fantails sweetie wrapper. I press on nonetheless, unperturbed and in good spirits.

Marketing Week 2009 has officially kicked off at the Holiday Inn on Hindley St! The cream of Adelaide’s marketing and advertising crop represented in force today, participating in a full line up of seminars and workshops from 7:30am till 6:00pm.

I was lucky enough to find a seat for the Gala Award Lunch, presented by the Australian Marketing Institute, and check out guest speaker Justin Milne, Telstra’s Media Group Managing Director, as he provided some interesting insight into the future of mobile content and the massive opportunity for markets and advertisers in the space.

Justin Milne, Telstra

Justin Milne, Telstra

Opening with incredible facts about the widespread proliferation of sophisticated mobile devices, he explained that growth markets like China have nearly 20 million new mobile service subscriptions every month, and that networking technology giant Cisco claims approximately one-third of the world’s data traffic is generated by mobile phones.

Obviously, the potential opportunity for marketers and advertisers is huge. It was interesting (and, admittedly, slightly refreshing) to hear a Telstra representative mention some of the company’s competitors when discussing the current media landscape and how each is vying to deliver the content we want, when we want it. With non-traditional players such as Apple, Microsoft and Google entering the media arena with fervor, the competition for our hard-earned dollars, and our brand loyalty, is already heating up.

Justin spoke of the recent technology breakthroughs which have made these opportunities possible; it’s scary to think that in 15 years time, your future mobile phone will be 1000x more powerful than your current handset (I wonder if it will have a built-in lightsabre for cutting sandwiches and vanquishing evil Jedi foe?)

Even with today’s current technology, advertising can now be delivered directly to its intended audience in a personal, interactive and localised way. Users choose the content they wish to know more about and when they want to receive it and marketers can tailor their advertisements to be viewed at the appropriate times.

For example, imagine grabbing a seat at your favourite local pub with your mates and your phone beeps. You’re amazed to find a video message from the pub telling you that, for the next hour, your preferred local ale is available at half price. You show the message to the barman to verify your claim and before you know it, you’re quickly quaffing frothy pints at a fraction of the price, all because you subscribed to receive that exact kind of marketing at those types of moments. Pretty powerful stuff, you’ll agree.

Naturally, Telstra and others are working with the appropriate agencies to ensure a users privacy is respected and Justin was adamant that this sort of directed marketing would be ‘opt in’, meaning the user controlled the type of experience they received.

With his speech concluding, Justin took a sample of questions from the floor. When asked about internet speed concerns, he was quick to talk around the question, instead speaking to the ‘reliability’ of Telstra’s broadband infrastructure and how it is considered one of the best in the world.

Now, I don’t wholeheartedly disagree with this viewpoint that Australians want reliable service from their chosen providers. Like a trusty car, reliability means you know it will start every time (even in weather like today’s) and it will get you where you need to be going at a pace which is convenient for you.

Thing is, with the internet, it’s not enough to have reliability; we need speed. Oodles and oodles of it. To borrow a line from seminal 80’s movie Top Gun, we need our internet to be going Mach 2 with it’s hair on fire.

Fast speeds over reliable networks will deliver all of the wonderfully interactive and localised content Mr. Milne was outlining during his speech. If we don’t have the speed, we won’t have the content. It’s imperative we get our act together otherwise I fear our digital future looks grim. With the Government’s proposed National Broadband Network in it’s embryonic stages, it will be interesting to see how this country’s broadband infrastructure develops over time to carry us into the developing digital age.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first day of Marketing Week and look forward to tomorrow’s breakfast session with James Rickard of kwp! Advertising (must remember to set my alarm, must remember to ingest redbull…)

Don’t forget, casual reader, that you can follow Marketing Week 2009 on Twitter: #marketingweek

More updates tomorrow but feel free to leave a comment in the meantime. All spelling, grammar and syntax errors can be forwarded to


Rob Frost

P.S. In the interests of full disclosure, I am currently interning at Via Media, Adelaide’s Digital Marketing specialists. Via Media is a major sponsor of Marketing Week 2009. The views and opinions expressed in this post may not be fully represented by Via Media.


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3 Responses to “Marketing Week 2009 Kicks Off!”

  1. Walter Adamson Says:

    Rob, thanks for the update, found this link on #marketingweek which is, surprisingly, just about dead as a dodo. I wonder what you think about that in this time of marketing being in one of it’s greatest upheavals ever with the advent of social media?

    I agree with your comment that on the Internet speed is good, and more better. We’ve had these odd arguments in this country for a long long time with moldy bureaucrats and “advisors” questioning “how would you use that speed”, “what would you do with it?”. Well it’s about creating wealth – but it’s a bit like religion if you don’t want to believe you won’t believe. It’s a pity we had a lost decade. Let’s hope NBN delivers.

    Re Justin Milne and the marvels of mobile – yes sure, sounds new and futuristic right. But it’s just what’s been happening in places like Japan and Korea for years. We should remember that Japan has the largest dedicated mobile agency in the world – and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc – and it turns over about $2 billion. While we listen like wide-eyed kids about the “possibilities” Japan looks at us like we are somehow stuck in the dark ages – which we are in that respect.

    I’m always surprised how people who should be in the know become so awe-struck about possibilities which have been trotted out for a decade and are in everyday use elsewhere. Surprise us by telling us that we’ll actually have the infrastructure and the commercial arrangements with carriers to allow it to happen. That’s excitement.

    Anyway, back to opening question – where’s social media in this conference, given that it spells the end of “branding” and potentially the reinvention of marketing?

    Regards, Walter Adamson @g2m
    Social Media Academy, Australia

    Walter Adamson

  2. mwstudent Says:

    Further to the beer advertising section of the post, I spoke to a colleague last night who said that the Robin Hood pub in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs is already doing this kind of mobile marketing over Bluetooth to mobile handsets.

    Now if that’s not an excuse to go quaff a few pints at The Hood, I don’t know what is!

    Who’s joining me?

  3. Aussie Inc. Says:

    There is a start up company, Podmo based in Adelaide doing interesting stuff on mobile marketing and apps. They have a beta app i-Commute where users can use web and and mail through their phones on public transport. Pubs and clubs apps also. Check out

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