The two-day Global Marketing Summit which opened on Saturday, November 21st at Shahid Beheshti University International Conference Center brought together prominent and seasoned executives from across the world as well as hundreds of top marketing managers from Iranian companies.

Day One

Day one of this international conference featured a whole range of discussions and namely presentations on latest trends in communications, branding and marketing.

Arash Vafadari, the CEO of the Mana Payam Public Relations, and the first speaker at the Global Marketing Summit referred to the unique challenges and opportunities in the communications sector in Iran, “An organization gives different messages to various members of its audience. One of the primary principles of communication is to send the right message to the right audience, and this should be done constantly.” he said.

“Communicating with media, regulating bodies, stakeholders, and even communicating with people within an organization requires a strategic communications plan, which is handled by the public relations departments. All activities conducted by the public relations are very important for the survival of the organization; that’s why today, public relations has an important status in addition to marketing,” he noted.

Vafadari touched upon the significance of consistent and strategic communications under the current circumstances in Iran, saying, “We are in a special and important situation. The private sector is growing and moving forward, and competition has increased. Under such circumstances, we should get closer to observing the principles of communications and international standards. However, we should keep this important point in mind that this should happen after getting to know the Iranian audience and taking into account the conditions in our country. This will make campaigns, marketing programs and public relations efforts, more successful and effective.”

Another speaker was Lars Silberbauer, the global social media director at LEGO Group. He spoke about communicating effectively with customers through social media. “When our children are born, most of them are creative, but only a few of them keep this creativity until adulthood. At LEGO, by offering a product which its idea may seem primitive, we tried to maintain creativity in people until they become adults, so that we would be able to nurture talented individuals for society.” he added.

Day Two

Gerhard Barcus, GoodBrand’s partner in the Middle East, was among the speakers on the second and last day of the summit. He touched upon the advantages of competition brought about through changing the methods used to create values in business, “Economic developments in Iran and the country’s new role in the world have created unique opportunities for business in Iran. However, one should bear in mind that in addition to these opportunities, there also exist challenges which economic activists should be prepared to deal with.” he mentioned.

Another speaker was Tomas Jensen, the senior director for corporate communications at M&C Saatchi World Services. Jensen, who is also Microsoft’s director for corporate communications in the Middle East and Africa, said small and large companies across the world have the same general objectives. He emphasized that corporations should further consolidate their social media for transparent communication with their audiences. This helps an organization build a brand for its audience in a better way.

Highlighting that content takes center stage today in the world of business, “Businesses can no longer be successful in isolation. Business leaders should watch out for the feedback they receive from their products and brand across the world. The reason is that the most credible people talking about the brand of an organization are not its insiders and staff, but rather are customers who, as consumers, can be trusted more easily.”  Jensen said.

Alper Eroglu, the marketing director at Unilever Turkey, Baris Zavaroglu, an international marketing expert and former head of Consumer Products at the Walt Disney Company, and Irina Pashina, director for marketing and communications at SAP SE, also took the podium on day two of the summit.

Day two also featured an interactive workshop dubbed “How To Create The Right Marketing Strategy In A Like Economy” by Hubert Grealish, the former marketing director at Philips. Speaking at the workshop, Grealish touched upon developing new ideas in the field of marketing, “The key difference between old and new methods of marketing is that in the past, the product was only introduced, but today, social media play a significant role in marketing, given the changes and developments which have taken place in marketing together with the science of telecommunications. Nevertheless, one should bear in mind that introducing products in today’s world using social media is a different job, and customers’ needs are more difficult to meet. Unlike its traditional form, marketing today is a trend which depends on how active an individual is in social media. Nevertheless, to like a product in social media does not mean the business is profitable. ” he said.

The Global Marketing Summit was co-organized by The P World and Mana Payam Public Relations on the 21st and 22nd of November at the International Conference Center of Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran.

If you are interested to know more about Mana Payam Public Relations stay tuned for an interview with its CEO Arash Vafadari.

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