I spent yesterday at the Corante/Columbia Business School Innovation Marketing Summit, specifically the CMO day. It was a great series of discussions about innovation, management and marketing – and what the heck is going on today.
A few debates properly summed up the day: What is marketing anyway? Is it selling? Creating demand? Providing spiritual guidance, confidence and reason to believe? Is it identifying opportunities? Is it serving as the bridge between the customer and the organization? Should it be a function or an organizational state of mind? Or is it just selling more shit to more people, period? Professor Bernd Schmitt closed the day properly by referencing Sartre: “Marketing is being and nothingness.”
Another highlight: Almost NOBODY used Powerpoint cruxes. Not surprisingly, every discussion leader who dismissed Powerpoint received a round of applause. And here’s another…YAY! People who don’t use Powerpoint are awesome, and more engaging.
I predict a growing backlash against Powerpoint. It will become a joke and indicator of people who:
- don’t have anything important to say to begin with,
- or who haven’t prepared to convey what they need to convey,
- or simply are dispassionate about the subject matter
Now I’m not writing off presentation slides entirely, but this is the direction things are going. They still can be illustrative when used sparingly, and can be necessary for virtual events like Webinars.
With that, I’m relieved to say that my co-panelists agreed to ditch Powerpoint early on for our discussion today during Day Two of the Innovation Marketing Summit. (With this crowd, I might otherwise have been stressed out over possible embarrasment!)