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FutureM will showcase "Innovation at Intersections"

Posted by Chad O'Connor  September 18, 2013 11:00 AM

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[The We are the Creative Industries series: The Creative Industries - video game companies, design, marketing and architecture firms, and talented people who write books, design houses, shoot movies, make art and record music, just to name a few examples - are an important part of Massachusetts' economy, with $1 billion statewide impact and over 100,000 workers. Click here to learn more.]

FutureM 2013 is just around the corner. It’s the annual event experience that showcases and celebrates the Future of Marketing. But why, you might ask, is it in Boston? Isn’t NYC the center of the universe for this space? My answer: nope.

Greater Boston is the birthplace of and home to some of the most exciting disruptions in the marketing industry – think Constant Contact for email, HubSpot for inbound marketing, Brightcove for online video, Akamai for Internet experiences, and DataXu for real time ad decision making. This is a just a sample, the list of companies, thought leaders and technologies that are reshaping marketing and online advertising from Boston is clear proof that the center of the universe is moving North.

FutureM’s theme this year is “Innovation at Intersections,” and it’s a theme that is distinctly Boston. It’s about how digital technology and media are colliding with new industries and ideas to create exciting innovations. A new generation of customer experiences will draw inspiration from these converging worlds to reshape the modern marketing landscape.

It’s Greater Boston’s diversity of industries, roles and technology that is creating the most exciting innovations in the marketing world. We see ground breaking things happen when people from different perspectives and expertise apply their knowledge to marketing problems. BlueFin Labs, which was bought by Twitter this year, is a great example. Born from the MIT Media Lab, its technology wasn’t originally meant for brands, yet the smart folks behind its success could see the opportunity to help companies figure out how to use social for new insights into their consumers. There are many examples of this; there are bound to be more.

We have all the ingredients: success stories, great mentors, world class universities, top talent, R&D in key sectors, curious minds, and the New England work ethic that’s excited by solving hard problems. So while we may not be quite as flashy or slick as NYC or Silicon Valley, we have a treasure trove of good stuff to continue this transformation of marketing.

Here’s what a few of our great business leaders in Boston have to say about Boston as the hub of modern marketing:

Jennifer Lum, Co-Founder, Adelphic Mobile, angel investor: “The quality of experienced mobile engineering and entrepreneurship talent in Boston is outstanding. Now, with the fundamental shift to data-driven marketing and advertising, Boston ad tech companies have also benefited from the incredible talent pool of mathematicians and data scientists that have excelled in Boston's top schools and labs.”

Barbara Goose, President, Digitas Boston: “We are an established and credible city for start-ups - those start-ups are infusing ideas and pushing our technology capabilities like never before. We believe partnering with those start-ups on our work brings great value to our clients.”

Larry Weber, Chairman & CEO, W2 Group, Inc.: “Boston constantly has its finger on the pulse of what’s next for technology, which has a direct impact on modern communications. It’s a hot spot for innovation and is home to some of the most forward-thinking independent marketing technology and service companies.”

Joe Grimaldi, Chairman & CEO, mullen: “The best recipe for innovative modern marketing is brains, creativity and technology. No one beats Boston on those criteria.”

Sarah Fay, Digital Media Expert, Board Member for Adelphic, Celtra and others: “I'd put the brains of Boston up against any other geography, but it's our spirit of community that collectively kicks the butt of other cities.”

Sarah Hodkinson, Paypal Media Network, Director of Marketing: “As a marketer myself I can’t think of a better city and culture in terms of fostering cutting edge ideas, innovation and top tier talent.”

Jeff Glass, CEO, Skyhook Wireless: “Boston's strong university, creative, technology and business communities' willingness to collaborate and share best practices fluidly with each other and with the world means we can focus on innovation.”

Sara Spalding, Sr. Director, Microsoft: “Microsoft is proud to be part of the innovation ecosystem here in Boston. The people, talent and innovation from start-ups, academia and big companies come together here to create an unparalleled environment that helps us all thrive.”

Brian Halligan, CEO & Co-founder, HubSpot: “Boston is becoming the center of gravity for the new marketing models. The traditional marketing model is breaking right before our eyes as new technologies like DVR's, Netflix, and Spotify dramatically change behavior. As the traditional model breaks, the center of marketing gravity is moving from Madison Avenue to Boston.”

Scott Savitz, CEO, Data Point Capital: “[We] launched in Boston due to the amazing talent and innovation that is happening in this city. In fact, in the last 6 months the fund has made investments in a number of super-hot, digital, New England businesses including Clypd, Jebbit, and Vee24.”

I am incredibly excited for what’s next in marketing. What about you?

Debi Kleiman is president of MITX and host of FutureM, October 16th through the 18th at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

[We are thankful for Global Business Hub’s support of the Creative Industries. Please note: This article does not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development or its Creative Economy Industry Director for the Commonwealth, nor is it an endorsement of any views, products, or opinions contained therein. The author is solely responsible for the content.]

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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