If you want to have your mind expanded about marketing issues I recommend you check out the shows coming out of Alterian’s recent Engaging Times summit in Chicago.

Interviewing the likes of Don Peppers, founder of Peppers and Rogers Group, and advertising’s elder statesman Stan Rapp, Chairman of Enguage, I was blown away by the way they shared big idea after big idea. But now having reviewed the footage and pulled the shows together I’m even more convinced that the things they were talking about were core to what we are all going to be doing in marketing over the next five years.

I’m talking about things like evolving marketing to be less like shouting from the rooftops and more like direct response – after all why not? We’ve got access to huge amounts of data about individual customers, a channel to reach them and the tools to measure what happens.

Or how companies that don’t have the immediate brand appeal of a Virgin or Apple can use technology to draw in customers and achieve a similar effect.

And perhaps most tellingly, the experts float the idea that the days of the campaign might be numbered. Instead we need to be thinking about an ongoing dialogue. As Don Peppers says, the back and forth between company and customer is the future of commerce.

There’s a lot to think about and comment on. I hope you find it useful.