From brand stewards to Star Trek: why marketers must look to the future

Andrea Sophocleous

Marketers have failed to keep up with the changes sweeping through the communications industry because they are too busy managing their multiplying number of agencies and looking to the past, according to David Morgan, executive director of marketing and corporate communications at Nestlé Australia.

Speaking at the ADMA Global Forum, held in Sydney in August 2013, Morgan reported that many practitioners had become bogged down in process management, and are failing to address the growing number of challenges they face as a result.

To illustrate his point, Morgan opened his presentation by marking off a roll-call of current technologies that had been correctly anticipated by the cult science-fiction show Star Trek – from mobile phones to flat-screen TVs, from Google Glass to tablets and voice-recognition systems – several decades ago. "Our world was predicted by Star Trek 50 years ago," he said. "As an industry that's meant to be leading edge, it troubles me that 50 years later we still haven't dealt with these things."

The future of marketing