Sunday, April 14, 2024

An event to promote the positives

THE World Marketing Summit (WMS) would present a new platform to portray Bangladesh as there is a gap between reality and perception about the country in the global arena, said experts.
To be held on March 1-3 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka, it will discuss how marketing philosophies, ethos and insights can be used to find innovative solutions to some global challenges.
The summit, a global initiative of the world’s most influential marketer Professor Philip Kotler, will be held in association with the foreign affairs ministry of Bangladesh with an aim to create a better world through marketing.
“We often face humiliation abroad as the true picture has not been portrayed properly before the world,” said Syed Ferhat Anwar, director strategy of WMS.
The first-ever world summit will help the country portray its positive side before the world, said Anwar at a daylong communication summit on Tuesday.
Bangladesh Brand Forum (BBF) in association with Cannes Lions on Tuesday organised the Communication Summit 2011 at Westin Dhaka. The Daily Star is the communications partner for the event.
Anwar, who is also the chief advisor of BBF, said the world has different problems including poverty, food security, education, health and environment, and marketing can be an effective tool to address these problems.
“All these problems are related to the Millennium Development Goals and the first summit will focus on the four problem areas and develop a general concept on the ‘future of marketing’,” he said.
The marketing summit will once again place Bangladesh on the global map after the World Cup Cricket, said K Mahmood Sattar, managing director of The City Bank at the event.
“It will help the country show its success stories before the world as any sort of international event brings the host country in the limelight in the global arena,” said Sattar.
He said a class of entrepreneurs has grown in the country in the last 40 years, who are now competing globally by offering quality and standard products.
He stressed the need for developing the ‘Made in Bangladesh’ brand.
He urged the government and private sector to exploit the summit to project Bangladesh’s strengths and potential.
Most foreigners have little knowledge about Bangladesh, aside from being a flood-prone and poverty stricken region, said Charu Aggarwal Harish , regional planning director of Grey Asia Pacific.
But the country has a lot of positives to be shared in the global arena, she added.
Manfred Abraham, head of Brand Strategy of Interbrand Global, UK, said the summit will benefit the whole country.
But for this, it needs to clearly define the messages it wants to communicate to the global community, said Abraham.
To promote ‘Made in Bangladesh’, the country should focus on developing quality products and then communicate it to the world, like Japan did in the car industry, he added.
The BBF chief advisor said the marketing summit will follow a strategic map from 2012 to 2015 with a stepwise process.
“It is expected that by 2015, the MDGs will see worthwhile results from this unique marketing effort,” said Anwar, who is also a marketing professor at IBA, Dhaka University.
The conceptual plan will be finalised in 2012, based on research findings in seven different global locations, while in the 2013 summit, the pilot results of the initiated plan will be submitted, he said.
Final adjustments will be made to take the projects forward in 2014; and in 2015, there will be an evaluation of the new marketing paradigm.
Anwar said it is professor Kotler’s personal choice to launch the programme in Bangladesh.
“When he (Kotler) came to Dhaka, he experienced huge traffic jams in the city but he did not perceive it as a problem. Rather he saw it as ‘energy and
development’.”
On November 23, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said in a press conference that the summit was expected to emerge as a global platform for the marketing world to exchange views on developing just and responsible marketing practices.
During the summit, experts will examine a number of issues such as human resources development, health, food security, environment and climate change.

-With The Daily Star input

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