Yaka for marketing

10 December 2022

Yaka voor marketing

Even if the proverbial glass has been half empty for many consumers for several months, marketers like to see the glass half full. Even if for many that means that they have to learn to live and survive in a world where the future is more uncertain today than ever before. But certainly with the belief and conviction that it can become a better world. With 'Yaka' as a new battle cry.

While the first freezing temperatures were recorded outside, last week the dutch marketing community gathered again for the annual congress of BAM, Belgian Marketing Association. "Embracing uncertainty" was the very topical theme.

Here are 5 observations.


"Yaka" was a very appropriate battle cry to sum up the spirit of the congress, borrowed from the latest campaign by the French-language newspaper L'Echo. A cry inspired by the haka singing of a team of rugby players before the start of a match. Together we are going to win this competition. A modern version of "all for one and one for all". Away from the calimero complex. "When everything is uncertain, everything becomes possible," editor-in-chief Paul Gérard told his audience.

Sustainable, or not

The future of marketing will be sustainable, or there will be no future. Certainly, the economic crisis is weighing heavily on the behaviour of consumers and brands. But that doesn't mean global warming is out of the picture. Brands must deliver value for consumers, but they must also actively build a sustainable world. The future must be sustainable and affordable.

Digital, but

The future of marketing will be digital more than ever. It is a trend that is more irreversible. And AI (artificial intelligence) offers unprecedented possibilities today and tomorrow. But "thought leader" Rik Vera wiped the floor in a very critical presentation with the large American technology companies that have been holding consumers and brands hostage with data for many years and have hijacked the free internet. "We do not communicate with each other on social media, but with apps in the hands of Big Tech, which have thus become the owner of our most personal data." An impassioned plea to put people back at the centre.

Change of system, or system change

Most authentic inspiring and challenging stories came from figures from the periphery of the marketing community. From Lucas De Man, over Jürgen Ingels to Average Rob. They have a holistic view of people, they have the gift to step out of their field, to make connections, to allow cross-pollination to take place. They see crises as an accelerator of change, even of changing systems. The future of marketing lies outside the well-trodden marketing paths. More than ever, marketers need to open windows and doors wide.

Marketing is a woman

The observer notices how the marketing community has become enormously feminized in recent years. An estimated 2 in 3 attendees were women. Fortunately, that is also reflected more and more on stage. The strongest storytellers on the main stage of the congress were almost without exception women: Clo Willaerts, Myriam Blanpain, Sara Riis-Carstensen, Silvia Garcia. Marketing and communication are a women's business. They know what they are talking about, but above all: they can communicate very adhesively. In the coming years, there is still a lot of work to be done to get people of color to break through. Also on the stage of a marketing conference. They are the talents of tomorrow.

In conclusion
, marketing must be part of the solution to get out of this crisis. The future has already begun.