As you can see from Jeremiah's post below, our 2009 Marketing Forum is up and running in Orlando, Florida,  with Shar VonBoskirk kicking off proceedings with (after lifting the audience with a resounding rendition of “M I C K E Y M O U S E!” – well, they are at the Disney Resort!) a keynote addressing how marketers affected by the recession, across the globe, need to treat their online planning and strategy teams as core parts of their business planning, taking account of the advantages of more accountable marketing channels. She urged marketers not to be stifled by the idea that a recession is a bad time to innovate; on the contrary, as interactive marketing channels continue to grow strongly, now is a great time to take innovative steps to reach consumers across online channels, with far less risk than many marketers perceive.

>More experts from the likes of Microsoft, Starbucks and iProspect take the stage on Friday to share their insights into how to get the best value out of interactive marketing in a recession.

The Forum is being held in the US, but the recession is an equal reality in Europe, and European marketers are faced with the same challenges – how to get the best out of their marketing spend, how to take advantage of the flexibility and measurability of interactive channels, and how to best reach and talk to consumers also feeling the bite of the downturn. Marketers struggle with understanding how they can identify key consumers in their European target countries, what technologies to use to reach them, and how to innovate, say using social media, to make a brand stand out from the crowd?

We at Forrester talk to hundreds of European clients a year about these, and other, marketing problems. For example. we have recently worked with a major European online brand about repositioning the brand in the light of consumer’s changing online behaviours, looking at both consumer behaviour data from our own Consumer Technographics surveys as well as strategic insight into how consumers use online content, and how they research/buy products online.

If you are a marketer looking for help with such issues, please do reach out to me here at We have analysts in Europe, the US and Asia, ready to help.