Stephen Lepitak

A blog from The Drum's editor, Stephen Lepitak, covering reaction to events in media, social media, marketing, advertising and communications in general.

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The Drum reveals its plans, contributors and editorial themes for 2019

Happy New Year and welcome to the future - again.

The year ahead we can already see will be one in which politics will play an even more important role than it does usually with Congress in the US currently set for a drawn-out shutdown and the UK no closer to knowing where it will sit alongside the EU come March. And that’s before we mention the political situation with Russia, South Korea, and uncertainty over the strength of the Chinese economy too.

Buckle up - it won’t be plain sailing over the next few months/years.

Then there’s the marketing services sector. Boy oh boy is that going to throw up some conundrums as well. We know the FBI is watching the digital ad sector closely, especially after last year’s sting with the help of Oath (or is it Verizon now?) and Google. Facebook won’t have their problems to seek, nor will the agency networks either as they figure out their own destiny.

As a result, the already convicted world of marketing will no doubt need to continue to figure itself out, and the winds of change will blow in small gusts as usual. This year our theme will concentrate on the marketer of the future as The Drum aims to help understand what skills and decisions professionals will have and need to make in the years to come in order to achieve success. This will see us run insights, news, research, and features online and in print that will aim to guide and inform those working in and entering the marketing sector worldwide about what they can expect to happen and what they need to know to continue in their profession for years to come.

We will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first digital banner ad being released through a number of articles and projects to mark such a significant step forward for the industry. 

The magazine will continue to host monthly themes, with the initial outline of what those are available to see online, as are our events and awards happening around the world which includes conferences such as Pitch Perfect, Programmatic Punch NYC and Agency Acceleration Day.

Offering insights from the coal face will be a larger roster of regular contributors than ever before, who will give us first-hand reaction and insights from across the industry from influencers, social media platforms, work environments, digital innovation, marketing, and media insights and creative viewpoints.

Research projects will also return, such as The Drum’s Big Won Rankings determining the most awarded individuals and companies of last year, as well as the Digerati, which will extend outside of the UK for the first time and the annual 50 under 30 women in digital roll call for UK, US and APAC individually. 

This year joining The Drum to feature first hand thought pieces from;

Alex Lubar, chief executive of McCann London
Laura Jordan Bambach, Mr President’s chief creative offer and co-founder of Mr President,

Kevin Chesters, former strategy lead for Ogilvy UK and incoming partner/CSO of The Harbour Collective,
Jerry Daykin, media director at GlaxoSmithKline,
Debbie Morrison, managing director at Ebiquity,
Kieley Taylor, managing partner, global head of social at GroupM,
David Parkinson, co-founder of Brave & Heart, Katy Howell, chief executive of Immediate Future
Jen Zimmerman, global chief strategy officer at mcgarrybowen
 Aaron Kwittken, global chairman & chief executive officer of KWT Global
Lauren Ingram, founder of Power Suit Social and head of marketing for Wildfire
Steve Chester, director of media for ISBA
Benjamin Roberts, VP of APAC talent management at Essence,
Jenn Villalobos, VP and head of digital business and strategic partnerships at NTUC Income
Theo Blackwell MBE, chief digital officer for the City of London, 
Richard Reeves, managing director, UK Association of Online Publishers.

These new contributors will join those continuing to write for The Drum;
Lindsay Pattison, WPP’s chief client officer
Tom Goodwin, EVP and head of innovation for Zenith,
Paul Gubbins, Programmatic lead for Unruly,
Kate Howe, chief growth officer for Dentsu Aegis,
Sam Scott,   marketing expert and keynote speaker 
and media columnist Ian Burrell

There will also be regular contributions made on behalf of the 3% Movement which The Drum has agreed to back as a media partner for a third year. 

There’s so much to come from the publication in 2019 and it’s all going to be very exciting. As we continue to provide that marketing can change the world, we’ll keep seeking out case studies and campaigns that make a difference, using our Creative Works platform as a base for all the latest ads produced around the world which can be self-uploaded too. Meanwhile, this year’s contributor roster has grown and I’m delighted by the quality of insight and expertise that will be relayed to our readers - I hope they too are excited by what marketing, media and advertising knowledge we are set to deliver them over the coming months from a global perspective.

We plan to continue to offer numerous breakfast events throughout the year that will be free-to-attend and will focus on issues that marketers face on a daily basis while the rest of the company away from publishing, from The Drum Recommends to The Drum Network will also offer business solutions for marketers and agency leaders to help them make important decisions every day. I do hope our readers contains to enjoy what we have on offer and returns to our website, magazine and other offerings as a daily destination.

Readers can also expect us to host our first 10k Media Challenge race at Aintree in September for the industry to help raise money for good causes and to see The Drum Arms appear at some of the global events we will be covering this year once again - serving as a place for marketers to meet and network over a drink and hosting interviews and panel sessions alongside as well. Keep an eye open for further announcements on that front in the coming weeks.

We have lots to do but the whole team is looking forward to driving forward to reach our always lofty ambitions for our audience.

The Drum magazine, which we view as a monthly marketing event delivered in print and via its companion mobile app, is available for subscription or can be purchased individually with the list of topics for 2019 available to view here.

Subscribe to The Drum’s daily newsletters to keep up with each day’s events and insights. 

Stephen Lepitak is the editor of The Drum

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