The future of marketing and sales practices is a one-day event for senior management in marketing, sales and operations hosted by the Cranfield Centre for Strategic Marketing and Sales.

For well over 25 years, Cranfield School of Management’s professoriate has been at the forefront of thought leadership in marketing and sales. We convert innovative research into leading business practices, share them with senior management, and publish the results in world-class journals such as the Harvard Business Review, Californian Management Review, MIT Sloan and the Journal of Marketing.

Our marketing and sales professors are hosting this one-day interactive conference, addressing the future direction of strategic practices. In addition to our Cranfield speakers, the conference will also feature speeches from distinguished industry leaders drawn from our own alumni network and other sources. Delegates will be able to debate the issues raised during Q&A and breakout sessions.

Content and focus

We will focus primarily on managing the challenges affecting the strategic marketing and sales practices and the consequent opportunities that are arising. We live in an environment characterized by global disruption, radical advances in technology (such as the advent of artificial intelligence), volatile economies, an imperative for supply chain and customer data security, the rise of “populism” and the need to tackle “fake news”, the acute necessity to address climate change and not least the need to address changing customer purchasing patterns and behaviour. We will debate how the marketing and sales professions need to adapt to tackle such challenges and to embrace technological and societal evolutions.

At Cranfield we focus on the practical application of marketing and sales leadership and address, among other:
- Core customer-facing processes: customer insight and relationships, innovation, brand management and key account-based marketing.
- Capabilities: the skill-sets of executives, the capabilities of their marketing and sales teams, and structures for cross-functional integration and agility.
- Marketing assets: brand identity and equity, customer portfolio management, front-end business models and service culture.
- Marketing and sales tools: CRM, big data management, market research, social media and traditional communications.

Ticket information

General Admission: £149

Cranfield Alumni: £99

APS Advanced Members and Fellows, and Worshipful Company of Marketors: £99

Group bookings of five tickets or more will receive 10% off the total cost.

Register Now


The Royal Academy of Engineering, 3 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DG

Map and directions

Who should attend

The conference has been designed primarily to surface insights on the future roles and practices of senior marketing and sales management and to foster debate across functions within the firm about the fast-changing dynamics of customer management.

Besides appealing to senior management from sales and marketing, decision makers in customer service, operations and supply chain will benefit from attending too, particularly if part of a firm's cross-functional team seeking to create and offer breakthrough practices at the front end of their businesses.


John MacDonald-Gaunt, Vice President, IBM Global Business Services

Rebecca Robins, Global Director, Interbrand

Fiona Blades, MESH

Dr David Walker, Founding Partner of HAPPEN! Innovation Agency

Professor Malcolm McDonald, Emeritus Professor, Cranfield University

Professor Emma Macdonald, Professor of Marketing, Head of Marketing & Sustainability

Professor Hugh Wilson, Strategic Marketing, Cranfield University

Professor Simon Knox, Emeritus Professor, Cranfield University

Professor Stan Maklan, Professor of Marketing and Technology, Cranfield University

Event Programme

08:45-09:30 Arrival and coffee
09:30-09:45 Welcome from Cranfield University
09:45-10:15 Managing global accounts. Strategy and structures for cross-functional integration and agility: John MacDonald-Gaunt, Vice President, Vodafone Account, IBM Global Services
10:15-10:45 The Future of Brands. From the inside-out: Rebecca Robins, Global Director, Interbrand
10:45-11:15 Creating and selling value: Professor Malcolm McDonald, Emeritus Professor of Marketing, Cranfield School of Management
11:15-11:45 Coffee and networking
11:45-12:15 The future of marketing and sales: Expert panel discussion
12:15-13:30 Lunch and networking
13:30-14:00 Manifesto for Experience-Driven Marketing: Fiona Blades, President and Chief Experience Officer, MESH The Experience Agency and Professor Hugh Wilson, Professor of Strategic Marketing, Cranfield School of Management
14:00-14:30 Innovation beyond Disruption: Dr David Walker, Founding Partner of HAPPEN! Innovation Agency
14:30-15:40 Preparing for the future: Themed breakout discussions led by Cranfield faculty
15:40-16:00 Coffee and networking
16:00-17:00 Insights from the workshop and next steps: Cranfield faculty
Refreshments and nibbles