The Communications Council is pleased to announce award-winning writer and strategist Mark Earls (aka HERDmeister) and prolific UK author and effectiveness expert Peter Field as special guests at this year’s IPA Strategic Planning Course, to be held in Sydney (27-29 Aug) and Melbourne (3-5 Sept).

The IPA Strategic Planning Course “Changing Perspectives” aims to turn common marketing misconceptions upside down and to disrupt the status quo. Over the three-day residential course, speakers, chairs and participants will experience a mental cleanse before collectively creating a manifesto on how marketing can be improved.

Starting with world renowned speakers Peter Field and Mark Earls, the course will dive into empirical evidence on what works and why. From there, speakers and delegates will explore those inspirational thinkers on the fringe of the industry, before finishing with thought provoking input from the best and brightest of ad land.

The course, which is designed for advertising and marketing communications professionals with upwards of five years experience, will be chaired in Sydney by Chief Strategy Officer of M&C Saatchi Australasia, Justin Graham (27-29 August), and in Melbourne by Head of Strategy at AJF Partnership, Pieter-Paul von Weiler (3-5 September).

von Weiler said: “It has never been more crucial to question what is true and what is false in marketing. Today people increasingly don’t care about brands and most of the work doesn’t work. I can’t wait to cleanse our marketing brains.”

Graham added: “Together with an incredible list of local speakers from a broad range of organisations, this is shaping up to be one of the most interesting courses I have been involved with. And a time that as an industry 

we are being more disrupted than ever before.”

Described by The Guardian as “like Malcolm Gladwell on speed”, Mark Earls’ session promises to be fast and furious. He will bring the learnings from his latest book Copy, Copy, Copy to life in a workshop and will share key learnings from #IPASocialWorks study group – a project identifying good practice in social media effectiveness and measurement.

The Godfather of Effectiveness, Peter Field, returns with his effectiveness deep dive which was one of the most talked about highlights from last year’s course. Straight from the UK, Peter will be sharing the best and latest thinking on marketing effectiveness based on his analysis on the IPA Databank – the most rigorous database on marketing effectiveness case studies in the world.

Commenting on Peter’s highly anticipated session, Graham said: “Peter’s ability to combine the theory with the practical makes him such an impressive addition to this year’s course. At a time when everyone is searching for the ‘new’, Peter preaches the ‘right’.”

“His session promises to strip away misconceptions on effectiveness and fill everyone up with the tools to apply immediately back at the ranch,” he said.

Joining Mark Earls and Peter Field in the line-up are a range of international and Australian thought leaders and strategic planning experts.

The full speaker line-up will be announced later this month.