Event Wrap Up: The Art of Marketing

I feel like it is a right of passage as anyone in the growing “Communications” field in Vancouver to attend the Art of Marketing. I was out of town during last year’s AOM, and tracking the tweets and chats following I had a full year of the FOMO’s (Fear of Missing Out for those of you who don’t speak in acronyms). When the dates for AOM 2012 were announced it was circled in my most noticeable red sharpie on the calendar.

David Usher started the event off and I must admit I was skeptical. “Isn’t this the guy from Moist?” most women in my age group were whispering to each other. And yes, he did sing, which was quite a lovely start to the morning. David’s take aways were to look to what your passions are and where you creativity lies to find what will in the end make you the most happy. Most people I polled loved it, however quite a handful of the hardcore Marketers in the room wanted more ROI.

Mitch Joel, author of Six Pixels of Separation was up next and challenged the audience to stop thinking through likes and follows, and instead focus on connecting. He led the audience through some smart real time examples that showcased how social media has transformed into a utility tool for brands, however we need to start seeing the relationships to take advantage. Mitch made us look into the future to his one screen philosophy, that in 2 years all messages will come through one device. Note: if we do not have one yet, we all really need to get an IPAD. Oh, and he made me cry when he ended with this video. In fairness, I skipped breakfast so low blood sugar didn’t help.

Rachel Zuckeberg was next….yes that Zuckeberg. Although Rachel was well spoken and had good stage presence I found her presentation the least engaging of the day. I think a good tip here is for presenters to come and listen to speakers preceding them, as unfortunately she covered some of the exact examples Mitch just had. Although some great behind the scenes insights into how FB operated in the early days, I found my biggest take away was man, I have to get that orange blazer she’s wearing from Aritzia.

Biz Stone is the most humble hot nerd out there. Named one of the most influential people by Time Magazine clearly this honor has not gone to his head. Although he did not touch on why he decided to leave Twitter when he did, it was clear he was now on a path to make a bigger difference. On a more philanthropic direction through his new venture, The Obvious Collection, Biz is focused on taking the social spectrum to make the world a better place.

The Art of Marketing line up ended with Scott Stratten, also known as the Un-Marketing guy. Within the first 20 seconds you could tell why the organizers lined him up to go last, event though he lamented his tweetable quotes would go unnoticed do to everyone’s drained phone batteries! His message could have been lost do to the fact he had 2000+ folks howling with laughter but I hope that wasn’t the case as there was an important underlying takeaway. We need to stop being stupid when marketing. Yes your competitor might have a QR code of every print, online, they have, but does that mean you should? Definitely not if that QR code is on the back of a moving bus! (This was a real advertising example if you can believe it.)

Common themes and learning’s from the day were all very social media based, and in some cases not groundbreaking but fundamentals that need to be refreshed. Here were my top 5 takeaways from the day:

1. To succeed spectacularly, you need to be ready to fail spectacularly.
2. Opportunities can be manufactured.
3. We are moving towards a one-screen generation. In 2-3 years we will all operate on one platform.
4. Get back to basics and use common sense again as a Marketer
5. Marketing, HR, Customer Service departments should be working closer together than they currently are.

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