Sunday, June 11, 2006

2006 Innovative Marketing Conference

The Columbia Business School hosted the 2006 Innovative Marketing Conference last week. I didn't attend and it turns out I didn't have to. The entire conference was blogged about on FC NOW and several of the speakers were interviewed by Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson of For Immediate Release. Other bloggers, such as Lois Kelly of Foghound, filled in thoughts of their own. The list of speakers was impressive and included names like David Weinberger of Cluetrain Manifesto fame, Larry Weber of Weber Shandwick, Joseph Jaffe and Burger King CMO Russ Klein.

I have spent much of my weekend reading about the conference and listening to the interviews. If you're in marketing, advertising or public relations--and want to be in five years--you would be wise to do the same.

Perhaps due to my background in public relations, I found Weber's contributions particularly interesting, especially his interview with Holtz and Hobson. FC NOW had several posts on Weber, attributing the following comments to him:

Marketing's role is to create content that contributes to the conversation.

His favorite marketing word is engagement; his least is advertising.

Creativity will raise its head 'big time' in the next three years. 'Campaigns, content and delivery' are the next wave of getting one's marketing message out. Creativity's going to be about creating webisodes and podcasts that are funny, amusing and can be shared.

"Brand is the dialogue you have with your constituents."

There's a rough transcription of his speech and the web site for his new company can be found here.

I also enjoyed the interview with Johnnie Moore and John Winsor. Johnnie blogged a little on the conference here. In their interview, one of the Johns said something like: "a couple of years ago, companies were concerned about losing control of their brand, now they're saying 'I'm losing control, what the hell do I do?'" A major theme of the conference appeared to be getting on board with the emerging social media before you get left behind.

Next year, I think I might have to attend this event. On second thought, I got most of the content through the blogs and podcasts I listed above. Also, by staying home, I didn't have to miss any of the World Cup. Go USA!

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