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Inspiration and Insight at &THEN and the Strategic Summit

Debora Haskel

Pictured Above (Left to Right): Todd Barzilay, Megan Lester and Dan Horak at the IWCO Direct &THEN booth. Photo taken by Shari Jammallo of Canon Solutions America.

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) launched its revamped annual show, &THEN, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center last week. It is always good to spend time with our customers at this event. However, I was able to slip away from the IWCO Direct booth long enough to attend sessions that were inspiring and insightful.

Monday morning’s keynote presentation was billed as “Morning Inspiration.” There were signs at the bottom of the escalator in the Boston Convention Center that said simply, “Inspiration,” with an arrow pointing up. Blake Mycoskie, Founder and Chief Shoe Giver for TOMS, was the speaker. He delivered on the promise to inspire.

The program guide describes Mycoskie as a “master disrupter.” His book, Start Something That Matters, is described on Amazon as, “The incredible story of the man behind TOMS Shoes and One for One, the revolutionary business model that marries fun, profit, and social good.” I haven’t read the book (yet) but hope he included the story he told at the conference about losing $1,000,000 when he appeared on The Amazing Race. He charmed the audience as he described losing the race by four minutes because he “epitomized males and didn’t ask for directions.”

He encouraged the audience to “believe anything is possible.” Mycoskie’s presentation wasn’t just entertaining and inspiring, it was educational, too. He offered three key lessons learned from being the founder and Chief Shoe Giver for TOMS.

  1. Giving feels good and is also really good for business, as your customers become your greatest marketers.
  2. When you incorporate giving into your business model, you attract and retain the most amazing people. You will attract people who want to use their skills for a purpose, not just a paycheck.
  3. You will also attract amazing partners. TOMS’ early partners included Microsoft, AOL, Deloitte and AT&T.

Filled with inspiration, I headed to the Strategic Summit, an invitation-only event that promised to answer the question, “What happens to marketing in a data driven world?” Ashu Garg, General Partner at Foundation Capital, provided great insight to help answer that question during his session, “New Era of Marketing.”

He explained how consumer behavior is driving technology. Few media voices have moved to infinite media choices. Marketers dictating to consumers has moved to a conversation between consumers. Right brain thinking has evolved to left and right brain thinking. Many heads nodded when he described this concept as moving from Mad Men to Math Men.

Today, more than 50 percent of the time consumers make a purchase decision without any interaction with the brand. Garg personalized this statistic when he described how he purchased his last car, a new Audi, without setting foot in a car dealership.

Garg also proclaimed this as the decade of the CMO and offered five keys to success:

  1. All hail king ROI.
  2. Hire math men, not mad men.
  3. Publish or perish.
  4. Mass personalization is not an oxymoron.
  5. Close the deal.

Perhaps the greatest insight he provided was explaining the challenges one can encounter when trying to use these keys to unlock the decade of the CMO. We’ll describe those challenges in a future post. Stay tuned to SpeakingDIRECT, where we always strive to be inspirational and insightful when providing information you can use to Power your Marketing.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2015/10/13/insight-from-dma-conference-and-strategic-summit/
Debora Haskel


Debora Haskel

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