When you pack about a thousand marketers and six of the biggest social media and marketing thought leaders into a single day event you get a one of a kind experience. (Ok, technically five of a kind since this was just one stop on the tour.)
Held at the Sheraton Towers in Chicago, The Art of Marketing Chicago wasn’t your normal marketing seminar. It’s a rare chance to hear from six real heavyweights in marketing and social media speak about current trends and the future of the industry.
Speaking of pennies, let me get a few minor complaints out of the way…
I may be being little picky, but there was no WiFi available and no phone charging stations. I can understand not providing lunch, but for $350 it isn’t unreasonable to expect bottled water and maybe a bag of chips as an afternoon snack.
Still, was a good chance to network and catch up with people and the speakers were worth it. No one gave you a step by step plan of action. It was more about the shift form conventional marketing to digital marketing and the challenges the presents to marketers. More of a “Here’s Why” than a “How To”.
I won’t go into too much detail about each speaker’s presentation here, but if you want the goods I’ve added links to the amazing recaps that Tim Schraeder provides on his blog. (Great job Tim!)
Keith Ferrazzi - Relationships for Revenue Growth
First up was Keith Ferazzi. Unfortunately I had to head into Chicago from the Western Suburbs and traffic caused me to miss the beginning of his talk. (Yes, I did give myself extra time, just not enough. Welcome to Chicago!)
Of all the speakers he was the one I was least familiar with. Keith shared some of the ideas from his books Who’s Got Your Back? and Never Eat Alone. He spoke about the importance of a “people plan” and getting to know your market, audience and customers on a personal level (A theme repeated throughout the day). [Recap Here]
Avinash Kaushik - Brand Measurement: Metrics & Analytics
I’ve followed Avinash’s Web Analytics blog for quite a while and was really looking forward to hearing him speak on the topic (I was NOT disappointed!).
He stressed the importance of using real customer metrics to measure engagement and not useless data like hits (How Idiots Track Success) or what lean startup expert Eric Reis dubbed “vanity metrics”.
I’ll admit I’m a bit of a numbers and analytics geek so it was cool to see how excited he got over the topic. His enthusiasm was infectious and he cracked the audience up saying user experience should be like “1000 tiny orgasms”.
Seth Godin – Leadership & Creativity
Seth writes a wildly popular marketing and creativity blog. His short form posts make you think more than they teach. He has also authored several best sellers including Purple Cow and Poke The Box (which I’m giving away a copy of below). He also launched The Domino Project on Amazon to publish his work and others (Steven Pressfield, Julien Smith) for free or at a very low cost.
He’s half marketer and half philosopher. He talked a lot about niche marketing, and how being “weird” is normal. Trying to reach the mainstream isn’t as important as finding the people that really want your product. (A notion seconded in Erika Napolitano’s The Power of Unpopular which I’m currently reading). [Read More]
Gary Vaynerchuk - Branding & Word of Mouth Marketing
What can you say about this guy?! I’m sure plenty of people in the audience who weren’t familiar with Gary’s no holds barred style were shocked, but this was the highlight of my day!
I’ve been a big fan of Gary’s for a long time. His first book Crush It! is still the handbook of how to share your passion and grow your business. He also stressed the same concepts he wrote about in The Thank You Economy.
Gary told the story of how he was forced as a teenager to give up a lucrative trading cards business to work in his family’s liquor store in the basement, bagging ice, 12 hours a day, uphill, both ways). He took this from a $3 million a year business to $60 million by reaching out and connecting with customers using social media and his WineLibrary.tv videos.
He kept the audience on their toes and if things with VaynerMedia don’t work out he could probably start a career as a stand up. Any time you can laugh and learn at the same time you know you’re at something good! [Read More]
Mitch Joel – CTRL -ALT-DEL: How to Reboot Your Marketing in a Connected World
Gary Vaynerchuk is a tough act to follow, and you couldn’t get someone more different than Mitch Joel. Soft spoken, mild mannered (and a lot fewer F-bombs)! But that doesn’t mean that Mitch wasn’t just as informative.
I’ve followed his blog and been a long time listener of his Six Pixels of Separation Podcast. His upcoming book CTRL ALT DEL is a road map to navigating the scary new world of social media and online marketing. [Read More]
Randi Zuckerberg – Social Media
The day ended with Randi Zuckerberg (whose last name might sound wee bit familiar). She worked as the VP of Marketing at Facebook from the early days until last year when she venture out on her own with her new project RtoZ Media.
She shared insights into the growth and culture of Facebook. I would have liked to learn more about the difference in marketing Facebook in the early days vs. the huge entity that it is today.
She did speak about some of the trends in social media, like curation and gamification, but to me she talked a bit much about her career, interests and projects. Ironically it was just what the other speakers said not to do. [Read More]
The Big (little) Giveaway.
Attendees got a hardcopy of Seth Godin’s book Poke the Box. I already have (and read and liked) a copy of this on my Kindle so I’m giving my copy away to one lucky winner. All you have you to do is leave a comment (see rules below) and I’ll pick a random winner.
Just comment what your biggest takeaway from The Art of Marketing was, or if you didn’t go which speaker you’d most like to see, or if you hate my review tell me I’m an idiot (and why… and it won’t hurt your chances of winning).
Comments must be entered by 12pm (CDT) on Friday, May 4, 2012. The winner will be announced on the blog and contacted by email. (Fyi… The book is NOT autographed) Good luck!
Obviously an event with 1000 marketers in attendance won’t have just one review written. Here are some of other recaps from other attendees:
- Marketing Tips and Inspirational Thoughts from the Art of Marketing
- Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, And Others Chart The Demise of Mass Marketing
- 6 Key Takeaways From The Art of Marketing Conference
- The Most Important Web Analytics According to Avinash Kaushik
- Repeated Messages for Customer Experience
- The Art of Marketing Chicago
- The Art of Marketing Top 5 Takeaways from Keith Ferrazzi
- The Art of Marketing Part 1: Relationships and Metrics
- NEW: The Art of Marketing Part 2: Social Media and Word of Mouth
- NEW: Top 5 Takeaways from Gary Vaynerchuk
If I missed yours please share it in the comments!