7 Highlights From The Chief Marketing Officer Summit, Seattle

If you missed out on the event, here are the key takeaways


Seattle played host to the Chief Marketing Officer Summit on May 25 - 26, which saw the brightest marketing minds from across the US brought together for two days. The keynote presentations and panel discussions saw the conversation cover everything from data & analytics to social media and brand identity, giving insight on marketing solutions from within industry leading companies.

If you weren’t lucky enough to have joined us in Seattle last week then don’t worry – here are the seven highlights from the summit:

Big data continues to have a big influence on marketing strategy

Lauren Weinberg shared Yahoo’s strategy on clearly identifying their target markets for maximum ROI, before exploring the problem that, whilst most companies have ‘big data’, the difficulty lies in extracting the right analytics to transform your consumer relations.

IBM continued this conversation, demonstrating how analytics can establish a route to personalize client interactions, whilst Visa shared how they have developed their data to track key interactions, to answer ‘what happened today?’ - A seemingly simple question, but a crucial one if you want to understand your customer’s daily actions and how you can optimize this information.

Your brand is still your most precious asset

Between the adoption of new technologies and data strategies, several of America’s most iconic companies reminded us that it is essential to protect and develop your brand identity as it is your most significant USP. Erika Ferzst shared her experience of 15 years at Ray-Ban, dragging it from stayed and safe to an instant symbol of cool.

Furthermore, we heard from the CMO of Forbes on the importance of staying true to your culture and mission against a backdrop of accelerated digital development. This theme was concluded by Yum! Brands, whose speaker from KFC outlined how they had successfully returned to The Colonel to re-focus their brand as a wholesome American favourite.

Social media continues to show impressive growth

Coca-Cola led the discussion on this topic, sharing both their incredible viral successes and PR catastrophes. Identifying particular aspects, from increased competition to changing social media algorithms, it was concluded that content marketing was becoming increasingly difficult, however Wes Finley shared the strategies Coke has in place to overcome this, ultimately arguing that social inevitably leads to indirect ROI.

LittleThings continued the conversation on social by demonstrating how they have ‘cracked the Facebook code’. Through their positive publishing, LittleThings have seen incredible growth since their 2014 launch, largely thanks to their successful strategy to direct traffic from Facebook.

The jury is still out on personalization

Personalization was a hotly contested subject. On one hand, we had Edward Nevraumont using the infamous ‘Target predicted a girl was pregnant’ story to show the flaws encountered when brands strive to automate and personalize their marketing. However, this was countered by NakedWines.com who have seen success after transforming their business model from sales-focused to a loyalty-first program.

Micro-moments are the new battlegrounds for marketers

Peter Roper from Google opened the audience's eyes to the emerging trend for ‘micro-moments’ - those few seconds in which consumers use their mobile to 'google’ a question ahead of a purchase. This has established an opportunity for marketers to exploit, but only if they are agile enough.

The importance of people and relationships should not be forgotten

Karen Olson, from Seattle’s own Space Needle, led this topic, arguing ‘why settle for just wooing your customers when you can wow them?' Through interactive technologies they have established a deeper, more personalized connection between consumer and brand.

Alternatively, Geoff Colon from Microsoft outlined his vision of ‘the new normal’, a world where consumers are mobile, internet technology encourages entrepreneurial feats and purchases reflect views on political or environmental concerns.

The Onion is still ridiculously funny

Onion Inc.’s chief creative officer delivered a presentation which demonstrated the importance of humor in marketing. Accompanied by some classic satirical videos and plenty of laughs, this session re-focused everyone’s mind on to the fact that marketing should be inherently fun, likeable and fast-moving.

Want to check out all the presentations in full including Condé Nast, T-Mobile, AllRecipes, BuzzFeed and more? Go to Innovation Enterprise On Demand for more.

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