It was a great pleasure to host the second annual Integrated Marketing Week (IMW), which wrapped up last week in New York.  The conference was abuzz with conversations and insights from so many incredible attendees and guest speakers. Your enthusiasm is contagious! I am confident we will carry all the energy and knowledge from IMW back to the office.

As Interim President of DMA, one of my goals is to develop informative, meaningful programs for DMA members and marketing professionals across the country. This was my first year planning IMW, and I could not be happier with the turnout and, most importantly, the initial feedback on the quality of the sessions, knowledge of the speakers, and the array of relevant subjects that were addressed. In fact, the topics and sessions were so well received that attendees wanted more — they suggested longer sessions for a deeper dive into some of the more complex marketing challenges they are dealing with.  I welcome your feedback on the event, and encourage suggestions for future events and IMW 2015.

IMW encompasses the complexity of modern marketing and offers integrated, multichannel solutions in a world where no one channel dominates the market. With multichannel customers engaging and spending more than single-channel customers, companies and brands must adapt their marketing strategies to the connected, mobile consumer. Over the two-day conference, our guest speakers shared their insights on how to use integrated marketing to lead, analyze and optimize, and engage with consumers to enhance the customer experience.

LinkedIn’s Penry Price set the tone for IMW 2014 with the opening keynote, offering both marketing and relationship advice as he quipped, “As we all know, content is king, but context is queen, and she wears the pants.”

With four sessions to choose from every hour, our attendees had plenty of opportunities to hear other insights from industry leaders.  Guest speakers from Google, Facebook, Citigroup, Scholastic, and 100 other companies added their own input about the importance of content, context, and relevance — three key words for IMW 2014. Case studies from Nutrisystem, Electrolux, and The Weather Company emphasized constant innovation and the dangers of staying stagnant in an increasingly integrated marketing world. Representatives from DMA, Teradata, and Time Warner Cable discussed the prevalence of data-driven marketing and the need for “data stewardship” to establish credibility and maintain consumer trust. B2B attendees took advantage of special “Funnel” sessions dedicated to improving B2B marketing strategies to strengthen client relationships and increase revenue. I encourage you to look at the coverage of some of these sessions on the DMA blog and the IMW website.

Outside of the session rooms, the Solutions Hall was filled with companies featuring the latest marketing innovations from our sponsors. Corporate zombies, marketing dashboards, and iPads sparked dialogue about integrated marketing challenges, such as data integration, analytics, and leveraging social media . I would like to extend a special thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors.

Along with informative sessions and sponsor booths, IMW provided networking opportunities for attendees to make some great contacts and share ideas and knowledge. I had conversations with some really incredible marketers and presenters across a wide range of industries. There was so much knowledge and excitement being shared!

In the IMW 2014 final keynote, social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk challenged us to “market in the year we live in.” IMW responds to this challenge by staying at the forefront of integrated marketing solutions and facilitating marketers and suppliers to share insights with each other. With forward-thinking presentations and extensive networking opportunities, IMW is a game-changer in the marketing industry.

Based upon the great feedback and ideas we heard at IMW 2014, we are excited to announce not one, but two Integrated Marketing Week conferences  in 2015 — one in New York and one in California — IMW East and IMW West. Two locations and geographies to allow members from across the country to have access to the industry’s top thought leaders, inspiring topics, and cutting-edge solutions.  We hope you decide to attend one or both events!

Your passion for integrated marketing, innovation, and customer experience inspires us to develop these events and share industry knowledge. Thank you for your attendance, your insights, and your support. You are why we do this.

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