IMW Inspires Attendees; Boosts Data-Driven Knowledge

New York, NY, June 19 2013 — Last week in New York City, attendees at Integrated Marketing Week (IMW) were treated to an intensive learning, networking, and training experience with an amazing lineup of the world’s leading integrated marketers and thought leaders.  The conference, hosted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), in conjunction with Econsultancy, took place from Monday, June 10 through Thursday, June 13.  Marketing professionals filled both the Metropolitan Pavilion and Altman Building to gain the latest insights into the data-driven marketplace.

For IMW2013 attendees, it was a week dedicated to tackling the toughest challenges facing today’s integrated marketers — and discovering the greatest opportunities. From the keynotes to the live white papers, to the excitement on the exhibit hall floor, there was no shortage of expertise, stimulating discussion, or points of view.

Keynote Highlights

Seth Godin:  IMW kicked off with an opening keynote by Seth Godin, author of 17 highly acclaimed books and founder of In his presentation entitled, “Invisible or Remarkable? New Rules for Marketing in a New Economy,” Godin explained how modern marketers can ensure they stand out from the crowd and get noticed in a time of economic change. Insightful and humorous anecdotes peppered throughout had the audience laughing hard and thinking deeply.

A few choice quotations from Godin’s talk that are worth meditating on:

  • “Remarkable is the stuff worth making a remark about—remarkable means you must change something.”
  • “Innovation is pushing yourself to fail until you find something that works”
  • “The normal/weird curve has melted and now there are more weird people to market to than normal ones.”
  • “There are an infinite number of channels. Mass is not important. Edges are important.”

Tom Fishburne:  With Tom Fishburne, founder and CEO of Marketoon Studios, cartoons speak louder than mere words.  IMW attendees Tuesday afternoon were treated to a lively presentation that included case-studies, cartoons, and an art lesson. With the technology, tools, and channels available to marketers today, there’s never been a better time for brands that can tell a story well. But, Fishburne said, most brand building is not yet marketing worth sharing.

Although there is unprecedented opportunity today to get marketing messages across a multitude of touchpoints, Fishburne said, “we’re at the awkward adolescent stage of this – and sometimes we let the cart lead the horse.”

One key way to make your marketing worth sharing, according to Fishburne, is to gear it so that it makes consumers more “awesome.” “It does not matter how awesome your product or your presentation or your post is,” Fishburne said.  “Your awesome thing matters only in as much as it makes your customer be a little more awesome.”

Martine Reardon:  Everything must be integrated to succeed.  This is a mantra for Macy’s marketing team, which considers itself an entertainment brand creating “shopper-tainment” experiences.   Macy’s CMO Martine Reardon used the same kind of storytelling approach her team employs to engage customers during her keynote Wednesday morning.   She shared a number of videos to illustrate her points, and to demonstrate the magical and enjoyable interactions between customers and the brand and its employees.

“We put the customer at the center of our strategy, and focus on knowing as much as possible about each customer,” she said.  This includes a “local intelligence” team that guides merchandise decisions by listening and watching customer behavior – in store and online.

Brian Solis:  CRM is dead.  What lives is “CJM” – or customer journey management.  So said Brian Solis, principal of Altimer Group, in his keynote on the future of marketing Wednesday afternoon.  “The new customer is part of ‘Generation C’ – or the connected customer,” he said.  “These people are born digital and have a different way of interacting with brands and each other.  Don’t try to react to them – aim to create unique and share-able experiences that will enhance their digital lifestyle.”

As the old maxim goes, no one likes to be sold.  Solis says that instead, everyone wants to be carried away by a good story.  ”It’s what I call the ‘human algorithm’ and represents the intersection of digital technology and digital anthropology.”

Solis urged marketers to design shared experiences that guide people through the sales or brand journey.  “Marketers must consider the moments of truth in an integrated and cross channel way, because that ultimate experience for one person gets shared and becomes the first moment of truth for the next person.”

Steve Arthur:  Thursday morning began with “Extraordinary vs. Extra Ordinary: Why Inspiration is the Key,” a keynote presentation by Steve Arthur, Google’s head of industry, retail.  Arthur pointed out that multichannel strategies are being driven by the largest retailers, so a great deal of research is focused on consistency across channels. He noted, however, that there is an argument to be made for focusing on inconsistency, as some businesses are still succeeding even though they may be employing channel-specific strategies.

Inspiration, Arthur explained, is at the heart of merchandising.  But even with inspiration, businesses cannot afford to be siloed.  Competencies, he said, must be horizontal, rather than vertical:  “The future CMO has to be a beacon for the rest of the company.  You cannot have customer-centric organization unless you weave your product and advertising teams in your customer experiences and align horizontally.”

Linda Woolley:  In a keynote presentation later Thursday morning — “Protecting Our Data–Driven Way of Life” — DMA President and CEO Linda Woolley explained that modern, integrated, data-driven marketing means something totally different for policy-makers than it does for marketers and fundraisers.  In fact, she said, “What marketers think is cool, policy people often think is creepy.”

“We are living at a time when consumers enjoy greater benefits from data-driven marketing than ever before…and simultaneously marketers are facing the possible end to that data-driven way of life that we’ve all created and now take for granted.  Why?  Because the legislators and regulators that hold the power to steer our industry’s future fundamentally distrust what we do.  What we find amazing, they find alarming.  What we know consumers want, they think threatens consumer privacy.”

Woolley concluded her talk by encouraging everyone to get involved in the work of the Data-Driven Marketing Institute.  “Start by taking the pledge to advance and protect data-driven marketing with DMA.  And get smart on data governance,” she said.  “This is the start of something big, and there’s a role for every one of you to play in what comes next.  The future of data-driven marketing – and your organization – depends on it.”

Futurist Panel:  We closed out the week with a keynote panel presentation that looked at the future of the industry. A panel of visionaries — including moderator Ginger Conlon, editor-in-chief of Direct Marketing News; and panelists Brian Fetherstonhaugh, chairman and CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide and Jon Steinberg, president and COO of Buzzfeed, took the stage to share their thoughts on where things are going.  Here are just a few of many notable takeaways:

Ginger Conlon: “What do you see that can be game-changing for marketers in the future?”

  • Brian Fetherstonhaugh: “The future of marketing is the marriage between intent and content.  It defines what we do.”
  • Jon Steinberg:  “The acceleration of social and mobile traffic is becoming one megatrend instead of two separate trends — and it’s happening so quickly. Eighteen months ago, we were getting 20 percent of our traffic from mobile. Now, we’re getting more than 50 percent of traffic from mobile, and social represents 70 percent of traffic. So, you have to have your eyes open!”

GC: How do you balance the day to day progress while keeping your eye on the future so you don’t miss out?

  • BF: You need a vision. You need pragmatism to get from today to your vision. BUT – don’t forget you need to make your numbers so your bosses won’t kill you.
  • JF:  Think innovative when you are home in evening, walking the dog – come to conclusions, focus in your head, marinate and then each day come in and focus on being rigorous and getting things done.

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About Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

The Direct Marketing Association ( is the world’s largest trade association dedicated to advancing and protecting responsible data-driven marketing.  Founded in 1917, DMA represents thousands of companies and nonprofit organizations that use and support data-driven marketing practices and techniques.

In 2012, marketers — commercial and nonprofit — spent $168.5 billion on direct marketing, which accounts for 52.7 percent of all ad expenditures in the United States.  Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated approximately $2.05 trillion in incremental sales.  In 2012, direct marketing accounted for 8.7 percent of total US gross domestic product and produces1.3 million direct marketing employees in the US.  Their collective sales efforts directly support 7.9 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 9.2 million US jobs.

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