What I Know About Marketers

Last year I wrote about my experience attending the 2013 Annual American Marketing Association Leadership Summit, which is an annual event hosted by the American Marketing Association for chapter leaders across the country. What a privilege to be  a part of such an energizing, knowledge-packed, and well-organized event!

CMO Panel

This year’s conference was jam packed with learning, insights, and advice from some of the very best in marketing and leadership , including:

  • Al Callier, VP of Strategic Innovation & Emerging Technology, Universal Parks and Resorts
  • Simon T. Bailey, motivational speaker and author of 7 books, including How to Shift Your Brilliance
  • Kim Feil, CMO and EVP Strategy, Office Max
  • Mary Garrett, VP of Marketing and Communications, IBM Global Sales
  • Rob Malcolm, former President, Global Marketing/Sales/Innovation at Diageo
  • Megan Jones, Director of Analytics, Capstrat
  • Cynthia Price, Director of Partner Development, EMMA

In addition to learning from these folks, the weekend also provided the opportunity to connect and share ideas with countless marketing professionals, including past, present, and future AMA chapter leaders.

AMA Summit

But, aside from the concrete list of takeaways, here are some of things I really learned:

  1. Marketers know how to create engaging content. Within hours, the hashtag #amasummit became a trending topic on Twitter due to the copious amounts of information being shared and exchanged. Be sure to check out the conversation.
  2. Marketers are not normalAs best exemplified in this infographic, marketers are not normal because their social media habits vary greatly from that of the general population. However, this differentiation helps to keep marketers at the forefront of the latest trends and happenings in the social space.
  3. Marketers are innovative. After certain event decorations went missing, someone created a Twitter account for the missing “Olympic torches.” Whether this was a pre-conceived tactic or not, the Twitter account witnessed some very creative and entertaining interaction among the group. You can view the @IgniteTorches account here.
  4. Marketers are multi-dimensional. As was evidenced by the broad range of attendees, I realized that marketing is a truly multi-dimensional discipline, which makes it all the more exciting. A recent Mashable article talked about the importance of today’s marketer needing to be “an all in one type.”
  5. Marketers are committed to learning. It’s impossible to be a successful marketer in today’s business landscape without being committed to continued education, since the industry is always shifting, growing, and changing. Leadership conference attendees were stoked to spend a weekend soaking up the latest insights in marketing.
  6. Marketers are “shifters” a.k.a. change agents. The conference sessions sparked a lot of discussion around the topic of change. How can you better gather data to make informed business decisions based on analytics? How do translate the needs of the business into an efficient and informed marketing strategy? How do you constantly improve upon your approach to be a better marketer? I think it’s clear that today’s marketers not only drive change within their organizations, but create change through research, understanding the needs of the business, and best knowing how marketing can step in to help achieve objectives.

While many more statements could be added to the list above, I think it’s safe to say that today’s marketers are dynamic, connected, and intelligent. Below is an image from Simon T. Bailey’s closing speech about the concept of needing to “shift or be shifted.”  In the picture, he asked everyone to let go of what’s holding them back, and embrace that which will push you forward. You can read a blog post about this concept of adapting to change here.

Conference attendees

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