The Art of Marketing 2016 Conference Highlights

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The Art of Marketing Conference 2016

10 key marketing trends for 2016 and ideas for delivering exceptional customer experience

Presented by Shaunna Conway from IBM Commerce

  1. Cognitive technologies will change the way businesses engage with customers.
  2. Delivering a connected customer experience becomes increasingly critical for companies.
  3. Retargeting reaches unprecedented levels.
  4. Social and automation will combine in new ways to improve customer journey.
  5. Video moves to the centre stage in the marketing mix.
  6. Top companies bust the myth of the marketing suite.
  7. The use of predictive technology will give companies competitive edge.
  8. Internet of Things (IOT) becomes a real factor in customer engagement and data collection.
  9. Loyalty programs expand across channels and touch points.
  10. Look-alike modeling transforms the role of social in list growth.

Bottom line: Marketers have more power than ever before. Advanced technologies such as cognitive computing are now available and will completely transform the industry.

With the use of technology, we are now able to accurately predict different aspects of daily life (such as weather) and integrate these predictions into our marketing strategies. For marketers, this means no more guesswork and the ability to offer completely personalized services.

Example: Predicting below average fall temperatures in Ontario and, as a result, pushing winter jackets instead of rain coats.

Speaker 1: Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist, Google

Twitter: @avinash

Topic: Digital Marketing & Analytics 

It’s not the ink, it’s the think.

– Avinash’s opening quote, as he talks about the selection process New York Times editors use to feature new drawings.

  • There is a huge increase in the consumption of digital media. In 2015, 70% of shopping was influenced by digital.
  • In the era of digital marketing, intent comes over demographics.
  • According to Kaushik, there are 4 clusters of intent: see, think, do and care.
  • Examples of do intents in case of a car dealer: visit the dealership or make a phone call. HOWEVER, marketing is so much more than dealer visits.
  • “See” and “think” clusters are meant to form long term relationships, while “do” clusters only create short term commercial success.
  • Social media gives marketers the opportunity to address the “see”, “think”and “care” clusters. To engage with followers, focus your content on making them see, think and care about your brand!

3 steps to a successful marketing strategy:


Intent comes in many forms and digital allows us to see these forms. Prepare content that tells an interesting story about your brand.

2. Marketing

After your content is ready, you can move on to preparing your marketing campaign.

Match content to intent. Your content is supposed to entertain and inform, not just sell.

3. Measurement

Align metrics to intent. Avoid data puke and focus on presenting insights, actions and business impact.

Bottom line: Make people happy, exchange it for money.


A visual representation of Kaushik’s speech, done by Carolyn Ellis from Brilliance Mastery

Speaker 2: Stephen Shapiro

Twitter: @stephenshapiro

Topic: Innovation and Creativity

“Expertise is the enemy of innovation.”

Innovation is all about adaptability. The more you know about a topic, the harder it is to be innovative. According to Shapiro, here’s how to get the right answers to your questions:

  1. Ask the right challenges
  2. Ask the right way
  3. To the right people

“Innovate where you differentiate.”

Differentiators should be:

  • Distinctive
  • Defensible (hard to replicate)
  • Disruption-proof (stand the test of time)
  • Desirable (your customers determine your differentiator)
  • Disseminated

Keep in mind: Just because you’re different, it doesn’t mean you are a differentiator.

Targeting Innovation

Core values 80%
  • Partner for success
  • Use industry best practices
Support (ex: payroll)

Note: support brings NO value to the customer

  • Eliminate
  • Outsource
  • Minimize

What is a differentiator today, will be a core value tomorrow.


Asking for ideas…is usually a bad idea.

The Goldilocks Principle

  1. TOO abstract questions don’t lead to the answers you are looking for.
  2. TOO detailed questions are answers masked as questions.
  3. The RIGHT question is not too abstract and not too detailed either.

Example: Instead of asking “How do we use social media to drive traffic?”, ask “How do we use traffic to drive social media?”

Because in this era… Digital and physical intertwine. Use this concept in your marketing strategies. 

Bottom line: Don’t think outside the box. Find the right box.

A visual representation of Shapiro's speech, done by Carolyn Ellis from Brilliance Mastery

A visual representation of Shapiro’s speech, done by Carolyn Ellis from Brilliance Mastery

Executive panel highlights


Jennifer Campbell – General Manager, Commercial Marketing 

Shane Schick – Editor in Chief, Marketing Magazine

Erin Craven  – Executive Director of Marketing, Sales and Services

Topic: key marketing issues and trends


“Storytelling is an essential skill to marketers. ”

– Erin Craven of 3M

“It’s not about B2B or B2C. It’s about human to human interaction.”

– Jennifer Campbell from Canada Post

“Great content marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”

– Shane Schick from Marketing Magazine

“Look inside your company for influencers.”

– Erin Craven from 3M

Bottom line: Replace “I think” with “I know”. A lot of companies are data rich, but insight poor.

A visual representation of the executive panel discussion, done by Carolyn Ellis from Brilliance Mastery

A visual representation of the executive panel discussion, done by Carolyn Ellis from Brilliance Mastery

Speaker 3: Bethany Mota – YouTube Superstar, Entrepreneur

Twitter: @BethanyMota

Topic: New media & Brand extension

In the internet era, where everyone can easily express their opinions by commenting on your posts, the negative comments can easily get to you and bring you down. Mota’s take on negativity on the internet: Don’t let the negative comments get to you, but don’t let the positive ones get to your head either.

Staying true to your brand is the best marketing strategy. Create content that inspires people. Listen to your audience and make them feel heard.

Speaker 4: Adam Garone – CEO of the Movember Foundation

Twitter: @adamgarone

Topic: Grassroots & Adaptive Marketing

Key principles:

  • Persistence is one of the key traits of entrepreneurs.
  • You can’t think outside the box if you live in the box.
  • Who dares wins.
  • Reinvention is the key to longevity.
  • Being significant is far more important than being successful.
  • Viral campaigns are not sustainable.
  • Brand love = honesty + authenticity + consistency
  • “Not for profit” = BS system. It stigmatizes the industry and it needs to disappear. The more profit you get the more good you can do.
  • Never underestimate the power of a room full of people.

Bottom line: It’s not all about the likes and followers. It’s about doing good and having fun.

Speaker 4: Morgan Spurlock – Academy Award-Nominated Filmmaker

Twitter: @MorganSpurlock

Topic: Branded content & Storytelling

Key principles:

  • As an entrepreneur or anyone in business, be ready and willing to take criticism.
  • You need people to believe in you and your vision.
  • You need to have persistence of vision.
  • You can’t plan for change, but you can plan for impact.
  • Don’t be afraid to do things that other people think are crazy.

Behind making The greatest movie ever sold

  • No one wants  to be first or last. Everyone want to be first to second.
  • NOW is the best time in history to be a story teller. Audiences don’t care where the stories come from.

We, as marketers, are storytellers.

Millenial women are the most powerful growing market segment:

  • highly educated
  • huge buying power
  • growing work force
  • earn as much or more as their partners

Bottom line: Marketers need to know that finding a good story is just the beginning. It’s the way you tell your story that will captivate audiences.