What I learned at The Art of Marketing

Gary V on StageThis past Monday I had the pleasure of attending one of the greatest conferences/events I've ever attended in my life... The Art of Marketing. I was lucky enough to win a ticket on Twitter via a contest held by a great Canadian company called TechVibes. The conference featured a set of 5 keynote truly inspirational keynote speakers: Gary Vaynerchuk, Avinash Kaushik, Jeffrey Hayzlett, Sheena Iyengar and Guy Kawasaki.

The learning everyone was able to achieve in that one day was enough to keep us going for years. Each of the speakers had a unique perspective into a different aspect of marketing and combined to give every attendee some actionable advice to take home. I put together a small document of some tweets that I gathered from the day but another marketer named Eric Buchegger wrote up a twitterific summary on his blog. Toronto - the venue for the conference

Here are my favourite quotes (which I turned into tweets) from the day and what I believe marketers can learn from them: 

1. The more innovative you are, the more resistance you will encounter (Guy Kawasaki) - If you cause a stir, people will pay attention. Think of the most recent disruptive technologies or rather, think of the companies that have been affected: Borders... Blockbuster. Changing the status quo is bound to rattle a few feathers and in doing so there will be serious resistance to what will inevitably be disruption. Never be afraid of resistance. In fact, Seth Godin emphasizes this point many times in Linchpin and although I haven't read it yet... his new book Poke the Box is about how to initiate action (whilst overcoming the resistance). 

2. If moments aren't shared, they lose their power (Jeffrey Hayzlett) - Any marketer that does not consider incorporating a social feature into a campaign/product/service/anything he or she builds... is a fool. Social is the new norm. More and more companies are beginning to build themselves entirely around the concept of sharing (e.g. Instagram). If you share a moment, you create a memory that has a higher chance of recollection than if you experienced a moment alone. Recollection and association are two fundamental principles to all marketers and as such, sharing should be an inherent feature to anything a marketer builds. 

3. Social has scaled caring (Gary Vaynerchuk) - The more I learn about Gary V, the more he inspires me. His passion for caring is contagious and needs to infect every business in the world. According to Gary, social media has actually taken us back to the old days. The days where there were only Mom and Pop stores and the employees knew the customers by name. Social media has now given companies a chance to learn about and more importantly care about every single one of their customers. As a consumer, just think of how you would feel if a brand reached out to you personally and provided you with some kind of meaningful experience... This is the future Gary V envisions and I think it is one we all need to jump on board with. 

Final thoughts: If you ever have a chance to attend an Art of Marketing event (they are mostly held across North America) you should certainly try and do so. The learning is truly phenomenal. The biggest takeaway for me from the event is that marketing has become very personal. Forget big traditional campaigns and start focusing on catering to the needs of individuals.