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Integrated Marketing Summit Lacked Realistic Takeaways November 18, 2008

I attended the Integrated Marketing Summit last Thursday. I signed up for the same reason every company decides to go to a conference- to learn some applicable tips from the big dogs and to get my networking on. I mingled and made some solid connections during the networking mixer but I must admit I was a little disappointed in the content of the conference.

The Summit website said that we should expect to hear “the latest thinking on integrated marketing, presented by high profile dynamic gurus, with great examples and stories to share from a national and international perspective.” The speakers were impressive, no doubt- VP of Communications at Mars, VP of Marketing at Coca-Cola, along with Creative Directors from The Martin Agency (masterminds behind the UPS whiteboard campaign) and Gigante Vaz Partners. However, these companies’ marketing budgets are no noubt impressive as well. Sure, it’s interesting to hear how a company like Mars built buzz through TV interviews and social media for a campaign that involved building a giant Statue of Liberty M&M and sailing it in the NY Harbor. But, what about that story is applicable for a start-up, boutique marketing agency like mine? It seems that I wasn’t the only one who shared this sentiment. By the time the third presenter stepped down from the podium, everyone at my table was discussing how jealous they were of the speakers’ budgets. Rather than vigorously scribbling down new, exciting ideas of how to incorporate integreated marketing in their businesses, people actually started to look a little deflated. I realize that the speakers intended to inspire us with success stories but they failed to inject their tales of marketing grandeur with some good old-fashioned, realistic takeaways. And, that’s why the Summit missed the mark for me. It was a classic example of neglecting the needs of a market. At least the sushi and the conversations I shared with fellow Atlanta professionals were memorable!


3 Responses to “Integrated Marketing Summit Lacked Realistic Takeaways”

  1. Hang in there, the opportunity was right in front of you. The people presenting are able to function in one mode only and that is one with large budgets. You bring a totally new prespective and a great desire to excel.

    For all the success stories they talked about, there must another group of companies who spent large amounts of time and dollars to get medicore results. They are your opportunity. Go say Hello.


  2. Marc van Gastel Says:

    If you are creative there are still many ways to think of integrated marketing for smaller companies.

    Coca Cola has the ability to spend more, but with less to spend there is a higher need for creativity.
    To me that is an inspiring and fun challenge.

    Stories like those of Coca Cola inspire my creativity to find alternative ways to use the concept of integrated marketing.

    kind regards

  3. papercutstar Says:

    Thanks to both of you for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!

    Ron- I LOVE NZ. I went backpacking there in 2005 for 3 weeks and it is an amazing place! Good luck with the website!

    Marc- I agree that creativity is a must when you have less to spend. As a small boutique marketing agency, creativity is often what pays the bills! I suppose I was just hoping to hear at least one or 2 stories that incorporated clever, grassroots integrated marketing tactics. With all of the opportunity for free buzz that exists on the web today, I expected to hear some strategies that didn’t require a champagne wallet!

    Thanks again for visiting!

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