Lessons From The Art of Marketing Conference in Vancouver | FreshGigs.ca

Lessons From The Art of Marketing Conference – How To Be The “Best Damn Marketer You Can Be”


Many would agree that a marketer’s role isn’t easy to define. In fact, if you ask the average person what a marketer does, I’m sure you would get a variety of cryptic job descriptions that have something to do with sales or “driving the bottom line.” Marketers are asked to define the undefinable, use their right brains and left brains, achieve a job that is so ambiguous but also produces calculated results.

 This fear of failure keeps us from jumping off the cliff which paralyzes our ability to innovate.

Although it’s not always easy to define our roles, most can agree that becoming the “best-damn-marketer-you-can-be” requires thinking outside of the box. And if anyone could challenge a room full of marketing professions to do so, the speakers at the Art of Marketing Conference in Vancouver would surely know how.

The impressive lineup of speakers included the industry’s brightest: bestselling author and marketing heavyweight Seth Godin; communication expert and author Nancy Duarte; author and president of Twist Image agency, Mitch Joel; marketing consultant and founder of Duct Tape Marketing, John Jantsch;  founder and CEO of Kiip, Brian Wong; and bestselling author and founder of Ferrazzi Greenlight, Keith Ferrazzi.

To kick off the morning, Ron Trite, the host of the conference, leveled out the playing field and reminded us all how we got there in the first place: “Like pornography, nobody ever chooses to be in marketing. You kind of just end up there because one day you realize that you’re kind of good at this.” A sentiment all too true.

Here’s a few more takeaways from the conference that will surely yield gain.

1. “Mass marketing is for the masses, and the masses are boring.” – Seth Godin
Mass marketing is becoming ineffective because consumers are starting to ignore it. The rules are different now and mass marketing is going away because average people aren’t interested anymore.

2. “Sheep aren’t good marketers.” – Seth Godin
As marketers, your job is to find a tribe, commit to where they are going, create a culture, challenge where they are going next, and to be clear with them about what is going on. Marketers don’t follow trends, you create them. You don’t join tribes, you lead them.

3. “Waiting until it’s the right time paralyzes our ability to innovate.” – Seth Godin
You’re never ready to launch a big idea. In the back of our minds, there is a heckler that is waiting for you to fail. This fear of failure keeps us from jumping off the cliff which paralyzes our ability to innovate. Important work always ships before it’s ready and we need guts to launch.

4. “The best way to resonate with someone is through story.” – Nancy Duarte
Have you ever heard someone say, “that story really moved me”? It’s a fact, we all physically react to stories and we must be intentional about communicating our brand stories.

So many of us stop ourselves from building relationships, both professional and personal, because we don’t think we deserve it.

5. “The audience is the hero.” – Nancy Duarte
Every good story needs a likeable hero. For us, the audience or consumer, is the hero and we, the communicators/marketers, are the mentors that help the heroes find their way.

6. “Communicators change the world.” – Nancy Duarte
If you’re not in love with what you’re communicating, you need to find something that you are in love with so you can practice communicating well.

7. “Wake up every day and ask yourself how you can create value for your consumer.” – Mitch Joel
When you create value for your consumer, you get value back. Focus very clearly on the value of a direct relationship.

8. “Have sex with data.” – Mitch Joel
You can create value with whatever data your consumer is giving you back to you. Use that to produce a customized marketing experience for your consumer.

9. “We live in a one screen world.” – Mitch Joel
No matter what anyone says, we live in a one screen world where the only screen that matters is the screen that is in front of you. Start thinking of digital tools not as vehicles to advertise, but as opportunities to create value and utility for a consumer.


10. “Avoid the crowd.” – John Jantsch
Many of us believe that it’s our job to stand out in a crowd but that leaves us in a race to the bottom. We should avoid the crowd because the crowd makes us boring. It makes us do things that have us keep up with what everyone else is doing. Trying to stand out in the crowd makes us predictable and makes us do things we wouldn’t normally want to do.

11. “Sales people should be rewarded for building social networks, not necessarily for closing deals.” – John Jantsch
The hourglass of marketing has shifted. In the hands of the sales team, social media would be much more effective because they would be the forefront of establishing and nurturing a relationship with a customer, not closing a deal. In many organizations, marketers are underpaid and overvalued and sales people are overpaid and undervalued.

12. “The best way to make a moment count is to respect them.” – Brian Wong
Respect the user and magic will happen. A consumer wants to savour a moment of achievement and not be slapped with an ad.

13. “Moments are not only quantifiable, they’re also human.” – Brian Wong
Why do we call moments a currency? It’s not just about a tactical, tangible award; it’s about the ability to generate emotion and happiness with a consumer.

14. “Stop creating billions of moments of annoyance.” – Brian Wong.
We as an industry are creating billions of moments of annoyance and people are paying millions to remove our ads from their user experience. What is your brand’s moment to create delight? We should create something that delights, adds value, and respects the consumer.

15. “Being connected is not the same thing as being related.” – Keith Ferrazzi
To be related is to be intimate. There is less of that in the world today than there used to be.

16. “The number one predictor of your capacity of building a relationship is whether we think we deserve it.” – Keith Ferrazzi
So many of us stop ourselves from building relationships, both professional and personal, because we don’t think we deserve it.

17. “Develop a people plan.” – Keith Ferrazzi
Identify who the people are that are important to your success. Take the five most important goals and identify five people that are critical to building these goals. Be intentional about building a relationship with those people.

18. “Just because you’re being purposeful about building relationships, doesn’t mean you’re being fake.” – Keith Ferrazzi
Be purposeful and honest when you’re building a relationship.

19. “Great brands are successful because they are part of a movement.” – Keith Ferrazzi
Tap into the tribal essence and create a sense of belonging with your team. If you create that environment around your team, then you have a shot at creating that environment around your brand.

20. “As marketers, we don’t have a job, we have a platform for making a difference and for connecting with others. Go and make something happen. This is your chance to make real art, to make gifts, to lead people. Go and make art.” – Seth Godin