Chickens, Brand Architecture and Other Things I Learned at #BMAGROW

GROW BMA Conference

I’m still digesting all of the great presentations and experiences from this year’s, 2012 Business Marketing Association National Conference, GROW, but here are a few things I learned:

 

Chickens and Brand Architecture Just Don’t Mix

 

You had me at chickens, but lost me at architecture. I loved the start of the presentation by BBN Global Network, Bader Rutter and Pfizer Animal Health about Global Brand Activation. Pfizer Animal Health’s poultry business embarked on developing a global brand and they started out by using great visuals in their presentation evoking affection and emotion about what they do. Then they got into the brand architecture and positioning mumbo jumbo language and hard-to-read slides and lost me. Then again, maybe it was too early after a late night at Red Head Piano Bar.

 

Consistent Quality Networking is Key to Career Happiness

 

I’ve had the great opportunity to attend many national BMA conferences. I am involved on the local level and have always worked for companies who believe in the value of the organization. Over the past four days, it was confirmed to me that the ones doing the right amount of networking consistently over time are the ones who are most successful and happiest with their careers. BMA gives B2B marketers that forum.

 

Guy Kawasaki at #BMAGROW

Guy Kawasaki is Pretty Darn Good

 

The guy is certainly an entertainer. But more than that, he is thought provoking, smart, genuine and enchanting. Glad we have an organization that now has enough pull to get guys like Guy on our stage to inspires us. Same goes for Jeff Hayzlett.

 

People from Colorado Are Fun

 

Every year, I feel like I am competing for the attention of people from Colorado at this conference. They are enthusiastic, fun, connected and successful. Is it the mountains? I don’t know, but they are fun and they are one of the main reasons I don’t go home or to my hotel room when the last session ends.

 

Chicago Rocks

 

Orlando and Vegas have nothing on the things we can do here for conventions, conferences and visitors of all kinds. Although a BMA conference in NYC or San Fran would be cool.

 

Affection Rules the Week

 

A few great presentations highlighted the need for increasing affection for your brands and that social media helps you enhance the affection people feel toward your brand. If you can create affection for your brand, it can trump all other things you do as marketing and sales professionals to help your organization grow. Loved the use of the word affection. I love you, man.

 

Truth in Marketing is Paramount

 

Tell the truth. Be honest with yourselves. Be open and genuine and everything else will be easier.

 

Rules? What Rules?

 

The Corning glass video that has millions of views was over 6 minutes long. The best sales guys are challengers, not relationship builders. Pass out beer at the end of your presentation. Why not?

 

B2B Social at Ralph Oliva's

BtoB has Always Been Social and Getting More Social

 

Ralph Oliva’s “Ted-like” talk was fantastic. The marketing veteran and academic researcher rocked the house by opening up this new BMA experiment. Most sessions were good, but Ralph rocked.

 

 Gary Slack is No Hack

 

Gary knows how to put on a conference, and doesn’t need my help. But I would love to be involved in some way next year, instead of just tweeting things only #bmagrow folks are reading. Great job, again, Gary.

 

Glass is Incredibly Interesting

 

The best presentation of the entire conference was by Owens-Illinois director of marketing and the EVP of their agency Doremus. They are an incredible team where Doremus serves as the “wing man” for Owens’ marketers on their quest to make glass relevant, emotional and powerful to brands. Their passion was incredible, slides were great, visuals impactful and the beer was cold. What more could you ask for?

 

Some Presenters are Better Than Others

 

Enough said.

 

Eduardo Conrado is Smooth

 

I said it once, and I’ll say it again – Motorola Solutions CMO Eduardo Conrado is the smoothest dude I know. And he is now the chairman of the national BMA. Nice. John Favalo comes in a close second.

 

Make People Feel Like They Make a Difference and You Will Grow

 

If you don’t feel like you are making a difference in your job, get a new job. I like to say that I have a purpose of making people happier by helping them be more successful. Whether you are an agency or corporation, you need to feel that way and you should help get your people, teams and customers to feel that way, too. As Gary Slack said to end the conference (paraphrasing here), one of the themes of the conference was that if you can make that happen – by really thinking about your purpose and helping people feel like they are making a difference – you will grow.