The gender split in #MRX conferences: 2016 edition

Rating conferences on gender ratios is not easy. Though we may want every conference to be 50/50 male/female, it doesn’t always make sense.

  • Not all industries are balanced on gender. For instance, qualitative researchers are much more likely to be female than male, and some regions in the world have very different employment rates for women and men.
  • Men and women don’t necessarily submit at the same ratio. For instance, maybe 70% of the submissions were male and thus it makes sense that 70% of the speakers were male.
  • Men and women don’t necessarily agree to speak at the same rate. A conference may offer equal numbers of acceptances to men and women but then it’s up to men and women to actually accept those offers. Conferences with 10 speakers can instantly drop from 50% female to 44% female if just one women declines the invitation.
  • Normal variation means that sometimes a conference will have more men or more women. That’s just how numbers work and you can’t fault an organization because one time, one of their conferences wasn’t perfectly equal. But when ‘random’ variation across every conference is consistently in the same direction, you’ve got to wonder what’s happening behind the scenes.

Regardless, the best way to be aware of whether there may be gender issues is to actively measure reality. My methods aren’t perfect. I can’t always tell the gender of a speaker from their name and so I manually check names in LinkedIn and other times I leave that speaker out of the equation. I never know the submission rate by gender and so I can’t defend a conference that has few female speakers even if they had zero submissions from women. If you can correct my numbers, then I absolutely welcome your help. And, if you’ve been to a conference that I haven’t attended, do let me know the numbers and I’ll add them here.

gender chart

TOTAL (Excluding AAPOR/WAPOR): 1845 men, 1096 women: 37% female

The Grades

A: Ratios between 47% and 50% – Huge round of applause for any conference that lands here!

  • TTRA June (Colorado): 194 speakers, 78 men, 89 women (cannot identify gender of many names) = 53% female
  • TMRE October (Florida): 126 speakers, 65 women, 61 men = 52% female
  • TMRE Consumer Insights May (California): 12 men, 12 women, 50% female
  • IIR Insight Tech: 22 speakers, 11 men, 11 women: 50% female
  • AAPOR/WAPOR June (Austin): 1463 speakers, 718 men, 745 women = 49% Male (Yes, you read that correctly. 745 female speakers.)
  • Quirk’s Event February (USA): 126 speakers, 64 women, 62 men = 49% Male  
  • LIMRA June (Florida): 39 speakers, 19 women, 20 men = 49% Female
  • NewMR February  (Global online): 27 Speakers, 14 women, 13 men = 48% Male
  • MRIA June (Canada): 63 speakers, 33 men, 30 women = 48% Female
  • EphMRA June (Frankfurt): 45 speakers, 24 men, 21 women = 47% female
  • AIMRI Under30 February (New York): 9 speakers, 5 men, 4 women = 44% Female. Although this percentage doesn’t strictly belong here, with 9 speakers it can’t get any more equal. 

B: Ratios from 42% and 46%

  • MRS Health February (London): 26 speakers, 12 men, 14 women = 46% male
  • PMRG May (USA): 37 speakers, 17 women, 20 men = 46% female
  • IIR New Face: 22 speakers, 12 women, 10 men = 45% male
  • Qual360 February (Berlin): 32 speakers, 14 women, 18 men = 44% female
  • Media Insights February (Florida): 56 speakers, 24 women, 32 men = 43% female
  • IIeX Health April (Philadelphia): 40 speakers, 17 women, 23 men = 43% female
  • NEMRA May (Massachusetts): 14 speakers, 6 men, 8 women = 43% male
  • ARF Audience Measurement: 58 speakers, 25 women, 33 men = 43% female
  • NEMRA May (New England): 14 speakers, 6 men, 8 women = 43% male
  • WCQR March : 43 speakers, 18 men, 25 women = 42% male. One of the conference organizers ran the numbers and determined that the ratio of submissions from men and women was the same as for speakers. You can read details about their speaker selection process here
  • MRA ISC May  (New Orleans): 43 speakers, 18 women, 25 men = 42% female
  • CASRO CRC, October: 72 speakers, 42 men, 30 women: 42% female

C: Ratios from 37% and 41%

  • MAGHREB SUMMIT January (Casablanca): 17 speakers, 10 men, 7 women = 41% female
  • MRS Travel March (London): 22 speakers, 13 women, 9 men = 41% male
  • ESOMAR LATAM April (Bogota): 32 speakers, 13 women, 19 men = 41% female
  • ESOMAR APAC May (Tokyo): 51 speakers, 20 women, 31 men = 39% female
  • Omnishopper July (Chicago): 67 speakers, 41 men, 26 women: 39% female
  • AMSRS September (Melbourne): 61 speakers, 37 men, 24 women: 39% female
  • BHBIA May (London): 39 speakers, 24 men, 15 women: 38% female

D: Ratios from 32% and 36%

  • MRS National March (London): 94 speakers, 34 women, 60 men = 36% female
  • MENAP Forum March (Dubai): 25 speakers, 9 women, 16 men = 36% female
  • ESOMAR congress September (New Orleans): 72 speakers, 26 women, 46 men = 36% female
  • CASRO Tech (New York): 11 speakers, 7 men, 4 women: 36% female 
  • PMRC Europe October (Berlin): 25 speakers, 16 men, 9 women: 36% female
  • Shopper Brain, June (Chicago): 23 speakers, 15 men, 8 women: 35% female
  • OmniShopper International, November (London): 31 speakers, 20 men, 11 women: 35% female
  • CXfusion April (Las Vegas): 53 speakers, 18 women, 35 men = 34% female
  • ARF ReThink: 141 speakers, 48 women, 93 men = 34% female
  • Febelmar Februrary (Brussels): 21 speakers, 14 men, 7 women = 33% female
  • MRA CEO January  (Florida): 12 speakers, 4 women, 8 men = 33% female
  • Sentiment Analysis Symposium July (New York): 15 speakers, 5 women, 10 men = 33% female
  • Shopper Brain Amsterdam (June): 21 speakers, 14 men, 7 women: 33% female
  • IIeX NA June (Atlanta): 194 speakers, 63 women, 131 men: 32% female

F: Ratios <32%

  • MRS Kids January (UK): 29 speakers, 20 women, 9 men = 31% male 
  • MRSI February (India): 35 speakers, 24 men, 11 women = 31% female 
  • IIeX Europe March (Amsterdam): 115 speakers, 36 women, 79 men = 31% female
  • IIR Analytics: 42 speakers, 13 women, 29 men = 31% female
  • ARF ReThink March: 140 speakers, 96 men, 44 women = 31% female
  • MRMW Europe: 54 speakers, 37 men, 17 women: 31% female
  • IIeX Latam: 68 speakers, 47 men, 21 women: 31% female
  • MRweek: 32 speakers, 22 men, 10 women: 31% female
  • MRIA QRC January (Toronto): 15 speakers, 11 women, 4 men = 27% male 
  • CASRO Digital March (Texas): 46 speakers, 14 women, 32 men = 30% female
  • CX Fusion: 53 speakers, 35 men, 16 women: 30% female
  • BVM Kongress April (Berlin): 28 speakers, 8 women, 20 men = 29% female
  • Market Research Exchange, Florida (May): 41 speakers, 29 men, 12 women = 29% female
  • AMA Analytics February (Arizona): 18 speakers, 5 women, 13 men = 28% female
  • NMWF April (Dubai): 36 speakers, 9 women, 27 men: 25% female
  • Insight Show MW May (London): 123 speakers, 30 women, 93 men: 24% female
  • CX week May: 25 speakers, 6 women, 19 men = 24% female
  • MRMW APAC March (Malaysia): 39 speakers, 8 women, 31 men = 21% female
  • ESOMAR Big Data: 27 speakers, 22 men, 5 women: 16% female
  • Text Analytics Event April (Chicago): 19 speakers, 3 women, 16 men = 16% female
  • SampleCon January (USA): 40 speakers, 6 women, 34 men = 15% female
  • Predictive Analytics World April: 28 speakers, 4 women, 24 men = 14% female

Upcoming ratings: ESOMAR congress September, AMSRS congress September. (Please let me know of others.)

What can YOU do?

  • Submit! You can’t complain if you don’t join the cause. Take the plunge and submit your first proposal ever this year! Make it easier for conference organizers to find you by taking the first step yourself.
  • Encourage! Look to your left and look to your right. Have your neighbors submitted to a conference yet? Well, maybe right now is the perfect time to encourage them to just do it!
  • Demand diversity! When you notice that conference speakers reflect a very narrow group of people, point it out and ask for more. Organizers want to give you want you want. But first, you need to tell them what you want. And, still, sometimes organizers don’t realize what is happening.
  • Recommend! Remember that awesome speaker you saw at the last company meeting? At the last chapter event? Email your favourite organization and let them know you found a speaker for them.  Organizers can’t ask them to speak if they don’t know who to ask.

What can conferences do?

  • Look at submissions from a new point of view. Realize that people from different walks of life write differently and that some proposal styles may have greater appeal to you. Notice how much the writing style is affecting your choice of content and remove your style preferences from the equation. Recognize that some equally high quality proposals brag and exaggerate, while others are factual and modest.
  • Ask sponsors to promote diversity. As conference organizers, only you know when the collection of speakers has veered away from a diverse group. Take a proactive approach and let sponsors know you care about representing the entire community. Ask sponsors to send great speakers who don’t fit into traditional boxes – really old, really young, differently abled, non-white, women.
  • Ask for recommendations. Not just of the most popular speakers who know other popular speakers. Ask your fringe speakers about other awesome fringe speakers.
  • Go to Twitter. There are tons of lists of women speakers and experts. My Lovestats account has several lists you can use.  WIRe has a list a women speakers.  Just ask.
  • Share your numbers. When it turns out that one of your conferences seems skewed, let people know that the submissions were also skewed. It’s not necessarily a bad thing if 30% of your speakers were female if only 30% of your submissions came from women.
  • Be the change we want to see. Even if your speaker ratio matches the submission ratio, if it’s not mostly equal, do something about it! Don’t wait for submissions. Hunt for awesome speakers who didn’t submit.


Demand that your conferences be Diversity Approved! (Tweet this post!)

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My Three Picks for ESOMAR Council. Now go vote!

You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you. So vote!

Voting is now open for the 2017-2018 ESOMAR council. I suspect that everyone who has already voted knew exactly who they wanted to vote for and why. For the rest though, perhaps you’re not sure about who to vote for and are still puzzling through the long list of qualified candidates. With that in mind, I thought I would share my picks.

In no particular order….

Kristin Luck

Kristin LuckI’ve known Kristin Luck for a few years now. She is a long time promoter of the market research industry and always works to share her knowledge with others.  As the founder of Women In Research (WIRe), she has been a tireless promoter of diversity within our industry. If you read her personal statement, you will find it is very much subdued regarding her accomplishments. Don’t let that fool you. She has done so much for our industry and I know she will do everything she can to move our industry forward and keep us relevant.



Luisa Mercedes Ravelo Contreras

Luisa Mercedes Ravelo ContrerasI met Luisa several years ago when I spoke at a Best Of ESOMAR event in Venezuela. I have never felt as welcomed to a foreign country as she made me feel. She made sure everything was absolutely perfect for me. She cared. In addition to running her own marketing research company, she also teaches at a university and she cares just as much for every one of her students as she cared (cares) for me. Luisa is in a unique position in Venezuela in that she understands the history and the future of our industry. Face-to-face and door-to-door research is still extremely alive (and very dangerous) in her region and she will ensure that ESOMAR continues to reflect the needs of all of our researchers, both in advantaged countries and those still trying to pull forward.



Christophe Ovaere

Christophe OvaereSince the launch of the New Research Speakers Club early this year, Chris has been a firm supporter offering both encouragement and meeting space for the group. (THANK YOU!)  It’s clear to me that he values the knowledge and experience of the quieter folks among us and wants to help them share their voices at upcoming conferences.  In addition, Chris has a solid plan of what he wants to accomplish as part of the ESOMAR team, and that includes bringing the fringe businesses into the fold. Since those fringe businesses, whether neuroscience, data science, or anything else not directly questionnaire and discussion guide focused, will be the future of our industry, ESOMAR needs someone who can talk and walk in that area.



So now, if you haven’t already voted, think about what you want for the future of market research, read through the profiles, and place your vote. Choose wisely!

The Bakery Review: ALL. OF. MADRID.

Normally, I talk about one single bakery and that’s sort of what I’ll do this time too. But I need to start with a caveat. I’m a tough grader and, just like when I was in school, I hand out grades from A to F, where F is a fail, and A is excellent. I generally don’t blog about anything less than a B. However, in Madrid, the WORST bakeries would still classify as B. In fact most bakeries here get A grades, and I am stuck deciding on whether it is an A or an A+. Woh is me!

So with that in mind, may I introduce you to my absolute favourite bakery, obviously rated with an A+.  La Mallorguina, at the Puerta Del Sol, is undeniably an amazing bakery. The sheer variety of cakes, pies, and various other treats they bake from the minute they open till the minute they close is astonishing.  It is possible that I ate something there every single day. And, even when I chose something that looked kind of boring, it was a surprise and oh so delicious! I have a feeling you cannot make a bad choice here.

And, they’ve mastered the set-up. One half of the bakery is for take-out. You plop your change on the counter, point at the thing you want, they hand it to you on a napkin, and you’re out. The other half of the bakery is counter service. Plop your money on the counter, point at a piece of cake/pie/treat on a plate behind the counter, they serve it to you with a knife and fork, and you eat it standing up at the counter shoulder to shoulder with everyone else. This is the perfect solution for those cakes and pies that are just too gooey to put on a napkin to eat while you walk. In fact, the gooey factor is one reason why I am often disappointed with a bakery – there’s nowhere to eat the treat. Problem solved!

Do not walk, run to this bakery!

giiant marshmallow squarecrispy outside filled with custard, quite possibly my favouritestanding room only at the counter

The Gated Content Gimmick: You’re only fooling yourself

Gated content is a wonderful thing. Simply by placing your valuable content behind a gate, one that requires people to provide their name and email address or telephone number, you grow your opt-in email list and quickly have access to a huge base of potential customers. And potential customers have your content.  It’s a win win situation!

Not so fast. Here’s how gated content actually works. 

You, the company,

  • Create content that, in your opinion, is valuable and showcases the superiority of your brand
  • Choose not to share this content freely because you put time and money into it and therefore people ought to pay for it
  • Believe that receiving regular newsletters and repeated requests to meet, is fair payment for your content

Your potential customers, however,

  • Know that you are more interested in their dollars than in solving their problems because helpful companies are able to showcase their expertise with zero expectations
  • Know that you believe in tit for tat rather than generally being helpful, and this could easily transfer into any work they do with you. A little fee for this, a little fee for that.
  • Know that the second they share their email address, they will be bombarded with emails and phone calls they never wanted
  • Hate spam and therefore clicked off your website and over to a competitor’s where they can instantly see how transparent and helpful they are.  
  • Aren’t fooled by all the name dropping and filler in your ‘valuable’ content. It’s just another sales pitch with pretty pictures. ‘Content’ is not what they’re seeking anyways. 

So what is the solution?

  • Be a generous steward of the industry. Write excellent content. Put it out there with no expectations and no requests for contact details. People love generosity. You too should love generosity. You’ve benefitted from it a lot to get where you are.
  • Become known as an expert in your industry because so many people have seen the valuable information you have put together. Because so many people can share it without fear of spam (stop believing your newsletters aren’t spam).  Because so many people value your committment to helping them do better and be better.

In the end, there really is zero need to gate content.  It only “benefits” you not your potential customers, and I rather think that in the long run, it is a serious disadvantageous.  It gives people a completely incorrect vision of what your company is about. 

Let’s put gated content in the garbage where it belongs.

Keynote speaker: Kerhyl Gantt from Nike North America @AMAhouston #ME2016 

Live note taking from AMA Houston. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

  • Snapchat burst onto the scene only 9 months ago after many other things tools years
  • Consumers want to be listened to, inspired, innovation, and enabled
  • Listen to the voice of the athlete, how the consumer feels and how the athlete feels, dimension alive the athlete
  • It can be done in many different ways
  • Need to tell the story in an authentic way
  • Inspire consumers. Sport is the ultimate game and the athlete are the ultimate players but you need to merge the two and reach the end goals, need to elevate the inspiration factor
  • Celebrate amazing moments and athletes
  • Innovation – how to make athletes faster stronger better, how to amplify this, distill innovation to very simple moments, make it buzz worthy 
  • Enable – give consumers a chance to overcome obstacles
  • The ads areon’t about the products, they are about athletes being excited to use the products
  • General I consumer behavior will never change, only their application
  • [lots of videos so not a lot of notes]

Mentoring young talent by Michelle Leblanc @AMAhouston #ME2016 

Live note taking at the AMA Houston. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

  • All her employees are millenials and they are all digital offices in different countries
  • No generation is all the same – 18 year olds are not the same as 34 year olds even if they’re in the same segment
  • Why mentor – learn new things, understand them better, longevity, faster growth, keeps you at the top of your game [for me, it’s just the right thing to do,  you ought to help other people when you’re in the position to do so]
  • Know what they believe strongly in, embrace honesty and openness, be an active listener, expect mutual benefits
  • They grew up with people listening to them, you don’t have to agree but you have to listen
  • They want mentoring and coaching, straight feedback, and formal development programs; they’ve always had structured actives and are used to having a program to help them become a better worker
  • It’s not you. It’s not one to one.  Peer mentoring, reverse mentoring, speed monitoring.
  • They want personal advisory boards. Introduce your network. Recommend contacts to expand horizons. FInd a specific task for a specific expert.
  • Everything needs to be faster, faster feedback
  • Annual reviews are over, everyday reactions or serendipitous interactions are prefered, continuous feedback and listen to the redactions [but make sure if you do it publicly that the person is okay with that]
  • Ongoing training is extremely important, crowdsourcing answers, webinars, and even formal training and conferences, ask them to choose speakers who align with their goals ahead of time, ask them to go to all the networking events and then add to the company blog when they get home
  • Be the best example you can be
  • It’s a two way street, you both have to adapt and change because good communication takes two participants

Agile marketing from A to Z by Jeff Pedowitz @AMAhouston #ME2016 

Live note take at the AMA Houston conference. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

  • Agile marketing is adapting agile management and software degelopment methods in the context of marketing management 
  • Rapid feedback, collaborative teams, short cycles or sprints, emphasize transparency
  • Good for ongoing campaigns
  • Can see the final result more quickly, could even be real time because you’re doing week long sprints and you’re launching at the end of every week (or two weeks or four weeks)
  • Stand up meetings every day, maybe 15 meetings, say what you’re doing and move on
  • It’s a set of principles from IT and adapted for marketing, you still need a plan but it lets you adapt and change much faster
  • Many small experiments, lots of collaboration, rapid iterations
  • Occasional small errors are fine, we all make typos, don’t let that hold you back
  • Can’t chance your org structure overnight but you can change how you work together
  • You have to measure or you won’t know what’s working
  • You can change course much quicker than your competition
  • Don’t wait for things to fall into place, always be putting something into place
  • You’re turning marketing into a production facility
  • Waterfall – word for sequential based planning, Scrum is completely agile and fluid breaking things into short sprints, marketing uses a combination of the two
  • Scrum is the press, 4 to 7 people working collaboratively. More than 7 means too much is happening
  • Backlog is collection of work you’re doing
  • Stories is everything you WANT to do, you decide what has high medium low effort
  • It’s a habit forming thing, it will take time to get used to doing it and make it feel natural
  • You can be a scrum master or team leader or just a member on several different teams, you can have a variety of roles
  • Stick to the schedule which is the hardest things, launch even when it’s not all there
  • Small errors along the way are less traumatic
  • You could decide to do a sprint next week, make your team, name your team, make it small and simple – estimate the work maybe a week or two
  • Hold a sprint review meeting, learn a couple lessons to apply to the next one
  • Everyone needs to pursue innovation and creativity
  • Use data to make intelligence decisions
  • Build an experimentation engine

CMO panel discussion at AMA Houston @AMAhouston #ME2016 

Live note taking at the AMA Houston conference. Any errors or bad jokes are my own. Apologies for not indicating who said what.


Session 1

  • The Seven Big Problems in marketing
  • Focus here is on talent and recruiting and retaining that talent
  • Focus on employees before focusing on customers
  • Where is the skills void – technology, marketing is so heavily influenced by tech, we need to be experienced with tech and have a varuety of expertise. Also research and analytics, customer lifetime value, how to use data, leverage data, attribution modeling, statistical modeling. Need to understand them no necessarily know them.
  • We need to spend a lot of time with IT professionals, go to where the expertise is [yeah go visit your research team, your data analyst, your statisticians, data scientists]
  • [i’m so tired of the millenial term. It’s not millenials. It’s new adults who have money for the first time and are ready to find a brand and become loyal to a brand]
  • How do you attract people to join your company
  • [seems the term has changed from employee to individual contributor]
  • Hiring people is a sales job, always have a list of people who you really like and when you have a job that suits them, go ask them. Have a folder of people you want to hire when the opportunity arises
  • The resume is a pet peeve. You ar selling and promoting your personal brand. 80% are just a list of things someone has done but that’s what they aren’t looking for. What results have you generated. What contributions have you made, how did that produce results for the company. What impact have you made on the organization. Tell how you helped the company advance.
  • If you don’t have much experience because you’re young [then consider all your unrelated jobs and volunteer work and what you contributed to them. NO ONE gets to their first job with no relevant experience. Hard work, perseverance, working under pressure, teamwork]
  • Looking for people who want a career not a job, need passionate people
  • You are NOT owed a new job title and salary increase every six months [or even every two years]
  • You can’t go wrong with an advanced degree. Where all things are equal, that person will win. But someone who’s done amazing things without that graduate degree will win. It’s important that the person can be effective from day one.

Session two

  • [set of nonprofit speakers]
  • Budget issues, limited resource and serious expectations, volunteers, a lot of neuron racy, real lives are on the line, hard to get people to buy into a long term cause
  • Biggest challenge is segmentation of audience, donors, members and every mix of those, young, old, active and not active, everyone needs a different message
  • Need to establish a culture of marketing when the employees are all social workers or medical workers, fighting for dollars doesn’t line up with how they feel
  • Why do one third of ballet audience not come back – what are they missing?
  • How do you create a culture of innovation with nonprofits that have limited resources
  • “Pilot”” is a common word, test something with very little money, tested a Facebook campaign for potential foster families, got a lot of inquiries as a result, a full blown campaign would not have been approved but now it is
  • You rarely know what caused anyone to make a purchase. A billboard? A Facebook post? You have to expect it’s not all measureable and just try anything out.
  • They are mostly digital at this point, important for the staff to be writers and they pay firms to do the rest, good content always gives you the presence, focus on the stories

Opening Keynote with Denise Jacobs, The Creative Dose @AMAhouston #marketing #ME2016 

Live note take at the AMA Houston conference in Houston, Texas. Any error or bad jokes are my own.

  • Creativity is the new black, it’s the talent that CEOs need the most, it is valued the most by coworkers
  • We all have creativity within us, we all WANT to create and it doesn’t mean pictures or dance or music. It’s companies and campaigns, even riffing is creative
  • Creativity is a business imperative, it’s imperative for business growth
  • It doesn’t mean a lone creative genius in their garage
  • We need to unblock our creativity, we all fear our ideas will be criticized or that they aren’t perfect, fear of not being good enough, fear of ideas being TOO crazy
  • FEAR – false evidence appearing real, you don’t know if you will be criticized or judged but you hold yourself back, other people could have benefited from your crazy idea
  • Ted talk.- your body language shapes who you are, our bodies change our minds, our minds change our behaviors, our behavior changes our outcomes – CHECK your body language, put on your best superhero pose with hands on hips or hands in the air [this is where we all stand up and do superhero poses🙂 ]
  • Gaming can be helpful for creativity and stress relief 
  • Go into things with an experimentation mindset – explore different ways, acceptance of failure is built in, you won’t get it all the first time, you won’t get it right NOW but you will get it right, you will learn things along the way, ideas will start to flow
  • More people means more creativity, creativity is linear
  • None of us is as smart as all of us
  • Keeping ideas to yourself is detrimental, be generous with your ideas, you also need to listen, over talking = muting other people [get our your plastic stabbing fork!  :) ]
  • Be present, don’t be figuring out what you’re going to say, pay attention to what they’re saying; relax your own agenda; 
  • CONNECT: Now we’re instructed to tell a partner something very exciting, both at the same time. [I didn’t hear a thing he said🙂 ]
  • Listening builds trust and a sense of safety
  • The most attractive people make you feel interesting
  • COMBINE – diversity of people = diversity of ideas, you need left and right brains, big picture and little picture people, these are complementary like puzzle pieces
  • Must adapt and respond to the variety of people
  • [now we’re asked to tell a story and insert weird words into it, oh my, what a silly story]
  • There was no judgement because everything was ok, no time to think and didn’t know where the story was going, you never what people will say but it might be so unexpected that it pushes you to another place
  • Play is how we invent and experiment, we need to amplify ideas, avoid the phrase “yes but” and focus on “yes and”, an idea attributed to Walt Disney
  • When someone offers an idea, accept the offer, and fully commit to it, add to it, make your colleagues look good and then everyone looks better
  • A six person sentence – six people each choose one word – unicorn, batman, dream, ludicrous, lives, live – words all over the place
  • Now people are asked to pick a word that someone can connect to – marketers are superheroes and also awesome🙂
  • Even the boring words were helpful, everyone owned the outcome 
  • Design an environment for co-creation, have a public space for ideas, need to externalizer ideas, sharing the raw concept gives your team material to work with and respond to, encourage ‘stupid’ ideas, they may be the best ones
  • Have both sitting and standing spaces, create a locus where people and ideas can mix and mingle where people from different departments will cross paths
  • We’ve already tried to be creative by ourselves and be clever, sometimes plain is amazing
  • We don’t need more, more stuff more money more recognition, what we really need instead is better, expand, better quality
  • The total of human effort is not just more but better
  • Develop an openness to difference, form strong bonds among the group

Brand relationships: Augmenting the classic purchase funnel with Deven Nongbri, @Edelman @AMAhouston #marketing #ME2016 

Live note taking at the AMA Houston conference. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

  • Peers are more and more a source for purchase information and validation
  • Do you deliver a great product experience, are you doing good as a brand, help society?, it is expected as part of your brand DNA
  • Is someone trying to break you p? New business models like uber are having a serious effect, your relationship has never been more under siege
  • We could give up on building relationships or we could see that these disruptions are threats, turns them into opportunities that work in your favour
  • Create ambassadors and early adopters who will act on our behalf, let them be your team
  • How to navigate this new reality, how does consumer committment lead to better business results 
  • Research conducted across 13 countries [don’t want to bore us with methodologies😦  There’s nothing boring about methods!]
  • Scored brand relationships on seven dimensions, average score was 40/100 in the USA [makes sense to put the average here, you need to leave room for improvement and you need to have a place for starts to shine]
  • Men have better relationships, millenials have better relationships 
  • THere are five relationship stages. Indifferent, interested, involved, invested, committed
  • Indifference – just walking through a store, grab the first thing off the shelf
  • Interested – may check out the label
  • Involved – actively choose your brand, ask if they can’t find the brand
  • Invested – people believe you share common values, stop other shoppers from buying the competitive brand
  • Committed – it’s about shared benefits, they ask stores to carry your brand, they switch stores to get your products, moves from I language to we language
  • Committment is wit hint the reach of all brand categories, even low involvement categories
  • Strong relationship protect your bottom line – consumers up first and stay loyal, they will pay more, they will recommend, they will advocate for and defend you
  • You can’t buy committment, must connect with consumers all along the purchase funnel
  • Earned media matters, 78% of people use traditional media for information about brands – tv, magazines, radio
  • Advertising buys interest
  • Involved consumers engage across all Chanel’s
  • Conversations are the foundations of a committed relationship 
  • Use of peer and owned grows fine times as fast going from involved to committed 
  • Brands fall short on purpose and engagement, telling stories consumers care about
  • Need to strengthen the relationship through purpose, be an interesting part of social media, have a charismatic leader, facilitate ongoing conversation, be there at the tough times
  • Need to better tell the store of their heritage, raise my self esteem and make me feel better about myself, help me feel admired and repeated when I use your brand

The content arms race: Why brands are screwed by Andrew Grinaker @AMAhouston #ME2016 

Live note taking at the AMA Houston conference. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

  • Our consumption capabilities are going to flatline, content shock, creating more content than is being consumed
  • The audience doesn’t care about your branded content, people don’t wake up wanting to see what their favourite brand said today
  • Only 30% of people have liked a brand on Facebook, when did you last like a brand? It’s not a relationship
  • There is so much content that is vastly more interesting than branded content 
  • Individual people are taking content away from brands – eg, unboxing videos, fanatics showing off their new shoes, someone who does toys review videos
  • How do brands compete
  • Planning: know your audience and your target, know the demos of each social channel, know where your audience lives, know what motivates them; agree on KPIs and goals for brand awareness, engagement, sales, lead generation, retention and loyalty; have a documented strategy, know what you want to achieve
  • Lead with purpose and values
  • [damn that pandora ad where the kids find their mom by touch alone is a tear jerker]
  • Emotional connection doens’t always mean crying
  • Give/get strategy – give 80% to get 20%, don’t focus on a heavy CTA
  • Content should entertain and drive interest, not tied to “thanks for viewing now buy this” GE does a great job of this
  • Budget first, idea second
  • Focus on what you do weekly, monthly or quarterly, e.g., social media is weekly, papers are monthly, information is quarterly
  • Save 20% of budget for promotion if you don’t have a media budget
  • Consider waht is foundation a exploratory, or in review
  • Be agile in publishing, different formats
  • Test all variables – headlines, CTAs, length, type, distributions, images
  • Some brands give us hope – ADOBE, Nordstrom, airBNB, IKEA, TSA, Jaguar

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