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CMA Hits Home Run At Annual Conference
Canadian Marketing Association 4th Annual Digital Marketing Conference
A powerful lineup of insightful keynote speakers and prominent industry leaders tackled the most pressing issues facing the marketing professional today at the CMA conference held on October 21st. The day breezed by as the visionary speakers doled out analysis, advice and strategies that gave the 275-plus attendees plenty to reflect on and more than enough to take back to the office and put to use.
Leading off the morning session was a rousing and motivating speech by John Tory, leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party and former President and CEO of Rogers Cable. Tory reminded the keen and attentive attendees that the Internet and digital marketing was perhaps the most potent form of media available to businesses today. Tory sited that US presidential candidates George W. Bush and John Kerry had raised more than $95 million dollars in campaign funding (not to mention in excess of 15 million email addresses) just through casual initiatives outlined on their respective websites.
Always a crowd favorite is published author and acclaimed speaker Seth Godin, who challenged the audience to reinvent their marketing strategy. Godin spelled out that everyone in the room- in one form or another - was guilty of spamming customers and the real marketing challenge we face is to produce products worth talking about. Were this the case, Godin figures, then customers could essentially do the marketing for you simply by endorsing them.
Panel discussions on current trends and opportunities in the marketing world generated stirring question and answer periods and of course, requisite networking opportunities.
Patrick Keane, Head of Advertising Strategy at Google led “The Search Economy” segment. Keane illustrated how search covered all aspects of the marketing cycle such as awareness, image, branding, direct response etc. He made a case, as any good Google executive should, that traditional forms of media, TV, radio and print for example, are polarized and reinforced the notion that any audience has to be targeted throughout the buying cycle. Needless to say when you throw out a known statistic such as two thirds of consumers use online resources before making offline purchases, you’ve got the room.
Another hot segment, go figure, was the “What’s Hot: Marketing Use of Internet Technology”. Here IBM Canada’s Bob Humphreys, National Strategy Leader, pointed out that information overload, not just on the Web but offline as well, was a major challenge faced by executives. So much so, in fact, that data indexing, which is a tool designed to alleviate the overload, would emerge as a $6 billion dollar industry in the near future.
In addition to a myriad of topics and discussions that energized the crowd, one sensed that a spirit emerged, namely, that Canada is poised to take a leadership role in the digital marketing field.
Please visit http://www.the-cma.org for further information and future CMA events.