Posts Tagged 'Columbia Business School BRITE conference'

Marketing Hall of Fame® Final Selection Committee – or – Name That Famous Marketer

I’m delighted to announce the final selection committee of the Marketing Hall of Fame®.

But first a message from our sponsors!  Many thanks to Columbia Business School, JWT and Greenbook for your support of the Marketing Hall of Fame®



Well, actually I’ll just quote from the press release.

This year’s stellar selection committee consisted of David W. Almy, CEO, Marketing Research Association (MRA); Gayle Fuguitt, CEO, Advertising Research Foundation (ARF); Nancy Hill, CEO, 4As; Bob Liodice, CEO, Association of National Advertisers (ANA);Kendall Nash, president, Qualitative Research Consultants Association; Bruce Nelson, former vice chair, Omnicom, and Earl Taylor, CMO, Marketing Science Institute.  The selection committee was coordinated by Don Sexton, NYAMA president-elect and professor of marketing, Columbia University.

“This year’s nominees represented an extraordinarily impressive cross-section of influential marketers, and the finalists were all well-renowned for their outstanding contributors to the field,” said Randall Ringer, NYAMA president and CEO, Verse Group LLC.  “We looked to the collective wisdom of our selection committee, who had the very difficult challenge of picking only three inductees from such an remarkable group.  The contributions of this year’s three inductees are shaping the ways we practice marketing today and inspiring the marketers of the future.  The Marketing Hall of Fame is all about celebrating brilliance, and we are thrilled to celebrate these brilliant individuals.”

Hold the date! May 28th!

The inductees will each speak for 20 minutes about the future of marketing — which they are creating right now!

Be sure to sign up for the May 28th event. This is the best of the best giving marketing’s version of the Nobel Prize Speech.


Saving Money is BRITE, Too.

If you are a member of the American Marketing Association, you can save $100 on the BRITE conference fees.

Just go to the event page on the NYAMA website and all the info is there.

Event Description

Now in its 6th year, BRITE ’13 will bring together 400-500 leaders and entrepreneurs from business, technology, and media, to discuss topics such as: the future of brand leadership, big data analytics & insight, and emerging trends in technology and consumer culture. Our speakers this year include: leading executives from PepsiCoMeredithIntuit, andIntel; founders and CEO’s of startups Vimeo,  LevelUp/SCVNGR, and IconicTV; authorsCharles Duhigg and John Gerzema; and more.

Full details are at:

For the $100 discount, please REGISTER at:

Updated to fix some formatting problems!

BRITE Is On The Horizon

This year’s BRITE Conference is scheduled to start on Monday, March 4th.

The team up at Columbia Business School always put together a fascinating program.  A lot of hits and very few fizzles over the years.

Last year BRITE and the NYAMA teamed up on a major study on Marketing in the Age of Big Data (NYAMA_BRITE_Slides_030612 copy)  Professor Don Sexton and I presented some of the key findings.  David Rogers drew on it for additional insights.  While we aren’t presenting new data at the conference this year, there will be additional findings released by Don and David in the coming months.

So here’s what you need to know:

Our presenters will speak about a range of topics such as digital strategy, the future of mobile, and global insights. Our agenda can be found at:

Featured speakers include:

  • Shiv Singh, Global Head of Digital, PepsiCo Beverages
  • Liz Schimel, Chief Digital Officer, Meredith National Media Group
  • Kerry Trainor, Chief Executive Officer, Vimeo
  • Kaaren Hanson, Vice President of Design Innovation, Intuit
  • Michael Hagan, Chief Operating Officer, LevelUp
  • Jean Brandolini-Lamb, Vice President, Global Branding, SAP
  • Charles Duhigg, Author, The Power of Habit; Journalist, The New York Times
  • Miklos Sarvary, GlaxoSmithKline Chaired Professor of Corporate Innovation, INSEAD
  • Bernd Schmitt, Executive Director, Institute on Asian Consumer Insight; Professor, Columbia Business School

We hope to see you there!


David, Matt, and Allie

Presented by the Columbia Business School Center on Global Brand Leadership

March 4 – March 5, 2013

Lerner Hall, Columbia University, New York, New York


BRITE ’13 will bring together 300-400 leaders from business, technology, media, and marketing to discuss how technology and innovation are transforming the ways that companies build and sustain great brands.

Meet David Rogers, Author of The Network Is Your Customer UPDATED

I am delighted to say that on APRIL 13TH!, David Rogers will be the next author in the NYAMA’s Meet The Author series.  Everyone is welcome to join us!  Since it is a breakfast series, the day will start BRITE and early, from 8 am to 9:30 am.  There will be high octane caffeinated coffee as well as breakfast.  Be sure to sign up now at

David’s new book is “The Network Is Your Customer”  You can learn more about it the easy way by watching David’s video.

A complimentary copy of the book will be given to all attendees.

The Network is Your Customer

To those who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting David at one of Columbia University’s BRITE conferences, then you are in for a treat.  I don’t know if he’s going to bring his saxophone with him.  Perhaps you can start a petition!

[Updated on 4/11 to correct the date that David is going to be at the NYAMA]

When We Were BRITE And Young…

More recap of the BRITE conference from earlier this week.

Thursday morning started off with a thunderclap.

How else can I describe that moment when you feel so completely alive and rapt by a presentation at a conference?  The usual “lean back, listen, observe, observe yourself observing” experience was replaced by the highly charged engagement of discovery — the  leaning in, hearing, trying to make sense of what is so sensible but so insightful and smart. For me it was a lightbulb moment, a Eureka moment.  That is the only way I describe what it felt like to hear Columbia’s own Professor Sheena Iyengar discuss her work on “The Art of Choosing” and her famous/infamous Jam Study.

Professor Iyengar discussed how people say they want more choices but what they really want are better choosing experiences.

More choice leads to “Choice Overload” which decreases: 1. commitment to buy  2. decision quality (make worse choices, abandon in-going criteria) and 3. satisfaction (did I buy the best thing? did I make the right choice?)

Then she tackled the problem that had been bothering me for years.  There’s a seminal study from the 1950s by George Miller which is titled “The Magic Number Seven Plus or Minus Two”.  In marketing this has often translated into theories about unaided brand awareness as the main predictor of brand selection and a very high level of importance placed on brand awareness.

Trout and Ries used Miller’s study as one of the fundamental pillars to support their positioning model in their book “Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind”.  Share of mind, or Mind Share, became the driving focus of marketing from the 1970s up through today.  It is what MBA students have been taught for decades.

There had always been something about this “magic number seven” that was contradicted by actual experience and empirical evidence.  After all, the average person can name many brands verbally.  And when you show them the actual packaging or logo their recognition jumps even higher.  Just off the top of my head I can name more than a dozen brands of beer (Saranac, Samuel Adams, Coors, Miller, Budweiser, Michelob, Sierra Nevada, St. Pauli Girl, Pabst, Rolling Rock, Anchor Steam, Brooklyn, Blue Moon, Molsons, Hite, Kirin, Heineken, Red Stripe, Guiness, Modelo, Polar, Busch, Kronenburg, Lowenbrau, Harpoon) and within that I can identify many variations (Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Lite, Miller).  If you showed me the packaging I would recognized at least twice as many.

Professor Iyengar cleared up this mystery for me.  In fact “experts” in any category can handle more choices and they want more choices.  They see options, organize the choices, categorize them.  They see patterns and put the different brands into those categories and sub-categories.

The example that she gave was the chess master.  The options for moves that a chess master has is exponentially higher than the total number of brands in the world.  The master sees patterns, zeros in on the most relevant choices and then thinks ahead many moves to see the consequences of his choices.

That made sense to me.  I do not consider myself an expert on beer but I did spend more than 4 years working on beer advertising accounts.  That sensitized me to beer.  I seem to notice beer brands unconsciously whenever I travel to a new place. Professor Iyengar helped me understand what was going on in my process of remembering the brands. I went through a number of filters.  The first was big brands vs. small brands (although Saranac isn’t a traditional big brand, I had spent time upstate in NY where it has a lot of visibility). The next was geography (states, countries, cities).  Then by visual memory of what I’d seen on bar taps and six packs.  Finally there are a number of brands that I can visualize in my mind but cannot immediately remember the name of…for example I can visualize Corona Light, with lime wedges, I know it is from Mexico, I can picture the advertising in my mind, I reach for the word cerveza is and until this moment I couldn’t say Corona Light.

She then provided the keys to helping consumers make better choices.

1.  Cut: get rid of similar looking options

2. Organize: by categories consumers intuitively understand, not by industry standards

3. Condition: help people handle complexity by going from the largest filters (e.g. 2 or 3 categories) to the smallest (multiple sub-sub categories)

Here’s what the NY Times had to say about her book.

Unlike “provocative” books designed to stir controversy, “The Art of Choosing” is refreshingly thought-provoking. [NY Times Book Review, 04/18/2010]

The Art of Choosing

One other presentation that I want to bring to your attention.

Renée Horne of Fedex discussed “the evolving role of marketing” and the growing importance of employees to influencing customer purchasing choices.  At the same time, customers are expanding the criteria they use for choosing brands — with social responsibility, sustainability, workplace conditions and other corporate reputation factors coming into play more than ever before.  And, finally, social media is the way employees naturally want to communicate these days.  If they are using Facebook at home, their inclination is to want to use Facebook at work.

For Fedex this meant tapping into employees and making them ambassadors.  It led them to “a fresh approach to brand storytelling.”  And to “I am Fedex”.

They recognized it as “potentially game changing…to drive higher level of engagement with our own employees.”  The more engaged the employees, the higher the level of customer satisfaction.

The roll of storytelling is very important to us

Using social media, Fedex seeded the program with professionally made videos and then allowed employees to make their own.  Hundreds of videos have been made by employees around the world, sharing their “I am Fedex” stories with each other on Facebook and other social media channels.

To keep the stories real, “authentic” there are no scripts but there are some clear and simple guidelines and criteria for employees to follow.

I am Fedex storytelling

Of course in today’s world what is internal is external in a matter of moments.  There is no longer the possibility of an employee branding program not being seen by the world at large.  So the Fedex program has external elements and visibility.  It isn’t pushed on anyone,

“if customers see it, it is through sales association…We put it online.  We are not pushing it in paid media…You can see it on our YouTube channel, “Behind the scenes at FedEx”

A central element of “I am Fedex” is the purple promise.  That is in many of the videos.  It is also shared through more traditional communications such as booklets, merchandise, posters, employee awards — many of which anyone can download from Fedex.

The Purple Promise

The Purple Promise booklet

The reality is that selling in the program was not a slam dunk.  The SVP who initiated it was persuasive in selling it in to senior management.  And then they had to “overcome the fears of “what if….” with middle management”.

So, some editorializing: What I find to be particularly compelling about the Fedex program is the use of the first person singular — “I”.  It personalizes the pledge.  It internalizes the stories.  Just by having an employee say “I am Fedex” aloud  commits them.  Nobody wants to have to take back their words.  Another good example of this internalization is the longer running “I’m an IBMer” program.


There was more and more to BRITE.  I’ve just skimmed some of the highlights that I found to be compelling, interesting or personally relevant.

BRITE early

The day began with a series of very strong stories. I’ll hit some of the highlights. This is based on my reporter’s notes (a skill learned while working on the college newspaper), not recordings of the sessions.

The over arching theme I took away was “reinvent marketing” because technology has made it imperative and possible.

A secondary theme is the power of storytelling.  Narrative marketing is on the ascendency — although nobody used the phrase “Narrative Marketing”

Visa’s Journey

The first story was the journey that Visa took from a traditional marketing to digit, from telling to socializing. Antonio Lucio shared this journey from when he took over marketing at Visa around the time the company went public. That change in company status was the impetus for his team to

“question our marketing equation”.

First steps included bringing digital “from the margins to the core” — knocking down the silos and cul-de-sacs of marketing. He also set about educating the senior managers and executive team on how marketing needs to change. To do that, his team had to educate themselves about the changes in the marketplace.

This led to creating a completely new model of marketing for Visa: “Audience First” Marketing.

The traditional model was “yell and sell”
The new model was “an army of advocates” creating a “loyalty circle”

They mapped “the traveler journey” as a way of better understanding the realities of the customer journey. The better understanding of the customer journey “changed the way we do advertising”.

Part of that change was the radical idea that “media plan then drives creative executions” and “turning the old model on its head”. The traditional model was all about coming up with the big creative idea first and then identifying the best media vehicles to execute it.

They set 3 social principles:

  • Sharing
  • Recommendation
  • Participation.

They set up a media model that recognizes 3 forms of media:

  • Paid (TV, search)
  • Shared (Facebook)
  • Owned (Visa websites)

The “Audience First” system required a lot of internal education.  They created training modules and also brought it into key executive meetings through the strategic planning and budget process.  That was one way to guarantee the attention of the senior management.

The big challenge ahead is that a new system requires new metrics.  Currently all of the social media sites have their own metrics.  There are no industry wide accepted standards.  This is greater than a Visa issue — it is a challenge for the entire marketing community.  Lucio called for an industry-wide effort, including academia, to create metrics for a cross-platform, multi-channel world.  That is the next frontier.

Edelman’s Insights by Steve Rubel

Edelman digital next presented the top 11 trends that are reshaping marketing.  By trends they mean larger movements, it isn’t a “who’s hot/who’s not”.

In the interest of time (I’ve got some sleep needs ahead of me), I’ll hit on a few of the trends that I find immediately compelling.

#1  Attentionomics:  The old metrics of reach and frequency are empty metrics.  It is more important to measure the value of the attention.  It means thinking in visual terms since visual cues are more engaging.  It means looking at engagement that is relevant by daypart (time of day).

#4  Transmedia Storytelling:  “We love stories.  Society is driven by stories…Technology advances the techniques of storytelling.”

The challenge is that marketing no longer unfolds in a linear beginning, middle and end.”There is a narrative disconnection of time…So we need to help the consumers.”  Part of that is making is easy for employees and customers to tell and share their own stories.  Another part is the the story needs to unfold in a way that is appropriate to the platform.  What might be right for Facebook isn’t necessarily right for Twitter.

#6 The Integrated:  For too long “social media has been isolated.  You need to integrate it into holistic communications.”  Until now social media has been fragmented, not formal.  In the future it needs a central infrastructure, social media command centers to monitor, share and put information into the hands of executives across the company.

“The next brand crisis will erupt on Facebook or Twitter” (for example Kenneth Cole’s twitter about the Egyptian protests).

#7 Ubiquitous social computing:  “All devices will be social media”  Smart phones, tablets, will be the tools for creating and consuming social media, not just the PC.  Therefore Mobility needs to be built into the brand strategy.

#8  Location, location, Facebook.  What happens in Vegas stays…on facebook.  The principles of this trend are a) local b) social c) photo/video d) mobile

Interestingly he ended by stating that traditional TV advertising is still incredibly important.  It sets a foundation that the digital elements and social media can build upon.

Ogilvy’s Big IdeaLs by Tim Maleeny

All of the changes in the world mean that agencies need to change they way they hire, behave and “change the model of brands”  Culture and context are more important than ever before.  The work on Dove was one factor that actually opened a door of insight at Ogilvy and “really crystalized our thinking”.

The old model was:  Ideas = Share of Mind

The new model is:  IdeaLs = Share of Culture

When you find the overlap between “A brand’s best self” and “cultural tension” there is the opportunity for the big IdeaL Ogilvy labels this “the brand platform”

“Brand positioning is fine for a campaign but it creates disposable advertising.”

The Big ideaL is for creating a long term brand platform

The new approach is as focused on the internal audience of employees as the external customers.  Tim gave the example of IBM, where the “the #1 influence on the perception of IBM is the IBM employee”.

Most revealing of the changing models is that Ogilvy has dropped the 360 degree approach.

“360 degrees is a myth.  You cannot be everywhere.  And only 10% to 20% of it really works.

That’s a big about-face for Ogilvy.  It is a powerful statement for the ways companies recognize the need to reinvent marketing.

At the same time, Maleeny did recognize that change is anything but easy.  While everyone sees the need, most companies are “scared” and in denial.  Others marketrs are seeing the changes as inevitable and seizing them as opportunities to move ahead.  As an outside agency, Ogilvy can educate and share the new Brand IdeaL models but they cannot dictate them to clients.

Okay, enough for now.  More BRITE to come in future entries.



It will be BRITE later

I will write up some of the most interesting parts of the conference later.

David Rogers proposed “transparency” as the theme for the conference. I would propose “reinventing marketing: the true impact of new technology.”

Starting with the great presentation by Antonio Lucio, CMO of Visa, many speakers have been discussing the need for new models of marketing.
At Visa they have developed an approach they call “Audience First”. The world no longer fits the old McKinsey models of marketing.

The future’s so BRITE, I have to wear shades

Tomorrow is the annual BRITE conference up at Columbia University.  Bernd Schmidt never fails to bring together an always fascinating group of people.  I’m sure that this year he’ll continue that winning streak.

Having gone to Columbia’s School of the Arts for an MFA, I always feel a bit subversive when I’m at a business school conference.  So to prepare, I’m listening to Timbuk 3

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