If you work in marketing today, it is easy to become focused on a niche. In fact, most of the best and smartest people in marketing are the ones who do exactly that. They focus on an industry, become an expert and are sought after for their thinking and advice by others in that industry. The conventional wisdom is that you need to have this kind of focus in order to succeed in marketing. This was never the path that I wanted to have.
Part of the reason I love what I do is because it gives me the chance to have a diversity of experience. I can work with a luxury brand in the same day that I'm helping a non-profit create messages of advocacy to motivate behaviour change. To be forced to shift mindsets in that way on a daily basis is something I find exhilarating. This focus on creating a diversity of experience is also the philosophy I use when deciding what events to participate in. Each month I will usually speak at between 2 and 4 events on very different topics.
Over the next several weeks I will be participating in three very different events that follow this philosophy of sharing diverse experiences and I am excited about them for very different reasons:
Blogworld – Keynote Interview with Doug Ulman, CEO of LIVESTRONG (10/14/10)
"Behind The Wristband: How LiveStrong Evolved From A Cause To A Movement"
The closing keynote of the first day of Blogworld, this session will be an informal chat with Doug about how LIVESTRONG has managed to stand above the dozens of other charitable organizations working to fight cancer and created a global movement engaging millions of people. His personal story is an inspiring one as well and this will be the official launching point for the second year of the well publicized #beatcancer social media advocacy and donation program. It is also a format that I personally love doing, because it offers me the chance to facilitate some great thinking from someone else and listen to their insights instead of trying to come up with some myself!
SOCAP – Keynote Interview with Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigslist (10/19/10)
Keynote Panel – "The Future of Customer Care: Overhyped Fad or True Revolution?"
The SOCAP event is one of the largest in the world focused on customer care and bringing customer care professionals together from around the world. In my dual sessions, I will have the chance to interview Craig from Craigslist about what makes his company's focus to customer care so unique and what lessons he might offer to other businesses about the importance of taking the personal approach when it comes to customer care. Immediately following, I will be moderating a panel with Frank Eliason from Citibank (formerly the voice behind the @comcastcares Twitter handle for Comcast), Bryan Rhoads from Intel (affectionately known around Intel as the "blogfather" for his central role in helping to originally launch Intel's blogs), and Helen Horsham-Bertels from Starwood all about the future of customer care. The panelists will share some insights from each of their organizations about how customer care is evolving and lessons that they can offer for the audience.
Pharma eCommunication & Online Marketing Summit – Keynote Presentation (11/08/10)
"6 Surprising Lessons Pharma Can Learn From Other Industries"
I spend a lot of my "day job" at Ogilvy working with healthcare clients and typically the industry has been slow to adopt social technologies and more innovative forms of marketing. This great 2 day event put on by eyeforpharma is going to feature lots of pharma brands sharing insights from some of their efforts about what is working and why. In my session, I'm going to follow through on the diversity of experience point I made earlier and aim to bring some highly relevant examples to the event from outside the world of pharma. This is always a tricky thing, because they need to feel applicable enough, but I am excited about sharing this type of content at the event and hearing the feedback from attendees on whether there may indeed be lessons to learn from outside the industry that could be applied within it. The organizers of the event also provided a $500 off discount code for any blog readers who might be interested in attending – just quote "IM" when you register.
Creating a movement with social media.
Helping evolve how pharma brands are marketing.
These are three great and diverse topics and a VERY exciting few weeks coming up. This is why I do what I do. I'll be sure to share marketing insights from each event as they happen, but in the meantime if you will be at any of these, please let me know as I would love to see you there!