Follow-up: Leaders in marketing 2012 (2012.10.18, Willbrook Platinum Convention Center)

On 2012.10.18, at Willbrook Platinum Convention Center, took place Leaders in marketing 2012 conference. Below, what did I like at the conference? , some notes I made, and photos.

A presentation video:

Photos I made (full-screen?):

Conference description:

What is Leaders in Marketing?

This one day conference features international brand leaders and top marketing practitioners, who will share an exciting blend of cutting edge thinking and real world experience on today’s most critical marketing issues.

The event is a unique introduction to worldwide hands-on Marketing authorities sharing actionable learning in the areas of Social media, Digital Marketing, Branding and Distribution channels.

Developed to answer the questions currently facing your organization Leaders in Marketing is a mix of keynotes, workshops and benchmarking that will explain the impact of Marketing on your business and ultimately how the consumer views, interacts and positions your brand in a crowded marketplace.

What did I like at the conference?

  • I met some old friends.
  • There was good & fine working Internet access.
  • Each participant was given an agenda, with little branding, and the pages left empty. Very cool looking one.
  • There were cool participants & speakers.
  • The chairs had this cool space at the end of them. So, there was a row of chairs in front of me. At the bottom of the chairs there was space to leave a bag in there. Also, the feet of the person in front could not reach that space. Cool idea.
  • The food was good.
  • The place had luxury.
  • From the conference, as speakers I liked a lot:
    • The workshop with Michael RUCKMAN on The Relationship-Centric Bank.
    • The conference with Peter A. BLACKWELL, on Unlocking The Full Power Of Your Brand.

Mohamad MOURAD, Google Gulf Regional Manager – Youtube R(e)volution!

One of Google’s favorite circuit speakers specializes in the Future of Internet. Mohamad will share how Social Media (SM) can become a powerful tool for marketers, going beyond destination with SM and how YouTube has created opportunities.

Peter A. BLACKWELL, Managing Director, 4 Thought – Unlocking The Full Power Of Your Brand

Canadian Tire is to Canada, what Sarmale is to Romania – an icon! Peter, with a $400m Marketing budget, 20 agencies and 500 stores across Canada generated positive revenue growth during tough times. Find out how Peter kept Canada’s most beloved brand in the hearts and minds of all Canadians!

  • A brand is the combination of every experience a customer has with a business – good/bad, large/small, positive/negative, direct/indirect, intended/unintended. It’s what customers say to others about you.
  • Marketing is about every interaction of the customer with your company. Every single one.

Daniel QUEVA, Director of Marketing, Microsoft Office Division, CEE – Key drivers, challenges and case studies associated with moving to the Cloud.

Microsoft’s well sought and dynamic international speaker presents the transformation to address cloud opportunity and case studies on leveraging LinkedIn and optimizing your web site to drive trials.

Michael RUCKMAN, Founder, President and CEO, Senteo – Experiential Innovation

Michael is a Master at showing banks how to treat customers. In some of the toughest environments, Michael has transformed these banks into true ‘consumer partners’.

Kate HAMILTON, Marketing Director, Myriad Group AG – Digital Marketing: What Does It Mean For Your Company?

You can’t possibly pack more Marketing experience in one person: Brand, product and channel management, pricing and digital. Kate is dynamic, she teaches at Oxford College and she tackles Digital Marketing to help you win!

  • Do not use „Stop” in SMS campaigns („SMS ‘Stop’ to 3749 in order to stop violence against …”). Stop words (technical issue) actually stops everything from the campaign.
  • Suggested:
  • Suggested:
  • SoMoLo – Social / mobile / local.
  • Don’t strive for perfection (wait until everything is perfect), strive for excellency (perform faster, and do your web better).

Panel: Branding ROI: Can Brand Initiatives Really Generate Revenues?

  • Peter A. BLACKWELL, Managing Director, 4 Thought
  • Colin SHEA, Vice President for Strategy, Planning and Regulation, Vodafone, CZ
  • Kate HAMILTON, Marketing Director, Myriad Group AG
  • 9 out 10 (approximate number) of the names which emerge from digital business do not relate with their business well (Apple is about IT? Dell is about IT? and so on).
  • The name doesn’t matter all that much.
  • On a number of times, changing the name doesn’t solve the problem.

Michael RUCKMAN, Founder, President and CEO, Senteo – The Relationship-Centric Bank

How bankers can build long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with customers. Do customers really want more than good service at a low price?

  • Marketing emotions is better than marketing rational thoughts.
  • People will not pay 3 times for better service, but a 20% increase in price for a better quality is fine.
  • A lot of times, banks don’t understand their clients’ needs.
  • First thing you do when you walk into a bank:
    • You fill-in a form – This thing pushes clients away.
  • Sample questions which help reduce sensitivity about price:
    • What do you need to do?
    • What car do you need?
    • What will you do with the car?
    • (now you can ask financial questions more easily)
  • Instead of aggressively asking for sale on phone, it’s better to:
    • Organize events which help your clients. Invite them to your bank, after work hours!
    • Ask questions about the clients, when you meet them.
  • Instead of yelling louder (more calls), yell differently:
    • „Hey, we’ve got an event for people just like you – investors in real-estate in this area”.
  • When you do a survey, you ask for general things („What would you want from your bank?”), the answers are general and impossible to meet:
    • Close to work/home.
    • Basically free.
    • Top services.
  • What do clients really need?
    • Help improve day-to-day life.
    • A better financial life.
    • Help realizing my goals/dreams.
    • Help when I have a problem.
  • When asking something, focus on the long-term:
    • „What do you want from your bank for the next 5-10 years?”
  • Ask yourself:
    • „How to use services to provide an experience with banking?”.
  • If you give clients a loan:
    • They need to renew their insurance each year.
    • It’s annoying to call your clients each year to ask them about the renewed insurance policy.
    • A wiser option would be to contact the insurance companies, get a policy for five (or whatever number) years, paid each year, put the payment in the loan, get a discount from the insurance company (you buy a lot of policies, and you buy for 5 years), don’t bug the client to pay the policy. Everybody’s happy:
      • You get money from the client (loan) and insurance provider (discount from the price). You know the client pays his policy.
      • The client has no trouble remembering each year to pay the policy, and gets less calls from you.
      • The policy provider gets to sell more, and has more trust that the payments will be made on time each year.
  • You should have a proper reply to this:
    • „I want to buy a car not now, but in 8 months”.
  • Typical reply:
    • „Create a saving account for 8 months”, and, thus, you will have a credit history with us, less payments to make each month, and probably a bigger initial deposit.
    • You will be the only provider of this service, if no other bank has a good reply on this.
  • Banks are nowadays more focused on what will the client need for his retirement, than for the next 12 months.
  • Why couldn’t a bank offer these?
  • People seek transformation – add more design & sophistication, and get where there is no competition (also).

Peter A. BLACKWELL, Managing Director, 4 Thought – eCommerce 2.0

The leap from Online selling to fully integrated, total customer experiences. Case study.

  • Walmart doesn’t sell coffins in its stores (for logistical reasons – big space -, but also for marketing reasons – you don’t want to see a coffin every day, it gives you a bad mood). They do sell coffins online, though.
  • At, you have more options to buy online than in the physical store.
  • Since most of the population of Canada (~90%) is very close to the border with the USA, a store in the US can ship easily to Canada, without having a warehouse there. Thus, if competitor A from the US decides that Canada would be a good market, they can ship things easily, and you have a new competitor overnight.
  • The above affirmation is also valid in Europe (hint: you can buy in Romania from
  • How can you help your customers?
    • If I client prefers to drive to the store, they can order the product online, one employee of yours finds the product, puts it in a designated are, writes the name of the client on the product, the client picks up the product.
    • If I client buys 5 items from your store, make him a map of the store, with steps to take (A-B-C-D-E) within the store.
    • If product B is on sale, and is not on its regular position, clearly state this („Product B is on the On Sale row, not on its regular row – Q”).
  • At some point, it may actually be more relevant to downgrade from selling online (online store) to just informing. My note – in Romania, most supermarkets do it like this – you see the products online, you buy them in the store.
  • Tip: provide extra services online. Don’t just be like – we want to sell online products about X. Be more like – we will help you to use products about X, we will help you in your environment, and it’s more likely you’ll buy those products from us.
  • Amazon sells products from other web sites.
  • Difference between – selling things on the web vs. selling things because of the web.
  • When you sell through a web site like Amazon, you also receive some customer data.
  • If you get in a business with:
    • Amazon – both participants in the deal (you, the provider, and Amazon, the seller) get into trouble if something goes wrong.
    • A regular web site – mostly you get into trouble if something goes wrong. The web site doesn’t get into all that much of a trouble.

Colin SHEA, Vice President for Strategy, Planning and Regulation, Vodafone, CZ – Solo Network

Colin is a Marketing Wizard! He mixes bold pricing with innovative leading edge services and… Presto! Cool services that customers can’t get enough of. Find out how this strategist goes against the wave, use the ‘basic’ and transforms it into the ‘compelling’ and …generates revenues in the process.

  • „Never bring a knife to a gunfight.”

Ana MATOS, Senior Partner, The Garrison Group – Are You Customer Centric?

Ana is a Pro at Segmentation. With over 10 years specializing in the Segmentation she is a dynamic speaker and inspires her audience by asking simple yet effective questions about targeting and positioning. Learn from the regional case study of this rising star at Garrison Group.

  • It’s important to know what a client doesn’t buy. It tells you something about that client.
  • Some videos.
  • Find the tension point & use it. Find out what your customers are most sensible of.

Dragoș ROUĂ, Online Entrepreneur, Blogger, Writer – Personal Branding in The Age of Social Media

Self-confessed ‘Digital Nomad”, Networker ‘Extraordinaire’, Entrepreneur and self-publisher of several books, our last speaker ‘ walks the talk’ when it comes to Online self-promotion.

  • You can make yourself visible by being interesting.
  • Personal branding:
    • What you do.
    • How is what you do perceived by others?
  • Don’t forget the opportunity cost.

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