Marketing Conference Agenda

(This was 2018 Agenda for reference only - currently putting 2019 agenda together) Two Days. One Track. Countless Actionable Insights. Get the full Schedule here.

Tuesday, September 25th

7:00am - 8:15am


8:15am - 8:30am

Introduction and Opening Remarks

8:30am - 9:20am

Raise the Stakes: The Simple Secret Brilliant Brands Use to Create Video That Drives Results

Andrew Davis
Best-selling Author of “Brandscaping” and “Town Inc."

Video is all the rage, and we’ve all dived right in. We want to create engaging videos, viral videos, videos that capture our audience’s attention. Success, alas, often seems just out of our grasp. So, how do successful brands earn and maintain the attention of their video viewers? How do they create video after video that delivers real revenue results?

Maybe, just maybe, in our quest to make our videos more consumable (i.e., shorter and shorter to adapt to the population’s dwindling attention span) we have made our videos unwatchable. It turns out, the most successful video producers in the world don’t worry about how long their video is. Instead, they force the audience to chase answers.

In this exciting opening to Brand ManageCamp 2018, former television producer and best-selling author Andrew Davis will show you how to turn video duds into dynamite.

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During this energy-filled session, you will:

  • Be challenged to think like a reality tv editor.
  • Learn the five things that successful businesses do to transform their videos from boring to brilliant.
  • Discover the simple secret to creating videos that drive real revenue.

Are you ready to SHOW not TELL?

9:20am - 10:10am

Non-Obvious 2019: How to Think Different, Better Innovate, & Predict the Future

Rohit Bhargava
Best-selling Author of the “Non-Obvious” Series of Business Trends Books and “Likeonomics”; Founder of the Non-Obvious Company, The Influential Marketing Group, and Ideapress Publishing

How do Michelin-ranked food stalls in Singapore and the decline of Swiss watches force all luxury brands to rethink their business models? What insights can the world’s quietest place and a clothing dye produced by former tobacco farmers reveal about serving enlightened consumers?

The answers to these questions may not be all that obvious. And that’s exactly the point. The power of non-obvious thinking can help you see what others miss, grow your business and make a bigger impact in the world.

For the past eight years, innovation expert Rohit Bhargava and his team have predicted 15 “Non-Obvious” trends each year. This year, at Brand ManageCamp, Rohit will share the latest trends that matter for brand marketers…along with highly actionable ideas for how to use them.

Going beyond trends, he will also teach us 5 “non-obvious” habits we can use to better curate ideas, think more innovatively, see what others miss, and, perhaps, even predict the future!


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Takeaways will include:

  • How trends like Manipulated Outrage, Overtargeting, and Passive Loyalty will help inspire you to rethink your marketing efforts and give you a roadmap for how to win in the future and embrace disruption.
  • Actionable ideas for how to embrace and leverage these trends.
  • 5 “non-obvious” habits you and your team can use right away.

10:10am - 10:30am


10:30am - 11:20am

Creating Better Content in Less Time: 5 Real-World Writer Secrets

Ann Handley
Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs; Best-selling Author of “Content Rules” and “Everybody Writes"

Real-world writing advice for modern marketers.

Let’s get together at Brand ManageCamp to share some proven, real-world insights on how we can create better content in less time. And how we can leverage the enduring power of text in our Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook-live age.

Let’s talk about how we can create an authentic, engaging tone of voice.

Let’s lean into some great tools and best practices for creating copy with integrity. Let’s look at how we can inspire people to love you. And let’s also inspire your soul.

Join MarketingProf’s Chief Content Officer, Ann Handley, at Brand ManageCamp for a fun, engaging session to learn tips, tricks, an inspiration to level-up your writing game.

Ann wants you to create work of which you are proud. If you do, too (who doesn’t?), this session is for you.

Are you ready to be a better, more efficient marketing writer? HECK YES!

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Specifically, Ann will cover:

  • Why are some great writers prolific while others are seeming slackers who write only sporadically? Learn what the former group knows that you don’t.
  • Best practices from famous writers from history – and from prolific modern content creators, too.
  • Practical tools to help manage your writing, ideas, and workflow – even if you are allergic to words like “workflow.”

11:20am - 12:10pm

Reaching the Distracted Customer: How to Leverage the Distracted State to Communicate More Effectively

Curt Steinhorst
Best-selling Author of “Can I Have Your Attention?”; The Distraction Expert

Today’s customers are harder than ever to reach—and retain. Attention drives their decision-making, but their attention has never been more divided. 88% of people use a second screen while watching television. Adults spend 11 hours a day connected to digital media. 60% of people spend more time on a computer than with their significant others.

Make no mistake about it, there is a war going on for your customer’s attention. Simply put, the digital age has rewired your customers.  And the implications for brands, both externally and internally, are enormous.

Thankfully, Curt Steinhorst – The Distraction Expert – will be at Brand ManageCamp to help us tackle the key questions: What’s changed in customer expectations, and what hasn’t? How can you surprise and delight customers inundated by messaging? How can you leverage distraction to reach them more effectively?


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In this illuminating session, you will learn:

  • How to rethink every aspect of your brand messaging with an eye toward our most precious and dwindling resource: attention.
  • The nature of distraction, its hidden costs, and strategies and systems needed to address the problem head on.
  • How to reverse the distraction paradigm.

12:10pm - 1:30pm


1:30pm - 2:20pm

Your Advertising Worked...NOW WHAT?: How to Ensure You Convert Interest Into Action

Oli Gardner
Co-Founder of Unbounce; Expert on Optimization and Conversion

Here is the sad truth – even with the perfectly crafted marketing message that taps into an insight and tugs at the customer’s heartstrings… you are still not assured success. Because even when you generate interest you still have to CONVERT that interest to action. And, the reality is, most brands are not very good at conversion.

You see, even when you do everything else right, if you can’t CONVERT you are wasting media traffic, ad dollars, and, ultimately, your customer’s time.

Oli Gardner has seen this scenario play out more times than he cares to remember. In his research, he has seen that OVER 90% of marketing and advertising traffic is being sent to the wrong place. And the clarity of the value propositions presented upon arrival is usually so poor that the brands are forcing their visitors into the hands of their competitors.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that this is a problem that is not that hard to fix – when you use the principles of conversion-centered design.

The even better news is that Oli will be at Brand ManageCamp to teach us how to use conversion-centered design to ensure that when our advertising works…we actually sell something!


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Using his engaging, funny, and actionable presentation style, Oli will show us:

  • The 7 principles of conversion-centered design.
  • How to improve the clarity of the value proposition.
  • A simple, collaborative process to understand the nuances of customer interaction and how to create behavioral change through marketing experiences.

2:20pm - 3:10pm

More is More: How the Best Companies Go Farther and Work Harder to Create Knock-Your-Socks-Off Customer Experiences

Blake Morgan
Best-selling Author of “More is More: How the Best Companies Work Harder and Go Farther to Create Knock-Your-Socks-Off Customer Experiences"

We’ve all heard the phrase “less is more,” but it’s just not true when it comes to customer experience. When it comes to customer experience the exact opposite is true – “more is more.”

Companies that want to stay relevant must apply more energy, focus, and resources to creating knock-your-socks-off customer experiences than they ever did before. And, let’s get something out of the way up front – customer experience IS NOT customer service. Never has been.

In this session, customer experience expert Blake Morgan will cover the latest customer experience trends – sharing research, case studies and examples around what the world’s leading organizations are doing to create amazing customer experiences.

More importantly, Blake will provide practical advice for building or improving customer experience that you can apply immediately at your own organization.

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In this energetic and illuminating session, you will:

  • Understand what a modern customer experience looks like today.
  • Learn about the modern customer experience lifecycle.
  • Gain insights from the D.O.M.O.R.E. framework that will make your business more competitive, including how to:
    • Design something special.
    • Offer a strong employee experience.
    • Modernize with technology.
    • Obsess over the customer.
    • Reward responsibility and accountability.
    • Embrace disruption and innovation.
  • Learn the invisible toxins that are killing your customer experience and your market share and how you should address them.

3:10pm - 3:30pm


3:30pm - 4:20pm

Connecting the Customer With Your Brand: How to Build a Stronger Brand, Get More Customers, and Activate Your Employees

Michael Brenner
Best-selling Author of “The Content Formula” and CEO of Marketing Insider Group

If you are like most marketers, you are churning out more content than ever. The challenge with which you likely struggle, though, is how to connect that content (and your brand) with the customer.

The biggest obstacle you face? A systematic erosion of trust. Customers are looking less towards advertising, media, promotions, or other messaging for the information by which they will be influenced.

Instead, the only thing people really trust anymore are…people. The good news? You’ve got people. The trick is activating their collective power to deliver your brand messages.

In this engaging session, bestselling author and successful marketer Michael Brenner will show us how courageous leaders are transforming their entire culture and building powerful brands by activating their employees’ gift for storytelling.

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During this session, you will learn:

  • A revolutionary approach that sparks rapid culture change and focuses your whole organization on solving customers’ problems.
  • How to unlock the secret to tapping into the power of your employees to drive deeper engagement and a stronger brand.
  • Specific tips, techniques, and tools to leverage employees to connect with customers in ways that no advertisement can.

4:20pm - 5:10pm

Disrupt or Be Disrupted! How to Drive Disruptive Innovation for Business Growth

Soren Kaplan
Best-selling Author of “The Invisible Advantage: How to Create a Culture of Innovation” and “Leapfrogging: Harness the Power of Surprise for Business Breakthroughs”; Founder of InnovationPoint and upBoard

In this world of hyper-competitiveness, brands only have two choices – disrupt or be disrupted. The days of sitting back and milking cash cows are certainly gone, but so too are the days of getting by on incremental improvements or relatively safe changes to features and benefits.

Barriers to entry are eroding everywhere and the next disruption to your category or industry will likely come from where you expect it least – especially if it is not coming from you.

But while creating the next big thing may seem simple for established companies like Apple and Google or, even more so for smaller and nimbler start-ups, how can ANY company use disruptive innovation to differentiate their offerings and grow their business?

Periods of disruptive change caused by emerging technologies, shifting customer demands, and greater competition represent big opportunities for those who don’t become paralyzed by uncertainty. Innovation today – especially disruptive innovation – requires a creative understanding of emerging trends, uncovering unmet customer needs, and starting small to find big ideas.

Through a highly interactive presentation, Soren will deliver counterintuitive strategies and practical tools for challenging mindsets and innovating to make a disruptive difference for your customers and business.

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As we conclude Day 1 of the Brand ManageCamp, you will:

  • Learn strategies for avoiding disruption and driving disruptive innovation for business growth.
  • Gain insight from examples of real-world trailblazers from across industries like OpenTable, Kimberly-Clark, Intuit, Ascension Health, and many others.
  • Obtain best practices for innovating products, services, processes, and business models that can lead to disruptive innovation.

5:10pm - 7:00pm

Cocktail Reception

End Day One

Wednesday, September 26th

7:00am - 8:15am


8:15am - 8:30am

Welcome Back

8:30am - 9:20am

Think Small: Moments, Micro-Content, & The Everywhere Brand

Jeffrey Rohrs
Chief Marketing Officer at Yext

Marketers think big. We are constantly in search of breakthrough ideas that will propel our brands, our sales, and our careers to new heights. We seek out big audiences. We build big websites. We love big. So what if we were to tell you that the next big marketing idea is, well, small? As in the basic facts that consumers are seeking out about your brand, people, products, locations, and events every single day.

Here is the reality – our website and app are the center of OUR universe, but not the center of our CUSTOMER’S universe. They get their information from their own carefully curated web of apps, maps, search engines, social networks, and digital assistants that best serve their needs in the moments that matter…to them. All too often, we leave the accuracy, breadth, and quality of this content to chance. When we do, we risk seeing the customer journey thwarted by bad, missing, or misleading information.

The Everywhere Brand is one that understands how small content produces big results. It understands that its digital knowledge must exist beyond the corporate website and into the consumer’s digital universe.

Yext CMO and author Jeffrey K. Rohrs will kick off Day 2 of Brand ManageCamp 2018 by sharing how you can become The Everywhere Brand and turn your smallest content into your most powerful content.

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During this glimpse into the future of marketing, you will:

  • Learn the 7 traits embraced by The Everywhere Brand that maximize growth while also future-proofing it in the face of emerging technologies like voice search and AI.
  • Discover how to serve customers on the digital universe in which THEY live, translating into a better brand experience and more business opportunity.
  • Understand the organizational changes you might need to consider to ensure your brand’s digital knowledge across the customer’s digital universe is on-brand, accurate, and up-to-date.

9:20am - 10:10am

The FUSION Formula: Brand + Culture = Results

Denise Lee Yohn
Best-selling Author of “FUSION: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers the World’s Greatest Companies” and “What Great Brands Do"

Forget everything you think you know about workplace culture! You don’t need perks and parties. You need engaged employees who deliver exceptional experiences and help you build a great brand.

In researching the most successful companies, brand leadership expert Denise Lee Yohn found that fully integrating and aligning your brand with your culture can produce powerful results that affect your entire business, generating increased efficiency, higher quality outputs, more distinct and defendable competitive advantages, and enhanced authenticity.

With all the benefits of intertwining culture with brand, though, most companies intentionally treat them as completely separate. Even further, they go about building and cultivating each one the wrong way!

At Brand ManageCamp, Denise will show you how to infuse your culture with your unique identity and to design employee experiences that translate into customer experience excellence. She will share the secrets behind the world’s greatest organizations and lays out the complete game plan you need to win the hearts and minds of customers and employees.

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By the end of Denise’s dynamic session you’ll learn:

  • Why your brand and culture must be inextricably linked and tightly aligned.
  • A blueprint for brand-culture fusion.
  • How to lay the groundwork for brand-culture fusion, starting with identifying an overarching purpose and one set of core values to guide everything it does as a brand and as a business.
  • What employee brand engagement is and three ways to achieve it.
  • How to integrate customer experience and employee experience.
  • Clear strategies for aligning brand and culture.

10:10am - 11:00am

Brand Storytelling: A 10-Step System to Make Your Content Connect With Your Customers In a Primal Way

Park Howell
Brand Storytelling Expert; Founder of Business of Story

We all know that stories have a greater potential to connect with customers at an emotional level. We also know that connecting at a more emotional level is more likely to drive action and build loyalty. The question, though, is HOW do we actually craft and tell compelling stories that sell?

Park Howell, a 35-year veteran of the advertising and branding industries, has made it his business to study story and understand how brands can best leverage its strength. In doing so, he has created a proven 10-step Story Cycle system – and he will be teaching it to us at Brand ManageCamp!

This fool-proof brand story creation framework is distilled from the timeless narrative structure of the ancients. Inspired by the story artists of Hollywood. Influenced by masters of persuasion. Guided by trend spotters. And informed by how the human mind grapples for meaning.  The Story Cycle system will help you clarify your stories to amplify your impact and simplify your life.


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During this engaging session, Park will teach you how to apply the Story Cycle in your content marketing to connect with customers on a primal narrative level to move them to action faster, create greater loyalty, and generate generous amounts of word of mouth marketing by providing stories they can live into and share.

You will walk out inspired – and perhaps even a bit bewitched – with your new understanding of how to use the magic of story to nudge the world in any direction you choose.

Story on!

11:00am - 11:30am


11:30am - 12:20pm

The End of Advertising: Why It Had to Die, and the Creative Resurrection to Come

Andrew Essex
Former CEO of Droga5; Former CEO of Tribeca Enterprises; Best-selling Author of “The End of Advertising"

Andrew Essex is no outside pundit – he is a longtime advertising insider who sees that we are on the precipice of disaster. According to Andrew, the ad apocalypse is upon us. Millions are downloading ad-blocking software, and still more are paying to avoid ads. The $600 billion ad industry is careening towards extinction – having taken for granted a captive audience for far too long.

Make no mistake – traditional advertising, as we know it, is over. But this is not just about Andrew’s wake-up call for the industry – he also has a roadmap for a more viable future. A future where advertising actually adds VALUE instead of just adding annoyance. A future where marketing ads create so much utility, people would even pay – yes, pay – to see them.

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During this eye-opening and urgent session, Andrew will:

  • Provide a history of the rise and fall of Adland.
  • Challenge marketers to innovate their way to a better ad-free future.
  • Provide an essential new vision as to where smart marketing could be headed.

12:20pm - 1:10pm

Doing Good to Do Well: How to Succeed By Making Impact that Matters to Young Customers and Employees

Meredith Ferguson
Managing Director of DoSomething Strategic

It is probably not a stretch to say that nobody knows more about young people than the team at Since its founding in 1993 by Andrew Shue (yes, the guy from Melrose Place), the organization has been inspiring young people to make positive change – both online and off.

Through its in-depth relationship with nearly 6 million young people (age 13-25), knows what engages them, what drives them, and what gets them to rally around companies and causes about which they care.

Whether as a consumer or an employee, young people are an important cohort to understand for a successful long-term business strategy. Meredith Ferguson, Managing Director of DoSomething Strategic (the consulting arm of DoSomething) will close Brand ManageCamp 2018 by giving us an overview of young people, busting the myths about engaging them, and giving us definitive paths to connect with them in a meaningful way – whether as consumers or employees.

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In this inspiring close to Brand ManageCamp 2018, you will learn:

  • Data-driven insights on what makes young people truly unique.
  • What young people expect from brands and companies today.
  • Actionable tips for brands and companies that are hoping to use social impact to connect with this next generation of brand advocates and employees.

1:10pm - 1:20pm


End Day Two

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