Say you were there. We’d just hate to hear you missed it.

Memories from the CMA National Convention + Tradeshow in partnership with The Art of Marketing

Last week, two full days of programming from the CMA and The Art of Marketing brought some of North America’s greatest creative marketing minds together in one room. If you couldn’t join us, we hope you were with us on Twitter where we blasted out minute-to-minute updates from the figurative backstage (search #CMANC). Let’s just say, we were inspired. And the buzz in the Twitter-sphere suggests we weren’t the only ones!

Day One kicked off with Mitch Joel, President at Twist Image––who we interviewed leading up to the event ––on his new book, the marketing landscape today and what’s coming down the pipes. He gave the 500 plus attendees a great little peek, even signed a few copies, of his new book Ctrl Alt Delete: The 5 Movements That Have Changed Brands Forever That Brands Are Doing Nothing About. We won’t paraphrase his whole talk, but these are the top three movements we walked away thinking about…

  • DIRECT RELATIONSHIPS –– Owning the direct relationship with your customer is key. In fact, he went as far as to say that any brand failing to do that can look forward to some tough times in the next five years.
  • DATA –– The smartest brands are ‘having sex with data’. The trick is harnessing the circular data being created by your consumers and crossing it with your brand’s data. 
  • UTILITY –– Deliver an experience for your consumers. He cited Charmin’s Sit or Squat App, which doesn’t overtly advertise their product to users of said App. But rather, offers them a tool to find the best bathrooms nearby––a great example of leveraging utility as a profound marketing tool.

Mitch promised we’d have our socks knocked off by Austin Kleon (from Austin, Texas no less!). And sure enough, the author of Steal Like an Artist - 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative did just that. He gave us a whole notebook full of tips. Among them…

  • LEAVE HOME –– Travel makes the world look strange and so, our brains think differently.
  • SAVE YOUR THEFTS FOR LATER –– Have a system to keep record of your ideas when you’re on the go. He recommends customizing your clothing to have more pockets (that’s all!).

On the second day, The Art of Marketing delivered a rock star line-up headlined by Juno Award-winning musician and creativity expert David Usher. He sang, he waxed poetic, he even played recordings of his son chit-chatting in the background while he composed music. And what we took away? 

  • IT’S NOW OR NEVER –– There’s never a perfect time to be creative. The circumstances will never be ideal. So hop to it.

Then Seth Godin took the stage. He’s famous for writing the New York Times Bestseller Purple Cow. His talk was jam-packed with inspiring takeaways. Our favourite?

  • WITHOUT GENEROSITY, THERE IS NO ART –– Build a system that works better when more people use it. Twitter, anybody?

And finally closing it all out was Biz Stone, the dude behind the little blue bird at Twitter. His mellow disposition, modest and clever responses to some tough audience questions was the icing on the cake. His best nuggets…

  • SUCCESS HAS THREE INGREDIENTS: (1) make a lot of money; (2) change the world; and (3) love your work.
  • THE FUTURE OF MARKETING IS ALTRUISM –– Young people are attracted to meaning.

There’s no way to capture all the magic of this two-day affair. But if you couldn’t be with us, here’s hoping this little post convinces you to be there next year.

Bye for now!

Anna Duckworth

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