The Art of Marketing Conference

It has been a while since my last post. For the last two weeks, I was busy learning a new craft – making stuffed animals, a rather challenging form of art if you want to be creative. I’ll post more details and pictures of my creation later.

I had the opportunity to attend the Art of Marketing Conference a couple of weeks ago. The event featured a variety of brand and marketing experts and a keynote from Malcolm Gladwell. While I hadn’t previously heard of most of the speakers in the room, there was no doubt plenty of insight, innovation, and humour shared throughout the day. Rather than providing a play-by-play of what was said and what I learned, I thought it would be better to list my top 5 key take-aways from the day.

1. QR codes are stupid. Scott Stratten, author of “QR Codes Kill Kittens”, blasted QR codes in a passionate plea filled with wit, humour and examples of some of the most outrageous uses of the technology. The once promising QR codes have become an unintuitive, nonsensical, logistical problem that requires additional and often unnecessary effort from consumers. There are plenty of websites depicting the “fails”  of QR codes:

2. Immediacy is imperative. Especially in the social and mobile space. When you have customers who can complain about your customer service in real-time, you better respond in real-time. The story of Joshie and the Ritz-Carlton ( was referenced several times throughout the day – the hotel’s quick response was key to maintaining its standard of service and brand image, which leads to the next point…

3. Your logo doesn’t matter. It’s the associations that consumers make with your logo that matter. While I don’t fully agree with this statement, it does highlight the importance of actions speaking louder than words (or pictures, symbols, etc), which is why…

4. Brand building starts on the inside. Having had this hammered into my head in most of my b-school courses, this is obviously nothing new. But many companies today could still benefit from this truth.

5. Education needs to be revisited. Not exactly marketing-related, but it came from Mark Ecko, who spoke at length about the type of learning that inspired his work in music and personal branding. I couldn’t agree more with his point that education shouldn’t just consist of a structured formula and a few textbooks churned out by a publishing company; people learn best by doing and our education system needs to follow that.

*Bonus take-away: Canadians are extra polite (apparently). Yes, not only are we known for this, but apparently we love to admit it too.


One thought on “The Art of Marketing Conference

  1. Pingback: MBA Reflections | Lifetime Promotions

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