Over breakfast sponsored by the United States Postal Service, we learned that direct mail still works. 65 percent direct mail recipients made a purchase or responded. The value is multiplied when you use a mix of mail and digital. There was a 45 percent increase in response rates when print was combined with web, email, and mobile.

How KFC Reinvigorated an Iconic American Brand with Its Greatest Asset: Salesman Colonel Sanders

KFC was in a bad spot and lost nearly 40 percent of their business domestically. The reinvigoration of the brand started with an introspective review of what they were as a company and a brand. Kevin Hochman, President and Chief Concept Officer at KFC U.S., and Eric Baldwin, Executive Creative Director at Wieden+Kennedy, set out to create a clear value system. The team dug into the archives in search of the brand’s true north. What they found was the authenticity the brand was missing and the relevancy the company craved.

Channeling Colonel Sanders’ early advertisements and legendary salesmanship, KFC reclaimed their identity by running back to their strengths. They focused on sales overnights and brand over time. Sales gave them the runway to continue rebuilding the brand and rebuilding the brand begun to boost sales. They also got playful with their ideas on branded everything from a merchandise store, crispy chicken sunscreen and even gamifying the experience of making Kentucky Fried Chicken.

From the Inside Out: How MGM Resorts Transformed Itself

The build it and they will come model of casinos and hotels no longer worked. In 2009, MGM realized they needed to look at their business differently. Lili Tomovich, Chief Experience and Marketing Officer at MGM Resorts International, started with the question of ‘what business are we really in?’ Like KFC, MGM needed some introspective on what the company really was – more than just a hotel and casino, an entertainment company.

MGM believes that entertainment is a fundamental human need. To fulfil their role in entertaining the entire human race they undertook a year and a half of internal brand building to create a strong foundation. MGM included training on brand purpose for every employee so they would better understand the role they played in delivering the brand promises and to better align the culture with the brand. MGM also empowered employees with more freedom to cater to guests. Leadership treated employees the way they expected the employees to treat guests setting the example and building morale and respect at all levels.

Re-Framing an Icon to Deliver Sustained Leadership

Who said loyalty is dead in advertising? State Farm and DDB Chicago have shared a 78-year client-agency relationship.

Here are 4 principles that guided them to success:

  1. Get past your past – The neighborhood changes, your brand must notice. Retain core values while gaining everyday relevance.
  2. Put solving ahead of serving – Help your customers solve their problems.
  3. Feed the need – Look at the changes that are really in your wheelhouse and figure out how you can win there. For State Farm this is the current landscape of car share and driverless cars.
  4. Leveraging your strength – Build and deepen brand relationships. State Farm built Neighborhood of Good, a valuable resource to empower community members to give back to their community, to turn caring into doing.

The Power of Storytelling in a Changing World

Danny Thomas had one of the most disruptive ideas in healthcare when he founded St. Jude. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all they should worry about is helping their child live.

However, a disruptive idea is not enough. You need to tell a story that will engage millions. Emily Callahan, CMO at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital ALSAC, was tasked with making St. Jude’s story, everyone’s story.

Lesson 1: Start with research – Figure out how to ask the right questions and listen. Don’t just validate what you’re doing. Be sure you have built a framework to understand and interpret the data.

Lesson 2: Take the time to get your story right – St. Jude expanded their messages to hit rational and emotional minds.

Lesson 3: Inspire, enable and empower everyone to be accountable to your brand – Be a voice for the voiceless. Make every employee accountable for the brand. Let authentic moments speak.

Lesson 4: Know your audience. Reach them in every way you can – Use every tool in the marketing tool kit. Stop looking at it as a digital strategy. Instead think of it as strategy in a digital world.

Moving to Human-Centric Marketing

Eric Reynolds, Chief Marketing Officer of The Clorox Company, reminisced on a time when you could spend your way into wins. He quickly proclaimed that those days are over.

Despite good profits and growth, the Clorox brand was deteriorating. Instead of building brands with meaning and purpose they caught, what Reynolds called, ‘short termitis.’ Put simply, the data caused them to focus on the short term. They became fixated on data and technology and the bigger picture was lost. Clorox targeted only people who already loved them and were likely to buy stuff. This rush to increase sales were filling moments with cheaply produced, emotionless ads.

In response, Reynolds set three pillars to regain control of the quality and humanness of the brand:

  1. Human centered
  2. Purpose driven
  3. Technology enabled – Data and technology should serve the first two pillars.

The Road to 2020: How the Shift to Mobile will Pave the Way

Sarah Personette Vice President, Global Business Marketing at Facebook, shared some interesting insights on the evolving world and what that means for marketers.

  • Blurring boundaries – Omnicultural identities are on the rise
  • Concept of ageing is fading
  • Products are finding people and as a result the path to purchase is much shorter
  • Price is losing its power – consumers are now willing to sacrifice on price for convenience.
  • The world is going mobile and mobile is becoming video
  • Start thinking about different ways to browse while mobile
    • Short and sweet – when consumers are quickly checking their phone
    • Lean back – when consumers are in a leisure state and paying more attention to their devices
  • 1 in 4 users are already mobile only

How Weight Watchers Rallied Amid Disruptive Technologies

Let’s be honest, failure is how you improve. Maurice Herrera, SVP, Head of Marketing of Weight Watchers International, Inc. failed, but he knows it’s not if you’re going to fail, but how you react when you do.

After a campaign fell flat, new subscriptions went down and it was time for him to be agile. Herrera knew that what got Weight Watchers to that point may not be the right approach to get it to the next level. He took the following steps:

  1. Establish collaborative partnerships
  2. Interrogated what worked in the past
  3. Conducted extensive research to identify consumers truths
  4. Launched consumer-centric innovation
  5. Enrolled our members to help inspire action

Key insights

  1. Inspire hope and belief
  2. Strike the right balance between aspiration and relatability
  3. Holistic approach to health and wellness

Reinventing the Role of the Modern CMO

Antonio Lucio, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at HP, declared that today’s marketers spend too much time discussing and not enough time showcasing. As a result, the marketing function has become too internally focused.

To bring marketing back to the revenue driving function, Lucio believes marketers need to be business people first and marketers second. Successful marketers need to know the business goals and have seamless integration between product and brand. The more relegated you become from the business the more of an island you become and you’ll never get a seat at the table that way.

We must own corporate issues that make an impact in the industry and communities and hold integrated points of view. We need public score cards to track our progress on diversity and social issues. This is the only way the industry will make sustainable progress once and for all.

See what happened on day 2