October 07, 2018

Timmy Attends A Marketing Conference

Yes, this is business fiction. If this isn't your kind of thing, then read this article (click here) about the importance of 2nd purchases.

Timmy, an 10th grader, attended a marketing conference and was asked to write a report about his experience.

Dear Ms. Poplinski:

Last week, I attended a marketing conference. It was an engaging experience.

The first talk was from a person called a "keynote" speaker. He must have been important, because the audience gave him a standing ovation. The title of his session was "Relevancy In An Omnichannel Environment". I'm not sure Relevancy is a real word. I'm not sure Omnichannel is a real word either. But the audience sure seemed to appreciate his message. At one point, he paused his speech for dramatic effect. He told the audience that if they didn't embrace an omnichannel approach to selling, then their businesses would be dead. An attendee asked the speaker a question. She wanted a specific example of a brand that embraced Relevancy and experienced success? The speaker told her that he wouldn't focus on specific details, because that was what Google was for. The audience applauded. The attendee who asked the question left the session.

Between sessions there was an ample supply of food. One man grabbed four chocolate chip cookies with his bare hands while speaking into his bluetooth headset. He said that he was ready to "close the deal before the idiot client figured out what was going on". A woman ate fruit and told another attendee that she was concerned that her email campaigns were not engaging enough. The other attendee told her to offer 40% off instead of 30% off, saying her metrics would improve. Both attendees nodded their heads with approval. I learned that discounts are very important if you want to improve your metrics.

In one session, the speaker used a series of Powerpoint slides to tell the audience that they should not use Powerpoint to communicate messages.

One of the Kardashians hosted a session titled "How To Make A Hundred Million Dollars In A Month By Creating Your Own App". More than a thousand people attended the session. A lot of people said they were going to build an app when they got back to the office. I asked an enthusiastic attendee if he knew how to build an app? He said "no". Another attendee said that the morons in the information technology department were on "lockdown" until Christmas was over, so she didn't think they'd ever build an app.

Three people asked me if I was an "Instagram Influencer".

One person offered me ten thousand dollars to promote her brand (porcelain gifts). I asked her how she would measure success if my teacher let me promote her brand? She said that "this would only be a branding play designed to foster engagement". I asked her how she got to keep her job if she didn't have to measure success? She told me that I didn't know anything about marketing. Of course I don't know anything about marketing. That's why I am attending this conference.

A lot of people complained at lunch that the chicken was too dry. They should try eating anything my Dad makes.

After lunch attendees were forced to walk through the vendor hall. Seriously. The hallways were roped off so that attendees had no choice but to walk through the vendor hall. An attendee jumped the rope and tried to go outside to get some sun. The attendee was tackled by security and dragged into the vendor hall, where he was forced to listen to a round-table discussion about capitalizing on retargeting by using advanced machine learning. I heard a security guard say that the session was "punishment enough".

When you walk through the vendor hall, you have to stop at each booth and get the QR code on your badge scanned. If you don't get your badge scanned the people in the vendor booth will yell things at you like "Don't you want to learn how to provide a relevant, engaging, personalized experience for your customer base?" Folks appeared dumbfounded when I said I didn't have a customer base. One vendor said to another vendor "He's right, he doesn't have customers, he probably has brand advocates".

If your QR code was scanned, you earned a free pen. Pens must be valuable commodities in modern marketing. Some vendors enter you into a raffle for valuable gifts like an RCA Android tablet, as long as you provide the vendor with a valid email address. I didn't hear a single attendee say that they won anything. Since attending the conference, however, I receive a dozen emails a day from vendors asking me if I want help building a 360-degree view of the consumer, whatever that means.

In the afternoon the audience was enthralled by a person who called himself a "thought leader". The thought leader talked about strategy, and constantly referenced his book titled "Eternal Engagement". As best I can tell, a thought leader is a marketing version of the people who yell at you on Fox News or MSNBC, except that the thought leader paces back and forth on the stage and asks a lot of questions beginning with the words "What if"?

I'd like to be a thought leader when I grow up. My Dad says I am lazy and I don't want to work hard. I'm very willing to pace on a stage and ask "What if"?

The late afternoon speaker spoke glowingly about something called a "Net Promoter Score". He said marketers are successful when the number of people who like your compay outnumber the people who dislike your company. In marketing, they call this "science".

After the afternoon sessions ended attendees were again forced to visit the Vendor Hall, where they were given coupons for three free glasses of wine. One attendee got coupons from two different co-workers and drank nine free glasses of wine. He seemed really happy.

The conference ended with a performance by a band called the Gin Blossoms. I checked on Spotify, the Gin Blossoms were a popular band twenty-five years ago. The dude who drank nine glasses of wine jumped up on the stage and helped the band sing "Til I Hear It From You".  He seemed really happy. One of the attendees told me that "this isn't a good look for Simon".

Ms. Poplinski, thank you giving me the opportunity to attend a marketing conference. I decided I'd like to earn a Marketing Degree with a Minor in Thought Leadership when I go to college. The conference proved to me that there are lot of people who like to have fun. I think work should be fun.

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