5 reasons to be excited about Pivot conference

When I heard that Chris Shipley was producing a new conference focused on the modern dynamics of brand marketing, I was instantly intrigued. First of all, it’s a terrific topic. While other events have tackled aspects of this — such as a plethora of social media events or shows on state-of-the-art advertising — I believe there has been an unfulfilled need for a more holistic, strategic and integrative view.

Pivot Conference

This is the promise of Pivot, which will be held October 17-19 at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan Hotel in New York.

Second, since brand marketing is a big space, rather than narrow by tactic like other shows, Pivot is narrowing its mission by defining the target audience: 18-34 year old consumers sought by brand marketers. I think this is brilliant, because that audience shows us the future of marketing. There’s a lot of money in marketing to Boomers, but that’s not the demographic where the discipline of marketing itself is rapidly evolving. If you want to understand the future, look to the people who are the future — and Pivot is following their own advice with a set of young consumer advisors as well as a gaggle of seasoned marketing professionals. Smart.

Third, as a long time tech entrepreneur, I’ve been very familiar with one of Chris Shipley’s other events: the DEMO conference, which she ran from 1996 to 2009. (Starting this year, it is now run by VentureBeat.) For essentially the entire lifetime of Internet entrepreneurship, DEMO has been the place to launch innovative products. Every company was hand-selected after great scrutiny, and it was a real badge of honor to be picked. The entire production was always world-class — kind of a TED for the start-up world. Having Chris bring such values and vision to a marketing conference promises to be an inspiring intersection of marketing and technology.

Fourth — much to my surprise and delight — Chris invited me to present The Case for a Chief Marketing Technologist as part of Tuesday morning’s session and roundtable on “The New Marketing Organization.” Whereas Monday’s session will “explore the attitudes, culture, and preferences of the emerging consumer,” Tuesday “takes a deep dive into strategies, language and tools to engage effectively.” Or, more simply, the first part of the conference is on the what and why of modern brand marketing, the second part is on the how. I’m looking forward to this discussion with much enthusiasm!

The foundation for my talk will be the ideas I presented in Rise of the Marketing Technologist at Search Insider Summit earlier this year. But a lot has happened in six months, which I’ll be synthesizing along with points I’ve discussed more recently here, such as Marketers: you are the software you use.

Fifth, the other speakers that Chris has assembled are just amazing (I’m way out of my league):

  • Arianna Huffington, founder of Huffington Post
  • Brian Solis, author of Engage and true social media guru
  • Esther Dyson, legendary advisor and investor in Web 3.0 innovations
  • Douglas Rushkoff, prolific new media author, latest Program or Be Programmed
  • David Kirkpatrick, journalist and author of The Facebook Effect
  • Stefan Weitz, search guru at Microsoft — was terrific at Search Insider Summit

…and many more. Intrigued as well? It’s not an inexpensive conference, but if you’re excited about it (and you have an expense account somewhere), I’m sure it will be well worth it. If it helps, you can save 20% by using the code SPEAKFNF. If you decide to attend, let me know — would be great to meet up.

P.S. A bonus reason to be excited about Pivot? A special performance by Asian pop-sensation supergroup The Wonder Girls:

The Wonder Girls


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