The Super-Secret Society & The Power of an NDA

attendee Jan 09, 2018

DISCLAIMER: Many of the names in this article have been redacted to protect the confidential nature of a society of agency executives sworn to confidentiality.

A Secret Society of International Agency Executives

There’s a secret global society of agency executives. It’s an organization that flies under the radar of Ad Clubs, Marketing Associations and Agency Roundtables. Having run an agency for eleven years, I was never invited to join this secret society. But, after writing a book read by XXXXXXX XXXXXX, one of the executive organizers, I was asked to attend and even present to this lustrous group.

This secret association has been around since 1936. It’s the Skull & Bones or The Knights of Templar of the advertising world. It’s called TAAN Worldwide. Today, the organization is run by Peter Gerritsen (yes, THAT Gerritsen from Allen & Gerritsen,) and I was about to spend three days at one of their global events.

Into the Mountains

I checked in to...

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The Loyalty Loop | The Journey Begins

loyalty loop Jan 08, 2018

This letter, the letter that I'm holding in my hand right now (see video below) is a glowing example of one of the most ubiquitous problems in modern marketing today.

What problem is that? The problem is the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing.

Now internally it's almost impossible to spot examples of this in your own company. It's really hard to see the siloed departments or the shape of the org chart and the effect it has on your customer or client.

So what we have to do is get outside of our own universe and look at it from the customer's perspective.

This problem is costing you customers. It's costing you clients. It's costing you prospects, and it's costing you money, and we're gonna take a look at it today with this letter, yes, a real physical letter that arrived yesterday, and this letter is going to help me help you understand why everyone in your organization needs to think like a marketer.

Now let's dive into this letter that I received. The letter is from...

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Event Openings: Shock & Awe

event opens Jan 02, 2018

I don't speak Dutch, but as Annemarie Steen opened Content Marketing Fast Forward in Amsterdam, I didn't need to speak her language to know one thing: I was shocked.

As the event's emcee, it's Annemarie's job to get the whole room fired-up. It's her job to get everyone talking. She's supposed to get them excited about the speakers about to take the stage. I've even seen Annemarie emcee before, but I had no idea she was going to do this.

Annemarie Steen started ripping up my book.

That's right, after, what I imagine where a few introductory words, Annemarie grabbed a copy of my book and started ripping out every single page. Two minutes later, I'd realized what she'd done to the audience was shear genius.

Before I tell you what she did with this desecrated copy of Brandscaping, let's talk about event openings.

The Problem With Event Openings

The typical event kicks-off in one of three ways:

  1. An over-produced video montage (usually something that sets up the theme for the conference)...
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Ballrooms Are Boring: An Event That Looks Different IS Different

venue Dec 19, 2017

By Andrew Davis

As the particularly unhelpful taxi driver pulled away, I was screwed.

"There's no way this is where I'm speaking," I said out loud.
I was two hours early for the Branded Content Event, and the parking lot was empty.

I've spoken in the Netherlands before. I've even addressed audiences in the college-town of Utrecht before, but I'd never spoken here.

Most of the events I attend are held in hotel ballrooms.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with hosting a conference or convention in a hotel. I get it. It makes sense. Everything is right there. Hoteliers, after all, are in the hospitality business. Booking a ballroom is easy. They've got everything you need to make your conference planning easy, but easy isn't always better.

We claim our events are different. However, the vast majority of events I attend look and feel the same. If you want to differentiate your event. It has got to look different. One of the easiest ways to look unique is to choose an unusual venue.


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