Brand Innovators Marketing Innovation

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Brand Innovators Marketing Innovation





Hosted by

To register for the all events associated with this multi-day event, click the register button above or scroll down to the registration form below. You can register for individual events on their respective pages.

In Chicago during Brandfest Chicago June 4-6

Day 1

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Day 2

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Day 3

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Breakfast & Registration hosted by Tyson Foods


Welcome & Opening Remarks

Brandon Gutman, Co-Founder, Brand Innovators
Marc Sternberg, Co-Founder, Brand Innovators
Melissa McKinley, Vice President Community Operations, Brand Innovators

Host: Ted Rubin, Social Media Strategist, Acting CMO, Brand Innovators, author of Return on Relationship

Event Chair: Courtney Ballantini, Senior Director, Media and Consumer Engagement, Tyson Foods


Driving Growth with Digital Transformation

Technology is a game-changer, reinventing how Fortune 500 brands engage with their consumers, and stay out in front of their competitors. Learn first-hand how leading brands are using social media, content marketing, digital video advertising, marketing automation, and personalization, to build loyalty and long-term relationships with their consumers.

Moderated by: Jonathan Sorkenn, Senior Vice President, Evergreen Trading

Courtney Ballantini, Senior Director, Media and Consumer Engagement, Tyson Foods
David Galinsky, Director, Customer Data Science, McDonald’s Corporation



Zach Alter, VP, Strategic Accounts, Jukin Media


Success Story

Robert Chin, Fractional CMO/Executive Advisor & former VP Marketing Services, E. &. J. Gallo Winery

Moderated by: Jonathan Sorkenn, Senior Vice President, Evergreen Trading


Forging Consumer Connections with Emerging Media

Today more than ever we’re seeing innovation and fast paced developments in emerging media and technologies. Each of these new media offer novel ways for brands to connect with and interact with audiences. These emerging technologies also make a habit of drastically altering the ways in which people shop, consumer media, and interact with each other and the world. Keeping up can be exhausting, even for the most savvy of digital marketers. From mobile games to virtual reality to messaging apps to ephemeral media, which trends are real and which are fads? Which provide opportunities for marketers to innovate and get closer to consumers? How can brands tap into these developments to gain a deeper understanding of who their customers are and what they want?

Moderated by: Jim D’Antoni, Director of National Media Sales, DISH

Ashley Dudzik, Senior Brand Manager, Morningstar
Clare Liston, Senior Manager, Paid Media, Tyson Foods
Jessi Odenbach, Global Social Media & Digital Excellence, McDonald’s Corporation
Stephen Strong, Director of Digital Marketing, Northwestern Medicine


Networking Break


Know Your Audience: Using Location Data to Drive Brand Marketing

Join Blis as we dispel common misconceptions about location data and brand marketing. We’ll share how location data goes far beyond just activation, and discuss how we’re bringing the similarity algorithm into the real world to help brands identify the right audience and stand out where it counts.

Christina Rasmussen Stella, RVP, Central, Blis


Fireside Chat

David Galinsky, Director, Customer Data Science, McDonald’s Corporation

Moderated by: Maria McCarthy, Industry Director, CPG, Teads


How can you make the most of your proprietary data?

This practical and tactical talk will illuminate the steps you should be taking—now—with the tools you already have in order to differentiate your brand. All brand stewards should be leveraging these easy tips and tricks with the ad servers, DCO solutions, DSP’s and DMP’s currently at your disposal. We will offer critical thoughts and suggestions for making the most of what you already have – to power your marketing ROI.

Julian Baring, GM US, Adform


Lunch hosted by Tyson Foods


Driving Social Impact Through Storytelling

This year has been a year of celebration and elevation for critical and diverse voices. Social platforms have served as a microphone to turn the conversation up and help everyone be heard. As technology has evolved, people have found new ways to share their perspectives and connect over their personal stories–and lived experience–of challenge and triumph. Chris Stefanyk will discuss self-expression through storytelling, how creative content can drive social impact, and how brands can leverage new platforms and technology to be part of this positive transformation. Gen Z is shaping the conversation around the issues and causes that matter to them, including diverse representation, as seen with the increase in stories on Wattpad tagged #DiverseLit, #FreeMentalIllness, and #genderfluid. We’ve also seen Gen Z drive social impact through storytelling on Wattpad through brand activations including Ben & Jerry’s (Pen Your Pride write-a-thon) and National Geographic (Planet or Plastic? writing contest). The presentation will focus on how Gen Z is using storytelling to drive social impact.

Chris Stefanyk, Head of Brand Partnerships, Wattpad


Content & Community…and Algorithms?

No form of content can directly drive product sales as powerfully as reviews, and no one is better at writing those reviews than industry experts, the brand’s own super-fans, and employees who work with the product day in, and day out.

In this discussion, we’ll look at how brands can take the traditionally high level and top of funnel of impact influencer marketing and employee advocacy programs down to the product level, leveraging the content created by experts internal and external to build communities, the challenges and opportunities therein, and how marketers can leverage intent data and algorithms to better understand the interests of their prospective customers, and which content to surface at any given time, to best address those needs.

Moderated by: Meredith Rodriguez, Head of Sales Strategy, Ranker

Dalia Adler, Associate Director of Marketing – Heinz, The Kraft Heinz Company
Jasmine Davis, Marketing, Oncology Specialty Pharmacy, Walgreens
Josh Kaiser, Vice President, Marketing, Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology
Cameron Koslow, Senior Marketing Manager, Empire Today


Fireside Chat – Using Influencers to Amplify Local Activations

Leslie Danford, Senior Brand Manager, Hornitos, Sauza & Tres Generaciones, Beam Suntory

Moderated by: Adam Rivetz, Co-Founder & CSO, #paid


Keynote – Incidence-Driven Marketing

Adam Lisook, Director of Marketing – Health & Wellness, Walgreens


Fireside Chat

Adam Lisook, Director of Marketing – Health & Wellness, Walgreens
Lauren Mahomes, Media Supervisor, Mediacom

Moderated by: Jonathan Lustig, Senior Vice President of Sales, North America, TripleLift


Product Innovation Best Practices

30,000 new CPG products are launched every year and 95% of them fail. 94% of executives are not satisfied with their company’s product innovation performance. Ibotta has developed a proven go-to-market playbook that will revolutionize the way campaigns are planned, executed, and optimized.

Phil Monfils, Account Executive, Client Partnerships, Ibotta


Networking Break


The New Norm: Innovation In eCommerce, Mobile Shopping, & Direct-to-Consumer

The role of the physical store in the future of retail has drastically changed over the past few years, as new technologies and consumer preferences have paved the way to a new purchase funnel, first through traditional eCommerce, then Mobile Commerce, and now, an increase in direct-to-consumer commercial relationships.

As retail undergoes it’s biggest paradigm shift, the brick and mortar store is being reinvented and brands are looking to new technologies, strategies, and dynamics to engage with their customers in digital channels, to acquire customers and drive them both in-store and through the online purchase funnel.

Moderated by: Bill Hildebolt, CEO, gen.video

Abby Abbott, Director of eCommerce, Merisant
Cindy Blum, Vice President Marketing, Axcentria Pharmaceuticals – Elevate CBD
Genevieve Mazzeo, Manager, Digital Commerce, Tyson Foods
Karen Wehner, Senior Marketing Manager, eCommerce, Reynolds Consumer Products


Fireside Chat – Disruption and Transformation in a Regulated Industry: How to Manage Your Story and Brand

Jessica Balfour, Director of Marketing, Digital and Social Content, Exelon

Moderated by: Tonya Bakritzes, CMO, Isobar US


Fireside Chat

E.G. Fishburne, Director of Marketing, North America, Merisant

Moderated by: Dan Wallace, Senior Director of Client Partnerships, Midwest, Ibotta


It’s a wrap!






Condé Nast 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza 21st Floor Chicago, IL 60654





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