Stay Classy, Atlanta: BI Basking in Southern Hospitality

If there’s a city with friendlier people than Atlanta, we have yet to discover it. No wonder the Brand Innovators fall tour is making not one but two stops in The ATL.

If there’s a city with friendlier people than Atlanta, we have yet to discover it. No wonder the Brand Innovators fall tour is making not one but two stops in The ATL.

Stop #1 happened last week at AT&T and Cricket Wireless’ beautiful headquarters in Buckhead. As always, the event attempted to channel the state of marketing in this moment; this time, it had a special focus on how brands can effectively market to future generations. Leaders from brands like Mizuno, Coca-Cola, IHG and Virgin Atlantic Airways covered timely topics like the intersection of content and commerce, the future of media and leveraging data for real brand impact.

We opened our event with remarks from Wealthy Desai (AT&T’s Associate VP-Digital Merchandising Studio) and Tiffany Baehman (VP & CMO for Cricket Wireless).

Our opening panel took a hard look at the future of media & consumer engagement. Kimberly Hogg-Massey from Kimberly-Clark Professional, Neda Ghanei from CNN’s Streaming Media and OTT Apps business; and Rachel Ooms from Hearts & Science (below) offered tips on how to make digital transformation and disruption work to a brand’s advantage.

AT&T VP Joey Schultz (below) offered a captivating keynote on how AT&T Business has embraced the rapid pace of change in the marketplace, taking the opportunity to rethink and reinvent the Business Digital Experience in a way that puts their business customers in control. “Once you understand customer priorities,” Schultz offered, “you need to set a clear vision: be bold, be different, be strategic, be disruptive.”

“Stop advertising and start inspiring.” That was the message in a keynote from Pinterest Marketing Director Ashish Arya (below). In today’s ecosystem, he argued, the best ads don’t interrupt—they uplift.

Anthony Martinez, Global Digital Marketing & Media Director for The Coca-Cola Company, talked about the importance of getting key data into the right hands at his brand. “Historically we’ve relied on our agencies to tell us how we’re performing. Now we’re trying to bring data closer to the folks that are actually responsible for marketing so that they have full access to fuel their initiatives.”

On our Future of Retail and eCommerce panel (below), marketers passionately discussed how brands can leverage each channel’s unique features to drive shoppers in-store and impact purchase behavior. They also shared their most memorable/iconic product placement in TV/Film history.

The day ended with marketers from Mizuno, NASCO and ADP revealing how they were able to unlock data from across their respective organizations. “Ultimately,” said Brett Newcome, Director-Marketing Services for ADP, “the future of data will change how we attribute metrics and success through media. New data will allow us to more accurately source which factors influence results.”

The obligatory post-event VIP Dinner–a Brand Innovators tradition–was held at the delicious St. Cecilia restaurant. Thanks as always, Atlanta. We’ll be back again before you have a chance to miss us.

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