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KCDMA 2018 Symposium Logo: Now & Later

Lessons for Now & Later

Speaker lineup at the 2018 KCDMA SymposiumEarlier this year, I attended the KCDMA 2018 Direct Marketing Symposium. This full-day conference was an interactive event stacked with presentations from some of marketing’s best.

The theme was Now & Later – Planning for the Future. Throughout the symposium, presenters shared current case studies (the now) and how to use these lessons for future campaigns (the later).

After reflecting on the event and trying to gather all of the lessons I learned into one blog post, here are the top nuggets that I wanted to share with you.

Ian Baer’s “Focusing on the One” presentation:

  • Data unlocks everything – use data to find and address your customers’ pain points.
  • Speed and ease or not enough anymore in the wake of Amazon. Discover what quality makes your store unique because Amazon has already perfected speed and easy.
  • Vocab word: Webroom – researching prices online, then purchasing them in store (opposite of showrooming). This new trend is causing online brands like Amazon to fight back with brick & mortar stores.


Quinn Tempest’s “Content Marketing: To the Future and Beyond!” presentation:

  • People buy from businesses they like.
  • People like business they feel the can trust.
  • Content build relationships.
  • Relationships build trust.
  • What is content marketing?
  1.     The art of providing relevant, useful content to your prospects without selling or interrupting them.
  2.     Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes them more informed before they buy.
  3.     If you deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information to your prospects, they ultimately reward you with their business and loyalty.
  • Content marketing is not a strategy, tactic or campaign. It’s bigger. It’s a PHIILOSOPHY. Live and breathe every single day in business.
  • Content marketing is not about you, the business (that’s advertising). It’s about the audience.
  • Content marketing is a team sport; it can’t be siloed in the marketing department. Find people in the business who know it best; they should be creating the content (afterall, you’re the expert on you!)
  • Devote time and effort to paid promotion – you have to!


KCP&L and Hallmark Business Solutions’ “Creating Moments That Matter: Using the Power of Emotion in Customer Experience” presentation:

  • Customer service should be human and business centered.
  • Rethink how you can collaborate – you don’t need to reinvent the wheel; just put old things together to create something new. In this KCP&L case study, the customer service center sent Hallmark cards with a personal touch to customers. “This isn’t the type of thing you’d expect from a utility company” – a customer who received a card.


Angie Read’s “Understanding Gen Z Consumers and What They Expect from Brands and Businesses” presentation:

  • Gen Z is the largest and most diverse generation today.
  • Millennials have a 12-second attention span. Gen Z has 8 seconds.  A BIG picture and 5 words is all they can absorb before moving on.
  • When marketing to Gen Z, play by their social rules.
    • Facebook is not dead; its’ more of an information hub. They are not posting there, but they are lurking. Check out this article about younger audiences using Facebook as their prime video source.
    • Snapchat is their go-to app because of privacy. It’s raw and fun, because it involves their friends and disappears (less baggage)
    • Instagram is aspirational and inspirational for them. They post less here, but the quality of the content is higher and more thought out.
    • Twitter is for real time news and information.

Why do I work at AWG? “I work with an amazing team that values creativity and innovation. I enjoy tackling new opportunities and challenges each day that, of course, always involve food!” -Cara