DMAD AIMS 2015 recap

Last Thursday, I went to the Direct Marketing Association (Detroit) Advanced Integrated Marketing Symposium. Taking place at The Athenium (fancy) it was first one I attended, it was pretty good stuff that I think all folks in account management (especially working in branding) can benefit from.

Let’s do a recap:

1) Jenny Holaday – SVP Operations, MotorCity Casino (@Tall_Jenny)
Topic “Work Hacks for Marketers”: Jenny took us through around 25 things that she had learned in her career that has helped her with marketing programs, and also a better employer.

Best takeaways
•“Five is forever”. You cannot overcome someone’s childhood. In interactions with colleagues, peers, staff, it’s best to keep this in mind. This I mostly interpret as having genuine empathy (not sympathy or apathy) in all interactions.
•“Be the boss you want to have” – Self explanatory.
•“Marketing is best defined as profitably influencing behavior” – I’m sure we all encounter family, friends, others who try to tell us that marketing/advertising is easy, that they don’t respond to marketing/advertising, that marketing/advertising is just jingles and Apple and other poppycock we know to be false. One good statement to combat all that nonsense is to understand that marketing in it’s purest form is “profitably influencing behavior”.

Don't allow anyone to delegate up to you.

Don’t allow anyone to delegate up to you.

•“Completed staff work” – As we all move up, it’s best to inact the notion of “completed staff work”. Meaning, anyone you delegate projects/problems to, should be able to figure it out and hand it to you, needing nothing more than a signature. As we move up, we shouldn’t be in the weeds, but train effectively any staff we do acquire.
2) Dennis Maloney – VP Multimedia Marketing, Domino’s (@damaloney)
Topic “Tech to Table: How Domino’s is becoming an e-commerce company which sells Pizza”: Dennis went into detail about how the company launched their customer based marketing. One campaign included customers sending photos/tweets in Timesquare, leading franchisees to step up and ensure that nothing bad was said about their stores.

Best takeaways
•“Google, Amazon, and Ebay may be our biggest competitors ” – Instead of worrying about Papa Johns and Papa Romanos, Domino’s is already concerned about how Google, Amazon, and Ebay may encroach on pizza in the next few years. Tech companies that are engrained in all of our lives could very well try to figure out how to incorporate QSR into their extensive trusted worldwide reach.
3) Jason Morga – VP Americas Marketing, Kelly Services Inc. (@JasonSMorga)
Topic “Elevating a Legacy Brand” – Jason has been trying to help change the “Kelly Girl” image that the staffing company has.

Before my time, but I have never heard the term Kelly Girl.

Before my time, but I have never heard the term Kelly Girl.

Best takeaways
• Kelly may be known for temp staffing, but that’s not their bread/butter – They are one of the top sources of securing employment for highly skilled professionals in IT, engineering, and science. They’re trying to get away from the temp/admin staffing image.
•“Most jobs aren’t posted on job boards” – We know that already. However, Kelly has exclusive deals with some companies to get dibs on those unposted jobs. Something to keep in mind…
4) Tricia Hecker – Global Head of Marketing, Mopar and After Sales Care at Fiat Chrysler Group
(Topic: ”Using Purpose to Drive Marketing Strategy”) – Tricia explained how MOPAR changed it’s image after the FIAT merger/takeover.

Best takeaways
•”The marketing funnel we all know, doesn’t apply to millenials” – Young people nowadays are all over the place in the brand experience.
•”You can’t get loyalty without emotion” – Pure product sells may work for some industries, but if you want someone to stay loyal to you, you need to appeal to emotions.
AIMS 2015 had some pretty great stuff as far as development in career, and some good insights about the very near future threats that exist for brands today.

Looking forward to next year.


Happy April, Detroit.

Colleague sent this to me on the drive down Jefferson into Detroit today. It’s four days before Tiger’s Opening Day, and I’m not so sure the weather is going to be agreeable.

Crummy weather photographs well.

Crummy weather photographs well.

Proof HQ, where have you been all my life?

Oh, how I feel for those who worked at ad agencies in the 00’s, 90’s, 80’s, etc. I’m not even entirely sure how I would get work done at my agency without constant access to email. Or the internet.

That being said, I do have experience with some of the relic project tools used by those who have been in the industry a lot longer than I have. I’m talking about job bags.

Job bags, if you’re unfamiliar (and I’m not sure why you would be), are large clear document holders that the creative is routed in.

They looked like this. Only they were as tall as a toddler.

They looked like this. Only they were as tall as a toddler.


Account coordinators go from department to department to get sign-offs on creative held in job bags. It’s a great way to keep everything in one place, but there are a couple of downsides:

1) Cumbersome: Those bags were big, and took up a lot of desk space (or floor space).

2) Accountability/legibility: There wasn’t much accountability unless a coordinator stood over someone to ensure they reviewed and signed off. And if everyone wrote feedback on the piece, sometimes it was hard to see what it said, much less know who it was from.

3) Local: If the team was separated geographically (in different states or countries even), it could be a bit difficult to ensure that everyone reviewed the creative before it went to client. Coordinators would need to scan creative, and email to all team members.

And then Proof HQ was introduced to my agency,  and daily life was forever changed.

Proof HQ is an online tool that stores creative projects electronically. Changes can be noted inside of PHQ (much better than writing on a hard copy in a job bag, and similar to making comments on a PDF). If someone does note changes in PHQ, you’re able to see who made the notation, when, and won’t get a headache reading chicken scratch.  The new revised piece can be loaded to PHQ, and a side by side comparison of the revisions can be viewed on screen.

No flipping back and forth between revised and original creative? Yes please!

No flipping back and forth between revised and original creative? Yes, please!

Best of all, the creative is sent via a link to internal agency parties, and the clean version can go straight to clients for their review. Then, the client can mark up their feedback in PHQ. They can even download the straight from the link.

Though it’s not perfect (people can still let a PHQ link sit for a while in their inbox, leading to a bottleneck effect), and the coordinators still have to follow up with all teams about signoffs, there’s accountability, reliability, and convenience with this system. It’s probably one of the better process tools I’ve experienced in my ad life.

In short, I love Proof HQ.

Note: I don’t work for PHQ, sell their products, nor have I received payment for this post. I’m just a bit of a process nerd, and holy moly, this system has helped streamlined my projects immensely.