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Game Changers: Day 1 of PMA's Annual Marketing Conference. Do you have a Zmont Strategy?

By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk

I'm here back in Chicago for PMA's Annual Marketing Conference which kicked off yesterday at the Fairmont Hotel. The theme of this two-day event this year is Game Changer, the marketing PMAgamechanger_logoconference of Big Wins and Bold Thinkers. It's also PMA's 100 anniversary. Bonnie Carlson, PMA's President, welcomed some 200 attendees in the morning with a historical trip down marketing's memory lane, from the first coupon for a new fountain drink called Coca-Cola, to today's viral video sensation, Old Spice Man.

PMA Image The rest of the morning consisted of some interesting presentations from big brands. Lisa Klauser from Unilever recapped one of my favorite campaigns, Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty, along with the product launch of PF Chang's restaurant quality food at home and the a peak at Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan. Dean Barrett from McDonald's took us around the world with some of their heart-warming ads and shared info on some of their newer, better quality food products.

After a quick coffee break, Elizabeth Charles from PetCo got my attention with a photo of her and her dog, a golden retriever. I immediately started missing my golden, Shadow, along with Izzy, my little King Charles spaniel. I learned a new demographic acronym from Elizabeth that I hadn't heard before....LOHAS, Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. These are consumers who follow a lifestyle of wellness. They have strong values and community involvement. They have high brand loyalty, but are pragmatic and proactive shoppers. They also skew higher in eduction and are influencers and early adopters. These are exactly the group of shoppers PetCo targeted to promote the fact that they have the largest selection of natural pet products and increased this part of their business by 20%.

For our luncheon keynote we were treated to a very insightful talk from Jim Lecinski, Managing Director of U.S. Sales for Google. He spoke to us about the concept of mental models and how they define our world. It's not just a marketing term, but something that relates to everyday life, such as our standard three meals a day eating habit.

In the traditional brand mental model it starts with some sort of stimuli (an ad, review, recommendation) to the "1st Moment" (shelf/purchase), to finally the "2nd Moment (usage/experience). The 2nd moment is the most important because it's the moment of truth...does the product/service live up to the brand's promise?

However, over the past several years there has been a big shift in this traditional marketing model. In between the stimuli and the purchase, consumers now go online and do a search. 83% of moms search online for a product after seeing a TV ad. This past Black Friday, 29% of the searches came from mobile.

Therefore, we now have "4 Moments". The Zmont, "Zero Moment of Truth", is when those search queries are done. It's not just for consumer products either, but also relates back to your personal brand. If your an employer looking to hire, you will type that person's name in the "Google Machine", as Jim calls it, and see what comes up. If your making a sales call for a B2B company, you search for that company and/or the person you're meeting with.

Jim closed with saying that most of us marketers have a full "Stimuli" strategy as well as one for the first and 2nd moments. But, do we have a ZMont strategy? Something to reflect upon. Google will be launching an ebook on the subject in a couple weeks. Look for it at www.WinningTheZeroMomentofTruth.com.

The rest of the afternoon we had a choice of break-out sessions. I attended the SouthWest Airlines session by Dana Williams. Who yes, was at the conference and wasn't one of the speakers that left as soon as she was done. In fact Dana stayed throughout the day's end to the cocktail hour. Besides the issue last year when one of SouthWest's employees went mad and stormed off the plane and quit, SouthWest has been the model for how to engage customers and employees through social media. I'll be flying home later today on one of their flights, which Dana assured me they are done with cancellations for the week.

The last session of the day that I attended was with Linda Goldstein, legal counsel with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, or better known as the Sweepstakes and Contest Diva. She quickly went through the basic legal requirements of a sweeps vs. a contest and then dove into the legalities of the newer media platforms, including mobile, Facebook and Twitter. Linda also reviewed the best practices for executing a user-generated contest and reminded us of the new FCC regulations regarding bloggers. It was a great overview for all of us and a perfect transition to the cocktail hour.

Thanks again PMA for inviting me to attend the conference. I'm heading down to breakfast now for Day 2 which will end with tonight's Reggie Gala Awards Dinner. We'll soon know who takes home the golden cash register for this year.


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