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PMA's Annual Marketing Conference kicks off today in Chicago

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

PmabaalogoNormally I would be in Chicago today attending the PMA/BAA Annual Marketing Conference that got underway yesterday afternoon. I've attended this conference almost every year since I started blogging back in 2007 and sorry to be missing it this year. My schedule just doesn't allow me to be out of the office this week. So I guess I'll just have to follow along with the tweets (#annualMTG13)and updates on the PMA Facebook page instead.

This year the conference theme is titled "The Art and Science of Brand Activation". The association announced last year at it's Annual Marketing Law Conference that after over 100 years in existence, it was changing its name from PMA, Promotional Marketing Association, to BAA, Brand Activation Association. Bonnie Carlson, the association's president, made the announcement at that event and said the name change would become official at this conference taking place now. Bonnie stated that the new BAA will have a broader focus on translating marketing strategy into best brand activation strategies. They will strive to help members solve problems, rather than just dwell on specific tactics. I'm curious to hear want new developments and resources they have put in place to achieve this.

Walmart-ClintWalmart kicked off the conference yesterday afternoon with a special session for brand marketers only from Clint McClain, Senior Director, Marketing. Clint was to speak about Brand Activation strategies that utilize Walmart’s proprietary "Brand Growth Platform” and demonstrate how Walmart provides the tools marketers need for success. In a session today Clint will share some interesting insights from a case study on Walmart's local marketing efforts.

Reggie-Awards-IconToday the morning is getting off to an opening keynote speech titled a "View of the Retail Landscape" by author, and marketing consultant, Paco Underhill. Paco will share his insights about what motivates shopper behavior today and what changes to expect over the next five years. There will be sessions from brands such as Godiva Chocolatier (@godivachoc), Kimberly Clark(@KCCorp), Hasbro (@vlee) and more @thePMA . Plus they will end the conference tomorrow night with a gala dinner to celebrate this year's Reggie Awards Finalists.

Promotional Marketing is a key ingredient in today's marketing mix. Check out this recent article from MediaPost that is great news for any of us in the business. According to Borrell Associates, spending on digital promotions will hit $36.1B this year. Online sweepstakes and contests, which is my area of expertise, is part of that and is headed in a totally mobile direction. So it's a good time to pitch for new business that involves social and mobile promotions.

I'll be missing the networking opportunities that are available when you attend these types of conferences. Still today there is nothing that can compare with a face-to-face meeting, especially over a cocktail! To all my friends at PMA (BAA), I wish you a great and successful conference ! I hope to see you at the Annual Marketing Law Conference in November!


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