Our Week at Marketing United 2017 in Nashville, Through the Eyes of Troy Klongerbo

Earlier this week, my wife and I caught a connecting flight from Dallas to our home in Sioux Falls. After a long week of travel, it felt good to be back. It’s since been a few days and I’ve had the chance to go through my notes from our marketing conference.

It’s been fun to reflect. Marketing United 2017, hosted by Emma, was a blast.

My wife and I with our badges...

My wife and I with our badges...

The conference was in its third year of existence, hosted in Nashville, TN. But despite being a young event, it went off incredibly smooth. The energy was strong. There was a desire for learning that was almost palpable. If you were a marketer, you’d be happy to attend.

At a very high-level, here were a few of my favorite parts of the conference:

  1. Nashville is a gorgeous and vibrant setting.

  2. The event was branded so well. Emma staff, grade-A execution.

  3. The environment challenged marketers at all levels to think deeply about the message they are trying to communicate.

Before I go much further, I want to share my biggest takeaway from the event. It was a takeaway learned from Jay Baer, CEO of Convince & Convert and emcee for the event.

At the beginning of the conference, Jay shared that as marketers, we all have the obligation to do (& be) three things— creative, humble, and authentic.

Creativity is a mainstay, and as I’ve said elsewhere, sometimes highly-underrated. Engaging creative is imperative to what we do as marketers. It’s a requirement (creative being what we write, the pictures we share, and the videos we make).

Being humble is critical to not only success, but also in building a meaningful life and career.

But as a marketer—seeing ALL that the world is “marketing”— the word authentic stuck with me.

As marketers, we owe it to our clients, our customers, our client’s customers, and to ourselves, to be authentic. To be truthful. To be honest. To be wholly, authentic.  I believe this at my core. It’s a strong conviction. More times than not, I am authentic to a fault.

But as marketers, our responsibility here is paramount.

Deliver honest messages. Represent your product truthfully. Don’t be something that you aren’t. Fill your weaknesses by either working on your craft (a thing called practice), or by putting people around you that have those strengths. Be authentic.

Okay, I’m off my soapbox.  

If you’d like, take a few minutes to watch our video for the event here.

Other takeaways:

Scott Stratten, Unmarketing

Main Stage: Thursday, April 20

  • Ethics matter (see Bell)
  • As brands, our job is to listen. Don’t yell.
  • Good (truly good) video is INCREDIBLY hard to achieve. Know this.
  • Dig deep to find the metrics that matter .

Matthew Luhn, Pixar, Matthew Luhn Story

Main Stage: Thursday, April 20

  • Tell a story that makes people feel something. (see Up)
  • You may not be pixar, but every video you create, it must be:
    • Memorable
    • Impactful
    • Personal
  • We all make decisions with the “feel good” part of our brains...think about that.


Justine Jordan, Litmus, Fears, Myths, and Fallacies of Email Marketing

Main Stage: Thursday, April 20

  • Emails DO NOT need to look the same everywhere. But they all need to look good.

  • Don't send anything if it's going to break customer trust.

  • 54% of people feel tricked by a subject lines. Build trust!

Tom Webster, Edison Research, The Forgotten Discipline of Marketing

Main Stage: Thursday, April 20

  • “I do not believe in luck. I believe in probability.”

  • The demand portfolio:

    • Observed: People already want it (Coke).

    • Discovered: Learning about a demand that you didn’t know existed (Special K cereal as a weight-loss aid)

    • Predicted: Where you take A & B, then predicting that people will purchase a specific product (Air BnB)

    • Created: Creating a market out of thin air (Grey Goose creating high-end vodka)

There was so much more than even this…

Like us” on Facebook and we’ll keep on sharing what we learned!