--Randall Stephenson's Keynote was really good and on point for a marketing conference. He talked a little bit about AT&T's marketing strategy and some of their guerilla marketing tactics (including some low rez photos that added marketing "street cred") but focused mainly on the "three screens" strategy. The big hit--for me anyway--was the news that AT&T is actually succeeding in deploying IP-TV in test markets and that they're achieving 30%+ initial adoption rates. For marketers, IP-TV could revolutionize media buying--a point Stephenson made several times.
--Tom French's address on Profiting from Proliferation was also very good. It was a high-level survey of how marketing is changing from old mass media techniques to microsegmentation and micro media buying, but done in a clear way that really illuminated the problem. A couple of points stuck with me. First, while everyone thinks "Digital Media" is growing by leaps and bounds, as a share of total marketing spend, it only went from 5% to 6% between 2001 and 2005. The reason? Lack of good content / placement options. One other point that McKinsey makes all the time but which is a good "burning platform"--interacting with customers through multiple channels decreases, not increases customer satisfaction.
--My favorite session was on Friday. "Connecting Marketing Metrics to B2B Consequences" was simply a great session. David Reibstein (Wharton) facilitated the session with a very nice intro into marketing ROI / causality / measurement. The real stars, however, were Cammie Dunnaway (Yahoo!) and Paula Sneed (Kraft Foods). They were absolutely topical and detailed and you really got to see inside their marketing organizations for 90 minutes. I was particularly impressed with Sneed's marketing decision making framework--showing how ROI measurement comes to life in the annual planning process--and with Cammie Dunaway's marketing and campaign dashboards. The other highlight was Sneed's story of how Kraft started their "CRM" opt-in program. Basically, Kraft figured out how to market one-to-one to high potential customers through value added media. Really neat stuff, I'll go into it in detail in another post.
One final note--I was really into Palmisano's keynote Thursday when he started, but it just turned into "The World is Flat Redux" by the end. Very little, if any marketing specifics, and it ended with Sam telling everyone they needed to "reinvent themselves in the global economy."