By Carol Garza
This year, the IEGWorld 2019 in Chicago expanded the sponsorship conversation. It included more marketing and storytelling, theories and strategies. Technology platforms were a larger focus and included test cases of brands working with e-sports and Twitch. There was significant emphasis on social accountability and the importance of companies not simply putting their name on something. Companies must show how they are actively supporting their mission—for diversity, for inclusion, for the environment, and for other social causes.
Here are highlights from five of this year’s IEG presenters that I found most compelling:
Fernando Machado, Global CMO, Burger King
Machado focused on nostalgia. He shared what he remembered about the brand that made him passionate about Burger King and his initiatives to get the brand back to what consumers care about. He highlighted five brand challenges that companies need to key in on to be successful: Understand your brand; create a great brief; let ideas grow; don’t take the biggest risk of not taking any risks; and build one team.
Key takeaway: Don’t kill an idea because you don’t know how to do it. That makes it a potentially great idea and if you can solve it, you’ll be a trailblazer.
Vince Kadlubeck, Co-Founder and CEO, Meow Wolf
Kadlubeck fell into what is now Meow Wolf. He was part of a group of young starving artists, working as a waiter by day and an artist at night. He and the group hosted an open house where they showcased low-budget art and were filled with passion. The community wanted more, so Kadlubeck put a business plan together to create a space where more creativity could happen. He says Meow Wolf’s success is due to the authentic nature of how the company came to be.
Key takeaway: It’s not about eyeballs anymore—authenticity is a must.
Shaina Zafar, Chief Product Officer, JUV Consulting
Zafar may have been one of the youngest presenters, but her passion and delivery resembled a seasoned professional. She reminded us all to include women, people of color and Generation Z in our conversations. We all bring something relevant and important to the table and representation is key to diversity of perspective.
Key takeaway: When you are having a discussion about a group, they must be represented.
Mary Noel, Director of Business Development, DoSomething Strategic
Nearly 80 percent of consumers ages 13 to 25 are more likely to buy a product or service from a company that gives back to society. Noel reminded everyone that younger generations have huge buying power and they’re really paying attention to the brands they support. If a company wants to stay relevant, they need to care about what those generations care about.
Key takeaway: Brands need to care to survive.
Gail Lowney Alofsin, Director of Corporate Partnerships and Community Relations, Newport Harbor Corporation
Lowney Alofsin provided tactical skills to be successful in marketing. One valuable tip she provided that anyone can apply: Each day connect with 10 people on your prospect list. It doesn’t have to be a sales call, it could be something as simple as, “I saw this article and thought of you.” It’s a great way to keep someone engaged in a more authentic way.
Key takeaway: Invest time and effort into building meaningful connections.
About the author: Carol Garza is the partnership manager for Caravel Marketing. She brings a wealth of partnership and event marketing experience and expertise to the table, most recently in consumer engagement for a national advertising agency. She previously worked as an events and promotions manager for the Downtown Seattle Association and received two regional Emmy Awards for her creative contributions at KOMO 4 TV in Seattle.