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ManageCamp Inc. was started by a former Campbell Soup executive who set out to build the type of conferences he always wanted to attend: a showcase of what the best brands were doing to help inspire “fresh thinking.” They deliver world-class learning experiences through their top marketing conferences, with Brand ManageCamp being their largest. This year’s conference was held on October 1st through the 2nd at The Mirage in Las Vegas, NV.

Brand ManageCamp is a much more intimate conference than most, with just one track to attend and around 300 attendees in total. All the speakers were keynote level, aimed at marketers in agencies, as well as in-house; small companies and global brands. One benefit to attending a small conference was the fact that all speakers were available for questions at breaks, as well as to sign their books. The conference gave great insight into what major brands are currently doing differently, and successfully. Overall, Brand ManageCamp was a very educational conference with interesting speakers and constant opportunities to network with other marketers from across the country in various industries.

While much of the material was somewhat familiar to our team, for those of you that couldn’t attend, here would be your top takeaways from Brand ManageCamp:

1. The old marketing model is shifting with brands taking a new role in story-telling versus campaigning. Brands are no longer the heroes but the mentors, allowing customers to play the hero.

2. Content is king. The role of content marketing is only going to get bigger over the next few years. Find your content sweet spot and what differentiates you from the market to stand out. Then, once you have an audience, you can look to monetize it.

3. “Brands are from Mars, Consumers are from Venus.” Don’t talk at your customers but listen and make sure your efforts are focused on them. Creating a real interaction trumps being perfect as real creates trust.

4. Moving your story offline and creating experiences for your customers generates brand loyalty and creates brand ambassadors more than anything else.

5. One of the biggest mistakes brands make with social media is not being social. Talk to your fans and followers, don’t just broadcast. Get to know them.

Fun Facts from Brand ManageCamp:

• Some Silicon Valley pre-schools teach Mandarin
• Myspace still has 59 million users a month
• Conference speakers fly Southwest too