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KelloggMarketingConferenceIn today’s digital and connected world, consumer experience has become far more layered and transparent than in the past. Price and quality comparisons are easier than ever, the sales funnel is no longer linear, and change happens fast.

The modern-day marketing needs to combine the creative side of the discipline – using powerful narratives to tap into people’s wishes and aspirations – with the technical side of data, digital engineering and analytics.

That is why the 2015 Kellogg Marketing Conference will examine “Marketing Outliers: Growing Outside the Comfort Zone.” The conference will explore the recent history of strategic decisions, campaigns, and tactics that went beyond the marketing playbook and how we can learn from the outliers who have taken big risks.

I’m looking forward to a number of exciting discussions at the conference. For the first time in the history of the conference, we’re hosting a Creative Lab session led by representatives from the recently founded Google Brand Studio. The Creative Lab is a unique opportunity for Kellogg students to work directly with marketing professionals to solve a high-level marketing challenge and present their solution to the Google Brand Studio and the broader conference audience. The team that develops and communicates the most successful solution will win a trip to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and an opportunity to present to Google’s marketing executives.

I’m excited to hear from this year’s keynote speakers: Gerry Graf, founder and Chief Creative Officer, Barton F. Graf 9000 as well as Jorn F. Socquet, Vice-President, Marketing, Anheuser Busch.

We also have six panel discussions with amazing panelists from a variety of corporate firms, including:

  • Google
  • SC Johnson
  • Kraft
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Sephora
  • Pepsico
  • Uber
  • Bucketfeet
  • And many more

Specifically, I’m really looking forward to two panels. “Blue Ocean Strategies” will explore the successful creation of uncontested market space to make the competition irrelevant. The other one is “How Crowdsourcing is Enabling Growth,” which will showcase lessons learned from successful and challenging executions by a variety of businesses.

The conference will bring together students, alumni, faculty and representatives from many of the country’s leading marketing companies to discuss how marketers of the future must be more creative and open to taking risks to differentiate their brands in an omni-channel environment and an increasingly complex world.

Visha Chadha is a second-year MMM student at Kellogg. Prior to school, she worked in high tech, specifically in the semiconductor industry, as a design engineer and worked on designing state of the art computer processors and smartphones. She spent her summer at Microsoft doing product marketing in the Cloud Computing group in Seattle.