We're getting down to the wire for the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, taking place in Orlando, Florida in the second half of next week.
Scott Laningham and I have been working hard preparing for all the interviews we'll be conducting (and trying to find a hotel room!).
Seats are going fast. That's not Turbo marketing speak. They're literally going fast. But, I'm sure we'll be able to make room for you if you still wish to register!
In terms of the speakers and attendees, I'll just say this: It's an esteemed and distinguished group of folks.
I've been doing research on all my interviewees, and I've been very impressed with the caliber of their backgrounds, experiences, and accomplishments.
Not that I'm surprised, mind you... it is an IBM-sponsored event.
Now, what do I think you're going to hear about if you do attend (or, via the social stream, in case you don't).
Simply put, I think there are a few overarching themes I've been surmising from my research.
First, marketing is changing dramatically. Lower entry costs through the cloud and pervasive broadband and wireless, combined with social media and the emerging mobile extensions via tablets and smartphones, means you can (and should?) reach out and touch and communicate with your customers early and often.
But if you do so with a fragmented and uncoordinated approach, don't be surprised when you read the hate tweets two minutes after the hour.
Second, brand still matters... maybe more than ever. Think about the notable brands of the world. Some of my faves: BMW, Titleist, Coca-Cola...
The quality of the product or service still matters, sure. But the brand isn't just about what you say... it's about what you do, and how your brand responds to all those new stimuli.
Third, if you really want to know what's going on with your customers and the marketplace -- and, to distinguish yourself from your competition -- you have to know what's going on out there, again, early and often.
You have to know what's going on from the broadest market level, to the category level, to the product level, to the influencers who shape the market conversation around your products and services.
That means having the means, methodologies, and talent in place to take advantage of increasingly real-time analytics.
So, a quick recap: Synchronicity, Constant Awareness and Communication With Your Constituents, and Market Understanding.
If you're joining us down in Orlando next week, you'll hear from world-class experts on these topics and many more.
If you can't make it, be sure to follow the conference hashtag (#ibmscgs), along with #smarter commerce, to hear about all the new technology, best-practices, industry perspectives, and visionary thinking that can help you optimize your business.
I look forward to seeing you there!