The 4th Annual IMC Conference made a massive impact in Johannesburg last week in a phenomenal and successful execution of the country’s top marketing and communication event. Trending nation-wide on Twitter for two consecutive days could only mean one thing: the industry was tuned in and paying attention. Tweets about the #IMCConf reached close to 40 000 people over the duration of the conference in what was described by one of the delegates as “one of the most insightful and refreshing conferencing experiences”.
Having seen the gap in the industry, Managing Director Daniel Marcus and Communications Director Jaco Van Zyl of Living Your Brand, created the IMC Conference, providing an opportunity where one could customize their conference experience by choosing the content most relevant to their specific needs.
Kick-starting the conference with her keynote presentation was Melanie Minnaar who highlighted the relationship between the consumer, the brand and communication between the two: “The biggest barrier to implementation of IMC is the big idea – the reason it fails is due to a lack of true integration working fluidly across departments.”
A unique component of this year’s IMC conference was the composite presentations between agencies and their clients. The first of these was Stretch Experiential’s Mike Silver and Gum at Kraft’s Suhayl Limbada with their presentation on experiential marketing: “Even though experiential marketing is not necessarily measureable, the spend behind it is justifiable if you give your customers a reason to engage with your brand.” The second agency/client keynote saw Abey Mokgwatsane (Ogilvy SA) and Andrea Quaye (Carling Black Label) joining forces in presenting a case study of how an integrated marketing campaign re-positioned Carling Black Label as SA’s number 1 beer brand – A great example on the importance of investing in brand/agency relationships: “Be single-minded as a brand, not just as a campaign.”
The rest of day one was filled with a jam-packed programme of interactive workshops from the likes of Tribal Fusion, IBM, InMobi, Strike Media, SA Best, Millward Brown, Boomtown and Cerebra which kept delegates busy and engaged. Rounding off the day was an invigorating keynote presentation by international speaker Joshua Michéle Ross of Fleishman Hillard Europe, who described the single most-defining business skill as the ‘ability to shift perspective’: “Re-imagine your roles as communicators – Everything that can be digital, will be digital, and everything that can be connected, will be connected.”
“I found the line-up of speakers and workshops hosts tremendously interesting and dynamic. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and thought the conference was well planned and executed.” – Liz van der Westhuizen, Newsclip Media.
The second day of the #IMCConf continued on an inspiring note with NATIVE’s Ben Wagner who presented on the value of building shared values, asserting the importance of brand purpose: “Brands need to be judged by what they do, not by what they promise.” Following Ben’s keynote was Cerebra’s Melissa Attree who enlightened the audience on the shift from social platforms to social ideas in an ‘always on’ generation of consumers who desire real-life discussions: “Too many companies are jumping on the social media bandwagon without defining clear objectives as to why.”
Interactive workshops that kept delegates tuned in during the course of Day 2 included Prezence Digital, Everlytic, Fleishman Hillard, Stretch Experiential, NXT Digital, SA Best, Adobe and Halo. Final keynotes were presented by Mike Joubert of Brandsrock and international speaker Brian Remington of IBM. Mike advised on the importance of brands going back to being story-tellers again, telling the kind of stories that resonate with their audience and drive engagement.
“It brings a great feeling of achievement to both Jaco and I when speakers and workshops of such a high calibre agree to speak at our conference. Our goal is to create a one stop shop for all marketing and communication needs and a networking platform like no other” says Marcus.
The IMC Conference also kept delegates on their toes with a few surprises courtesy of Vodacom, Samsung and Oude Meester. Awesome prize-giveaways included two Samsung Galaxy S3s and a number of Oude Meester bottles of brandy. Oude Meester also kept everyone thoroughly refreshed with their famous Franklin cocktails. Another unique addition to the conference was the opportunity for delegates to complete real-time surveys rating the performance of each speaker and workshop host via SMS.
“A big thank you to Living Your Brand for bringing us the IMC Conference – It was thoroughly enjoyable, informative and inspirational all at the same time.” – Tara Slade, Brand Executive at Omnivision Brand Solutions.
A massive thanks to lead sponsors Vodacom, InMobi, Tribal Fusion and association sponsors BMW, Barron, kulula.com, Patley’s, Magnetic, Creative Brands, Vitamin Water, Sunfire Sound, Revite and Getsmarter for their contribution to yet another successful running of the IMC Conference.
“The IMC Conference is the best conference I have come across on the African continent, from a Marketing point of view I recommend attending as a delegate as the content is hugely valuable, and from a Sponsorship point of view this is my single most important lead generation and networking event annually.” – Daryn Smith, Inmobi (Lead Sponsor for the IMC Conference).
The year 2013 will see the conference making waves in Nairobi, Kenya and London, UK.