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When I decided to chair the American Marketing Association Marketing Research Conference a second year, I was excited by the opportunity to get back to Atlanta for several days. It had been years since I’d spent any amount of time in Atlanta, and it was an opportunity to get together with a variety of folks I hadn’t seen for a while, or had never met.

In the latter category were Stone Payton and Todd Schnick, the founders of #Innochat on Twitter. #Innochat is a weekly innovation strategy discussion they started in early 2009. It’s since moved on to new curators, but it was great after all this time to finally meet Stone and Todd in person. Here’s a video recap of the origins of #Innochat and an update on what they are up to now.  – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement.  To learn how we can structure a strategy to keep you ahead of your customers, email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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What a week last week!

First of all, thanks to Barrett Sydnor for keeping the Brainzooming blog active with book reviews on some fundamental strategy books for marketers.

For most of the week, I was chairing the 2010 American Marketing Association Marketing Research Conference in Atlanta for the second year in a row. There was tremendous strategic content on business, marketing, and market research from outstanding speakers. But since my focus for the marketing research conference was on emceeing the general sessions and helping produce the conference, I didn’t take the typical copious notes I usually would.

So as I pull my thoughts together into a future blog post, here’s a video recap of the American Marketing Association marketing research conference from Jeffrey Henning of Vovici. Jeffrey Henning has been on the AMA Marketing Research Conference social media team two years in a row, and this year, he wrote 13 blog posts across the marketing research conference which ran from September 26 to September 29, 2010.

Beyond Jeffrey’s take, we’ll have several other videos and reflections from in and around the conference this week. – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make mart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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1

Are You in Atlanta? Let’s Meetup Wednesday, September 29!

If you’re an Atlanta-based reader, let’s get together Wednesday, September 29!

Atlanta is the birthplace of the innovation-oriented weekly Twitter chat #Innochat, and since I’ll be in Atlanta next week chairing the AMA Marketing Research Conference, it seemed the perfect opportunity to get together with @StonePayton and @ToddSchnick who were there at the start of #Innochat.  Here’s the online invitation for our get together Wednesday, September 29th at 5 p.m. at Yeah!Burger. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Living Life as an Experiment

If you haven’t seen it, check out Peter Bergman’s article from the Harvard Business Review website about living life as an experiment. The piece details his experience in returning something to a retail store and trying, through a passive approach, to see if he could get out of having the 20% restocking fee deducted from his refund. Sounds reasonable enough to me, but he got raked over the coals in the comments for being unethical! Wow, I don’t get that. Anyway, the experience prompted a similarly engaging post on how to deal with surprise criticism, something we can probably all improve upon.

A New Creativity Trigger

Here’s an online random word generator if it feels like randomness is what you need to get your creativity instigated in a hurry.

Custom Sharpie Markers

Turns out (probably not surprisingly) you can now order custom Sharpie markers with messages, fonts, and colors of your choosing. Since many of you know about my love for drawing with Sharpie markers, my first reaction was to get out my credit card and THEN click the link to see about ordering some. Much to my horror, orange isn’t available as a color! So it’s still a fun idea, but not nearly as fun as it could be if I could get some custom orange Brainzooming Sharpies!

Everything Seems New in the Morning

Morning is a glorious time to do things which seemed impossible (or too boring) to do the night before. Even with a too short night of sleep, the quiet and freshness of the morning so often prove to be just the creative instigator I need to be so much more productive.  – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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In just a few weeks (September 26 through 29), the annual American Marketing Association Marketing Research Conference will unfold in Atlanta. For the second year, I’ll be chairing the conference whose theme is “Unfiltered Perspectives. Unexpected Opportunities.”

We’ve once again designed an overall conference experience intended to challenge market researchers to look beyond our typical roles and responsibilities to really consider what it takes to contribute meaningfully to business – right now and in the future.

Among the exciting elements which make the AMA Marketing Research Conference unmatchable:

  • The conference committee, made up of research veterans, is personally involved in recruiting all the speakers. This ensures the 35 interactive educational sessions deliver meaningful content tied to the conference’s strategic theme.
  • There’s an incredible line up of smart, strategic business leaders speaking, including many who have been featured in Brainzooming before. These include Gary Singer of Buyology, Joe Batista of HP, and author Kelley Styring of Insight Farm.
  • Our conference-in-a-conference format allows attendees to target specific learning agendas, including advanced research techniques, case studies, research tools, and unconference sessions where attendees can actively shape the content.
  • An active social media team will document the entire conference to allow attendees to learn even from sessions they don’t attend. The team will be coordinated by Nate Riggs of Social Business Strategies (who has been working with The Brainzooming Group on various social media strategic implementations).

As one person described it, this is the marketing research conference that market researchers put on for themselves.

One of the best parts of last year’s conference was feedback from the audience that the event builds a true sense of community within the diverse group of market researchers who attended the event (including a researcher from Russia who decided to attend in the last few days before the conference). We’ll do the same this year, so if you’re involved in market research, you owe it to yourself to attend.

Download the most current, in-depth version of the conference brochure today and review more details on the conference at the American Marketing Association website.

As a Brainzooming reader, you’ll receive $100 off registration by calling 1-800-262-1150 and using the promo code “VIP” when you register.

Join us in Atlanta, September 26 through 29th. It will be an unparalleled experience in your career!Mike Brown


When it comes to conferences, high impact presentations, and live event social media content, The Brainzooming Group is expert at shaping the right strategy and implementation to create unique attendee experiences before, during, and after an event. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can do the same for your event!

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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I’d been looking forward all last week to a Saturday night event at the KC Artists Coalition. Peregrine Honig, the Kansas City artist who appeared on the Bravo reality hit “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist” was speaking about her work and experiences as a finalist on the show.

I tweeted about the event several times during the week. On Saturday, I re-checked the website a couple of hours before the live event to confirm the address and learned an RSVP was now required. Calling the KCAC, they said the event was overbooked and no more RSVPs were being accepted. Hanging up disappointed, I got on Tweetdeck and set up a search on @PeregrineHonig and #KCAC to track the commentary via social media. Checking in during the event, I was, however, surprised to see no one was live tweeting. Disappointment #2.

When they told me I couldn’t attend, it never occurred to me to tell the person on the phone I planned to create social media content (i.e., live tweet and blog about the presentation), providing additional exposure for the artist, the event, and KCAC. I’d already done one blog post about “Work of Art,” on the TalentCulture blog. Yet even if I had told them of my live tweeting and social media content plans, what was there to make them believe me (especially over the phone) or to prove my intentions? If you’re part of the official press, you have a press card or other documentation to back up your qualifications. With these you can gain access even to overbooked art studio events.

Here’s the question: Is there something equivalent to a press pass for those of us “reporting” content via social media?

If there is, where do you get it? And if there isn’t, it sure seems as if there should be.

I’m not looking for special treatment, but a live event social media specialist (translation – somebody who is going to live tweet and blog) not getting access to an event has a bigger negative impact than if most people who attended Saturday night and didn’t share their perspectives via social media had been sitting at home. – Mike Brown

When it comes to conferences, high impact presentations, and live event social media content, The Brainzooming Group is expert at shaping the right strategy and implementation to create unique attendee experiences before, during, and after an event. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can do the same for your event!

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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4

This is it for TEDxKC reflections, I promise, but I’ve never been involved in any two hour event which offered so much innovative thinking! Thanks to Kansas City’s VML and the other sponsors for bringing such an incredibly-rich experience as TEDxKC to Kansas City!

  • My mother once said I have a look which says, “Don’t bug me. Don’t get near me.” If that’s true, it must have been on display at TEDxKC. In an oversold event, in a supposedly jam-packed auditorium to see the live presentations, I walked in 10 minutes before the start and found two seats on an aisle mid-way back. After sitting down, the row consolidated, freeing up another seat, so there were still two seats by me. In the following ten minutes, not one person came in and sat down by me. Sorry everybody for “the look.” I try not to make it!
  • Watching the opening TEDxKC performance by Quixotic Fusion, it struck me how true it is that whatever your talents, you can create “art.” That’s the case whether in the traditional view of art or the art of day-to-day work and life. The difference is a person’s willingness to experiment, to be innovative, and to put themselves in the vulnerable positions which make one an artist.
  • The recent CEO study where creativity was identified as a critical success attribute in business was referenced during one presentation. Every time it’s cited, I always wonder: Did the CEO respondents REALLY believe that? It was probably viewed as a “hip” answer so everybody said, “Sure, a person needs more creativity…after financial acumen, a strict operational orientation, and a ruthless managerial style. Then, we need us some creativity.”
  • In her video presentation, Jane McGonigal of the Institute for the Future suggested the key to solving the world’s problems would be people collectively spending 21 billion hours weekly in online gaming. My question is, “What would happen to improve the world if we spent 21 billion more hours weekly praying?”
  • After attending a recent conference with nearly no diversity among presenters based on race, gender, and age, I’m even more conscious about diversity at live events. So at TEDxKC, of the 5 individual presenters (including host Mike Lundgren from VML) to take the stage, 4 were men, and 3 of the men were named “Michael.” While I always love listening to Mikes (and one other presenter’s last name was “Brown”), this was both homogenous and quirky.
  • My thought for the evening at TEDxKC: “Take the ordinary and attach it to something of significance to you. Then it’s strategic.”

Additionally, here’s the embedded video for the full TEDxKC program. Enjoy!  – Mike Brown



When it comes to conferences, high impact presentations, and live event social media content, The Brainzooming Group is expert at shaping the right strategy and implementation to create unique attendee experiences before, during, and after an event. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can do the same for your event!

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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7

After a recent Marketing Profs virtual event with content of varied quality (the Radian 6 presentation was surprisingly weak), I tweeted the question: Do you prefer to feel smarter than or not as smart as the speaker in a presentation?

The people responding said they preferred to NOT feel as smart as the presenter. There are certainly good reasons for that, since when a presenter is clearly smarter than you on the topic being discussed, it’s more likely you’ll be:

  • Learning new things
  • Stimulated mentally by the session
  • Able to see where you have learning gaps to work on
  • Aware of at least one new person to reach out to in shoring up expertise you don’t have

There can also be some downsides to attending a presentation where the speaker is markedly smarter than the audience. It may be more difficult for the speaker to genuinely connect with the audience because of difficulties in simplifying the message for those still learning. There can also be a self-defeating sense you should be smarter or stronger than you are on a topic. In that case, you can walk away feeling worse about yourself.

Alternatively, if you’re stuck in a presentation failing to live up to the learning objective and you can’t easily get out of it (i.e., by quitting a webinar or walking out to go to another session), is there value that can be taken away? I think there’s still value to be drived in two specific areas:

  • Use a too-basic presentation as a refresher on the fundamentals you may be overlooking when attempting to teach others on the topic.
  • This type of presentation can also be the basis for putting your knowledge in context relative to the presenter, and gaining greater confidence in sharing your expertise with others in new settings.

The bottom line – figure out how to learn from everyone, in every situation, even if it’s no more than better understanding what not to do. – Mike Brown

If you’d like to add an interactive, educationally-stimulating presentation on strategy, innovation, branding, social media or a variety of other topics to your event, Mike Brown is the answer.  Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how Mike can get your audience members Brainzooming!

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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