Friday, January 23, 2015

  • 7:30am-8:30am | Registration and Breakfast
  • 8:45am-9:00am | Welcome
  • 9:00am-11:00am | Program
  • 11:00am-11:20am | Networking Break
  • 11:20am-12:25pm | Program
  • 12:25pm-1:25pm | Lunch
  • 1:30pm-2:55pm | Program
  • 2:55pm-3:15pm | Networking Break
  • 3:15pm-4:35pm | Program
  • 4:35pm | Cocktail Reception

Subject to change

Get Connected

Brand Innovators Network coming soon!


Speaker Inquiries

Brandon Gutman


Sponsorship Opportunities

Marc Sternberg







Brandon Gutman, Co-Founder, Brand Innovators
Marc Sternberg, Co-Founder, Brand Innovators
Host: Dora Newlin, Director, Market Development, Western Union
Event Chairperson: Laston Charriez, SVP Marketing, Western Union


Opening Remarks

Diane Scott, Executive Vice President, Global Chief Product & Marketing Officer, Western Union


Content Marketing 2.0: From Boardroom to Newsroom

There’s no doubt about it. Content marketing has gone mainstream. Over the past few years, content marketing has evolved from a novelty or step-child within the marketing department to a core competency or crucial strategy for Fortune 500 brands. In addition to investing more marketing dollars than ever in content marketing, leading brands are now viewing content marketing as a dedicated “top of funnel” marketing function, supporting all marketing initiatives. Content marketing has become an integral piece of the marketing process, prominently reflected in the org charts of forward thinking brands. Hear firsthand how a strong content marketing strategy can drive a strong brand strategy.

Moderator: Steve Pascucci, Director of Sales, West, NewsCred

Laston Charriez, SVP Marketing, Western Union
Fuad Hamza, General Manager, Brand Marketing, Dish Network
Stephanie Krause, VP Marketing, HuHot Mongolian Grills


Brands as Editors

Let’s face it; there’ s a lot of content out there on the world wide web — maybe too much. Especially, now that every brand is a “publisher.” Breaking through the clutter has become more essential than ever, which is why brands need to think more like editors, creating compelling, interesting, and engaging content and experiences for consumers. Great content must resonate with consumers, in order for them to believe it, share it, and reflect positively on your brand. Learn how leading brands are learning to act and think like editors and what it takes to build a virtual (or actual) newsroom, and consistently publish first-rate editorial.

Moderator: Kristin Hersant, VP of Marketing, Livefyre

Karen O’Brien, Sr. Director, Global Social Media, Western Union
Chris Rocha, Sr Manager of Digital Marketing, Cabela’s
Ariel Scott, Digital Marketing Manager, Whole Foods
Sonya Ghori, Digital Marketing & Social Media Manager, Quiznos


Success Story

Andy Begal, Head of West/South Accounts, Tongal


Networking Break hosted by Western Union


Keynote — The New Default

Kodi Foster, Head of Brand Initiatives, Outbrain

Content is no longer a “nice-to-have” and mobile is no longer the “new kid on the block” in digital marketing: they are the primary means of communication between brands and consumers. In this discussion, Kodi will discuss why fluency in content and mobile engagement isn’t just a marketing imperative – it’s a business imperative.


Keynote — Quiznos: Toasty.TV Serves Up the Custom Content Quiznos Target Audience Craves

Chris Ruszkowski, Vice President, Advertising and Marketing, Quiznos

Traditional marketing is no longer as effective as it once was as younger consumers have become more selective with the brands they allow into their lives. Today consumers are more interested than ever in content that is relevant to their lifestyles. In 2014, Quiznos committed to a digital strategy aimed at the hard to reach young adult male audience and launched Toasty.TV., where Quiznos and culture collide. It serves as a virtual home to engaging content around comedy, music and even action sports. Toasty.TV allowed Quiznos to connect to it’s audience with fun and on-trend content that fits naturally into their lifestyle and online habits. Go behind the scenes with Quiznos VP of Advertising & Marketing, Chris Ruszkowski, to get an in depth look at the development, content and success of Toasty.TV.


Digital Video Explosion

Globally, IP video traffic will be 79 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2018, up from 66 percent in 2013. This percentage does not include video exchanged through peer-to-peer (P2P) filesharing. The sum of all forms of video (TV, video on demand [VoD], Internet, and P2P) will be in the range of 80 to 90 percent of global consumer traffic by 2018.

— Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2013–2018

The goal of every great piece of content marketing is to create an emotional connection with the consumer. Emotional connections drive engagement, and engagement drives word of mouth and brand loyalty. To that end, more brands than ever are embracing digital video to connect with their consumers in new and meaningful ways. In addition, digital video advertising is empowering brands with a new form of storytelling. Find out how cutting edge brands are moving the meter with digital video.

Moderator: Lindsay Hero, Director of Sales, Brand Direct, West, SpotXchange

Jared Harding, Director, Social and Digital, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment
Chris Ruszkowski, Vice President, Advertising and Marketing, Quiznos
Megan Young, General Manager, Brand Strategy, Dish Network


Lunch hosted by Western Union


Keynote — The Kellogg Company – “Forging New Trails in Mature Industries”

Karl Miller, Vice President, Associate Director of Digital Strategy, The Kellogg Company


Success Story

Mike Olson , Regional Vice President, Sales, Centro
Merritt Rutledge, Director, Digital Marketing, Americas, Western Union


People, Partnerships, and Production: Three Routes To Creating Compelling Content

Creating content and creating good content that people actually want are two very different matters, and seasoned brand marketers know that the secret to success is in finding the right strategy dictated by broader objectives, market opportunity, and most importantly, customer needs. Indeed, depending on those variables, three major approaches have emerged through which brand marketers can identify and develop compelling content. Whether it’s through partnerships with existing creative organizations, working with individual people – celebrities and customers alike – or by taking on the challenge head on and producing content in-house, the key is to create something that doesn’t feel like advertising, but is informative, entertaining, or otherwise relevant to people’s lives and interests.

Moderator: Walter Knapp, CEO, sovrn Holdings

Shannon Berner, Marketing Manager, Great Divide Brewing Company
Rachel Chodkowski, Senior Manager Brand Communications, Beatport
Wendy Goldner, VP Marketing, Made in Nature
Jessica McDonald, Director, Marketing & Communications, Sparkfun Electronics


Networking Break hosted by Western Union


Exclusive First Look: 2015 Millennial Brand Ranking Report

Norty Cohen, Founder & CEO, Moosylvania

Join us for the debut of our latest research on the Millennial generation. Building on two years of surveys and panels with this important influencer target, the 2015 Millennial Brand Ranking Report demonstrates which brands are connecting with Millennials and which ones aren’t, no matter how much they spend on advertising.



Heidi Corn, Director, AdsMovil

Do your marketing plans include Hispanic strategy? If not, now is the time to start thinking about it. Adsmovil, the premier Mobile Advertising Network, will share a brief overview of the Hispanic marketplace and how powerful Mobile can be when targeting the Hispanic Consumer.

Presentation will discuss how content targeting and language are key success metrics in your Hispanic mobile campaign, and include a case study of activation. This is one will you not want to miss.


What does Success in Content Marketing Look Like

Whether it is page views or leads you are looking for, success in content marketing is a function of what you are trying to achieve. Having said that, hopefully all of your content marketing efforts lead to new customers or conversions. Like other forms of digital media, brand marketers are constantly looking for metrics to help justify their investment in content marketing. How are brands successfully measuring content marketing results? What is the ROI of content marketing vis-à-vis other media? How can you enhance the ability of your content marketing to deliver more tangible results? Leading brand marketers share their insights.

Moderator: Tim Glomb, Vice President, Media and Entertainment, Wayin

Michael Hafer, SVP, Global CRM, Loyalty and Social Media, Western Union
Karl Miller, Associate Director of Digital Strategy, The Kellogg Company
Michael Nesladek, VP Marketing, Newton Running Company


Closing Keynote

Ted Rubin, Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist and Acting CMO, Brand Innovators


Brand Innovators Cocktail Reception hosted by Western Union