Updated: Feb 19, 2019
By Ben Scheerer - January 4, 2019
In October, 2018 we launched our inaugural Competitive Marketing Summit conference in Denver, Colorado. This was both a great learning experience as well an opportunity to build a community of like-minded professionals. This may sound a little cliché, but I definitely experienced this “community” feeling while at the event -certainly a positive bi-product that I did not expect. In fact, the interactive nature of the conference, with attendees feeling empowered to ask questions and share ideas, also inspired some musical expression as we all spontaneously joined together as old friends singing happy birthday to Jay Goodman!
What led me to build this conference?
It all stemmed from a futile exercise I began in seeking a conference or organization that catered to my specific needs in developing and enhancing my skills in competitive intelligence, but in context of the needs of a high-tech product marketer. Whichever vertical a tech company caters to, there are specific differences in marketing technology
itself because -in the view of a competitive product marketer - high-tech has to cater to rapid release cycles and constantly answer to rapid market changes. The Pharma industry, for example, has totally different product release cycles taking upwards of several years. Technology is fundamentally different from vertical industries. As I continued to explore a conference for my needs, I found the legacy competitive organizations to be stale and outdated and not designed to meet my goal, therefore I essentially built the conference that I needed for my own professional growth!
What did I expect?
I wouldn’t lie if I said that I expected that we would simply and easily blow out our numbers – the feedback I received and support I’ve gotten prior to the conference surely suggested as much. Unfortunately, like any startup, we had to put in our share of sweat equity just to make our minimum quota. What surprised me the most was the sheer excitement, engagement and involvement from each attendee. In every one of my conversations with attendees they mentioned how the Summit exceeded their expectations, essentially giving them a clear view of how competitive intelligence and competitive marketing are essential elements in every product marketing effort and touches almost every aspect of an overall go to market plan. (see the 2018 agenda topics). Many of our sponsors, are also caught up in the excitement of this new conference and pledged to support us in the coming years!
Introducing the Competitive Marketing Summit 2019
I had to do a little soul-searching to muster up the mindset (and energy) to do this all over again while keeping my day job. With a little bit of downtime to regroup my thoughts and think how we can do this even better next time, we are happy to announce dates for our 2019 conference: October 7,8 & 9. Due to overwhelming interest in continuing to build competitive marketing skills, we decided to add a day before the Summit starts (Monday, October 7) to offer in-depth ½ day workshops. These will be optional and at an additional cost. The full conference will be held Tuesday October 8 through Wednesday October 9th. We will be returning to Denver West Marriott again next year – the feedback was very positive given Denver’s easy proximity from both coasts and the airport our beautiful location and laid back and easy attitude! Not the mention that overall costs (including T&E) were very appealing and easy to obtain expense approvals for our attendees. More details will be posted on our website www.competitivemarketingsummit.com in the coming weeks/months. We are anticipating opening early-bird pricing in as soon as late January and as an extra bonus, we are planning on delivering a series of competitive marketing webcasts beginning in January!
What Will Make the 2019 Different and Fresh?
It is very important to our planners (and me) to not offer a repetitive conference, but rather offer content the will build upon what we started last year, and in the years to come. This will be of value to both returning attendees as well as those who plan to attend for the first time. You will see a large emphasis on the 2 key ingredients of competitive marketing, both data gathering (think in-context of traditional competitive intelligence, but with a high-tech spin) and couple that with techniques to leverage competitive both as an asset (in messaging), as well as practice to enhance your business in ways you may have not considered before.
So coming into the new year I encourage you to make 2 resolutions:
Think of competitive marketing as a critical component of your product marketing function, seeking out the experts who spoke last year as well as the sponsors to make your job easier and more effective!
Mark your calendars for October 7-9, and budget accordingly – you will be glad you did
I am looking forward to our next adventure with “Competitive Marketing” and also to meet new colleagues and reconnect with existing ones.
Happy Holidays and New Year
Ben Scheerer, Co-founder Competitive Marketing Summit