2016 Communications & Marketing Conference

Click here for the Communications & Marketing Conference Onsite Guide


Wednesday, November 30

9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. - Registration Open

10:00 a.m. – 5:45 p.m. - Boot Camp Program

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Welcome Reception


Thursday, December 1

7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Registration Open

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. - Putting the Pieces Together: Your Brand’s Role in Preserving Direct Selling’s Opportunity

Join us as we explore the distinct components of corporate communications and marketing and how they complement one another - and how they might also conflict. Together we will cast forth a vision for integrating your communications and marketing prowess with the DSA policy initiatives that will preserve a bright future for direct selling.

Paul Skowronek, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, Direct Selling Association

 8:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Resonance: Audience Nuances and Finding the Most Effective Voice

Direct selling channel leaders are experts at making an impact among the brand ambassadors who represent their companies.  Yet, the approaches that build positive corporate brands with consumer audiences may not always be the most effective way for shaping perceptions among policymakers.

Join us as we explore how to shape the range of voices that can maximize your brand’s resonance -- as well as build your brand’s legitimacy – among the audiences capable of advancing your corporate marketing and public affairs agendas.

Megan Baroska, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, Edelman 

9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. - The Zen of Social Media: How to Market, Sell and Promote Your Brand in the Digital Age

Social media is no longer an optional tool but an essential part of the way that we sell, engage, communicate and connect in the Digital Age. Whether your goal is to attract more customers, increase referrals or grow your brand, your audience is expecting to find you on social media. That means you must figure out the best ways to engage and communicate in this new ecosystem.

Although it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options, you can find determine the “HOW, WHEN, WHERE and WHY” for your brand and a “Zen” approach that leads to more sales, engagement and results. From this keynote, you will:  

  • Understand up-to-date ways to reach potential clients and customers
  • Learn ways to measure, test and achieve more ROI from your social strategy
  • Recognize digital signals and how to use them to create stronger engagement
  • Discover how to grow your brand and expertise in the Digital Age

Shama Hyder, CEO, The Marketing Zen Group

10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Networking Break

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Building Brand Equity: Inspiring Your Field to Play a Role

How companies nurture their field is paramount to the building brand awareness in the broader market.  In this session, executives from Thirty-One Gifts will discuss how the company has created salesforce-oriented engagement strategies that continue to build its brand’s equity. Learn how these efforts enabled the company to foster goodwill among its brand ambassadors, and also translated into increased market share. You’ll discover how to harness the power of celebration, encouragement and reward as a means to recruit, retain and galvanize your field—and the critical role your brand plays in these efforts.

Rich Arthur, Vice President of Marketing, Thirty-One Gifts

Todd Jackson, Director of Marketing, Thirty-One Gifts

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Wonking it Up: How a Brand Can Make a Difference in Washington, D.C.

The National Journal – a leading media outlet covering the current political environment and emerging political and policy trends - will explore the best practices for building a brand that can make a difference in a policy-centered environment.

Led by Michael Gottlieb, the Executive Director, Policy Brands Roundtable at the National Journal, the session will delve into the practical manifestations of building a corporate brand with policymakers via intelligent, impactful, research-driven thought leadership.

Before joining National Journal, Michael was Special Assistant to the President and Associate White House Counsel.

Michael Gottlieb, Executive Director, Policy Brands Roundtable at the National Journal

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. - Thought Leadership: The Role of Amway’s Global Entrepreneurship Report

Diligent, impactful research that aligns with the DNA of a company’s mission can help establish a brand as a thought leader and make a difference with policy makers. Join this presentation that will explore what many have called a gold standard for policy brand initiatives, Amway’s Global Entrepreneurship Report.

Shawn Platt, Director, Global Amway Brand & Corporate Communications 

12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Lunch Buffet

Grab your lunch and head back for our lunch conversation.  

12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. - Introducing New Avon: The 130-Year-Old, $1 Billion Startup

Join us in a conversation about the bridging of a brand’s storied past, in a way that will inspire a new generation.  Learn how this standard-bearing brand is working to transform its promise into value for the modern marketplace.

Debora Coffey, Vice President, Corporate Communications, New Avon LLC

Paul Skowronek, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, Direct Selling Association

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.  - Power of the Hashtag: One Company's Continuous Brand Journey

This fast-growth company will share the story of how their brand has become a lifestyle for their field, how they have harnessed it to inspire thousands, and what the next chapter entails.

Elizabeth Thibaudeau, CEO, Jamberry Nails

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. - Striking the Balance Between Your Company’s Marketing and Corporate Voices

When it comes to advancing your company’s business objectives, all communications were not created equal. In fact, there’s bound to be healthy tension between marketing to consumers and conveying a corporate image that policymakers and consumers understand, appreciate and trust. Learn from these leaders how they’ve struck a balance and developed approaches that complement one another.

Crayton Webb, Vice President, Corporate Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility, Mary Kay Inc.

Kim Sater, Director, US Consumer Marketing, Mary Kay Inc.

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. - Networking Refreshment Break

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. - Success Strategies for Training on Social

Social media is a powerful tool for your field: it is how your individual brand ambassadors can connect with their customers, but it also the means by which innocently intended claims and statements can threaten your brand and harm your company.

Learn how to train your field to use the power of social media.  Gain insights into ensuring your brand’s integrity in the wild, wild West of social media.  Obtain ideas for empowering your brand ambassadors to optimize any platform – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and more – in a way that aligns with your company’s policies and procedures. 

Understand when you can use your in-house social media team, when to hire outside consultants, and how to ensure that they complement one another.

Jennifer Harmon, Vice President of Sales, WBC Group LLC

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Word of mouth is 10 times as effective as traditional advertising, but why do people talk about and share certain things rather than others? Why do some products catch on, some ideas diffuse and some online content go viral?

Wharton professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering these questions. Join him as he reveals the secret science behind word-of-mouth and social transmission. Discover how six basic principles drive all sorts of things to become contagious, from consumer products and policy initiatives to services and ideas within organizations.

Berger will also detail how research from a variety of disciplines – business, psychology, and social science – can help you harness the influences that drive individual choice.

Jonah Berger, Associate Professor of Marketing, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

4:30 p.m. – 4:40 p.m. - Stretch Break

4:40 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. Artificial Intelligence: The Next Marketing Frontier

What if you could add the power of thinking to your salesforce’s online experiences? Or offer your customers a cognitive, conversational self-service engine that provides them with answers and takes instant action? Sound like science fiction? Well, hundreds of companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) to make their brand experience more personalized and predictive.

During this panel discussion sponsored by DSEF, two leading academics will demonstrate how organizations are currently using AI, such as Watson Analytics, for social media brand analysis, marketing promotion campaigns, and customer retention—and help you envision what AI might do for your company.


Dr. Haya Ajjan, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems, Department of Management, Elon University

Dr. Greg Marshall, Charles Harwood Professor of Marketing and Strategy, Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College

5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. DSEF Supplier Recognition Wine & Cheese Reception

6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. - Party Plan Council Dinner (direct-selling executives only)


Friday, December 2

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. - Continental Breakfast

7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. - Registration Open

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.  - The You Economy and Social Selling

It's no longer enough for your CMO to have a social media branding and marketing strategy.  Now your Chief Sales Officer needs a social media selling strategy for the field in order for your organization to succeed.  The Direct Selling industry is poised to jump ahead of the curve by moving beyond top-down, corporate social media mandates and adopting exciting, new tools that empower the field.

During this information-and-action-packed session, we’ll arm you with:

  • The latest updates from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others on how they are bringing more “real time” marketing opportunities to users as well as tools and tactics for selling that are unique to each platform .
  • An understanding of the seismic labor shift caused by the YOU Economy and what it means for your business and field.  With companies like UBER and AirBNB leading the way, it’s not just about making it possible for anyone to start a business...but also finding new customers as well.
  • Insight into the nexus of customer service, response and engagement as they form the new social media sales funnel.  Your brand team and your field can now use real-time tools like Facebook Messenger to accelerate engagement with new prospects.
  • Exciting “pay to play” strategies for your field to hyper-target new prospects at the local level.  You'll learn how networks like Facebook make it possible for your field to make micro ad buys of as little as $1 with the precision and effectiveness of a major ad agency.

Scott Kramer, Chief Brain, Multibrain

Lauren Lawley Head, Publisher & Editor in Chief, Direct Selling News

10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. - Networking Refreshment Break

10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. The New Marketing Org Chart: Trends and Challenges Facing Today's Marketing and Communications Teams in Direct Selling

Who does your communication team report to? Sales? Marketing? Neither? How about Digital Marketing? Social Media? Is Marketing viewed as a support function for the Sales team, or the primary strategic driver for the company? How do you manage communication priorities for the entire company, and how do you consistently communicate over the ever-growing list of channels in a timely way? 

And after you answer all of that, is any of it actually working?!? 

In this session, a senior marketing & communications strategist will share some poignant and provocative perspectives regarding today's marketing and communications team. Through both his hands-on work consulting with many of direct selling's top companies, and fresh data received from a recent survey of direct selling companies, he has uncovered some of the biggest challenges today's marketing team faces ... and what many companies are doing about it. In this session, he will walk through trends and approaches to handle organizational structure, prioritization of corporate messaging, the differences among marketing, communication and sales and much more. 

Brett Duncan, Managing Principal/Marketing & Communications Strategist, Strategic Choice Partners, LLC

10:45 a.m.  – 11:20 a.m.  - National Salesforce Survey 

DSA recently fielded a new salesforce survey which uncovers in-depth salesforce insight on the following key topics within direct selling: 

  • Millennials’ experience  (how to maintain relevance with a younger generation)
  • Experience of former representatives (why representatives leave your company)
  • Attitudes and opinions toward technology within the party plan sales strategy (how new technology is impacting parties)
  • Diversity & empowerment within direct selling (how to foster and empower a diverse salesforce)

Join DSA’s third-party research partner, Anne Aldrich from Artemis Strategy Group, as she presents actionable takeaways to help you better understand and market to your salesforce.  These insights will help in your salesforce retention and growth efforts.  

Anne Aldrich, Partner, Artemis Strategy Group

11:20 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.  - Hispanic Marketing

With more than 50 million Hispanics living in the United States now, this population’s different style of shopping, media habits and preferences cannot be ignored an economy driven by hyper-competitive, highly segmented marketing.

For many businesses including direct selling, Latinos are the future. While the Hispanic market is driving growth across the U.S. economy, it has a range of important nuances that need to be understood:

  • Many Hispanics need - or prefer - to speak Spanish,
  • Many have no connection to traditional advertising channels that dominate U.S. marketing; and,
  • After several generations in the U.S., many continue to identify as Hispanic or Latino, and they seek products and services that resonate with their Hispanic identity.

Learn how Princess House has developed its Hispanic field organization, and how it has reinvented its brand for this consumer market segment.  

Victoria Vilbrandt, VP of Marketing Strategy & Solutions, Princess House, Inc.

Beatriz Aguirre-Gutai , VP Sales and Field Development, Hispanic Market, Shaklee

11:45 a.m. –  Noon - Your Brand is a Beacon: Be a Part of Lighting Direct Selling’s Way Forward

DSA member companies strive every day to build strong competitive brands.  It’s because of your strength that DSA is able to preserve the market climate that enables all its member companies to continue to compete freely.  As we wrap up the DSA Communications & Marketing Conference 2016, we will discuss the intersections between your initiatives and DSA’s larger public affairs agenda.  We will also explore how together we will cast forth a vision for integrating corporate communications and marketing prowess with the DSA policy initiatives that will produce a bright future for direct selling.

Paul Skowronek, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, Direct Selling Association

Noon  - Box Lunch

Select your box lunch and join your colleagues for one last networking opportunity.