I was reading reports a few years back on how some innovative brands were doing wild things that wouldn’t make sense to anyone taught 20th Century marketing. The wildest, out there, events were corporate sponsors supporting events with no banner or logo. Now it’s a trend that even huge brands like Capital One (#CapXTalk) are using.

This is why I jumped at the chance to support Reimagining Perspectives, a CapX panel discussion held in Boston last week as part of Outside the Box, a performing arts festival designed to engage, educate and most importantly, entertain the citizens of that community.

My own involvement was small. Capital One found that I was influential on innovation and asked that I share it. My sharing was natural. Something I’d want to do anyway if I’d known about it, money exchanged was enough to cover the administration and get my attention. What stood out was how They weren’t selling me a credit card.

Fulling the Needs of Communities and Stakeholders

I’ll get to the event, but what I want to emphasis here is how much power there is in doing good by your community and audience, without pushing a brand message. This is the real transformation I see. Brands today are learning that once they connect with the desires of their audiences, the sales message doesn’t need to be pushed. Any conversation where a brand can help users get what they want will add to a trust relationship. Being ready to sell is important. We know CapOne has something to sell. They aren’t hiding that.. but they didn’t have to force it into the conversation.

In all my dealings with the agency and people working on Reimagining Perspectives, no one offered me a credit card app, told me what to say, or put a quota on anything. I only added these mentions because I write about the future of business and marketing.

As a influencer, a brand won’t get far if they try to buy my influence. I’m happy to get paid for my time and attention, and cover costs. My opinion is not for sale. Traditional marketing would say this is a disadvantage and do whatever they can to force conformance. Smart marketers today know that the power is in connections and relationship that share stories and experiences.

What Happened at #CapXTalk

capxtalk panel#CapXTalk: Reimagining Perspectives was great panel. Mario Armstrong introduced the crowd, and the streaming audience to the program, some perspective on the topic and let us know that Capital One was involved. Then we got to meet the panelist. All great stories, one was a bank executive, no one was pitching products or services:

  • Feng Chang, Director of Digital Marketing Strategy at Rue La La
  • Jim Kresge, Head of Digital Commerce Engineering at Capital One
  • Dave McLaughlin, General Manager of Eastern U.S. & Canada at WeWork
  • Pat Petitti, CEO & Co-Founder at HourlyNerd
  • Wombi Rose, CEO & Co-Founder at Lovepop Cards

The last one, Wombi Rose, was my favorite. I saw the cards and loved them. I loved seeing what their company did, and went to the Lovepop Cards website so I could learn more about them and order.

Questions were discussed and everyone shared stories. Real life people pioneering in a variety of business situations.

This is what supporting each other in business is all about.

Thanks to Capital One for making this happen. I’m glad to see them prosper, and maybe a bit more likely to love them more in the future (I’m already a customer and fan). I would imagine the panelists feel a stronger bond with the sponsor, the city and the event participants and will be more likely to do business based on those trust relationships. People watching the livestream got some of the shame, and I hope you benefit from my views here.

Marketing for today, and the future will continue this trend toward build relationships through shared experiences. Brands will learn that there is a multitude of awesome content ideas and that it’s actually a lot less work to sponsor events and content producers rather than create their own.. and we’ll all benefit from less interuption from marketers competing for attention.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Capital One. The opinions and text are all mine.