The initial idea for the CMO Summit was proposed back in 2011 by Brad Taylor who was leading the customer marketing organization at the time. As we talked about the idea we wondered if our customers would want to take the time to form a community of peers. We knew how pressed for time everyone was and how many conferenced and events already existed. Would organizations that often competing for guests come together in the same room and share ideas? When we piloted the program that year we were pleasantly surprised at the level of engagement and openness to help each other success.
After eight years we have learned so much and are still advancing the conversation. The DNA brand Coca-Cola has always been about unity…from a hilltop in Italy where we brought together youth from across the globe to teach the world to sing to passionate social statements over the decades that advocate a unified experience where we should all be able to come together and enjoy an ice cold bottle of Coke.
There is a tremendous amount of “us and them” across different arenas in our culture and the Summit is about bringing people together to share in the opportunity of learning from each other. In our eight-year journey we have welcomed incredible speakers and thought leaders yet the most powerful aspect has been the time spent together at the Summit. Through conversation and community, we are able to help each other find new solutions, invent new ideas and create new friendships. While our speakers serve as catalysts, the chemistry of the community is what creates vibrant connection that can turn ideas into real action that changes the game for all of us.