View from the Conference – Day 1 Morning

ACC Blog Day 1, Morning Sessions
Sarah Chavey, Marketing Coordinator, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance

About 40 automotive marketing professionals kicked off the 2019 Automotive Communications Council conference Tuesday by sharing some of their funniest — and most embarrassing — professional mistakes.

Amid missed alarm clocks, major typos and many misaddressed emails, a few errors stood out from the rest:

  1. One gentleman was once denied boarding on a plane — because he had shown up at the wrong airport, in the wrong city.
  2. A lady admitted she had once gone to press with material in which the letter “L” was left out of the word “public” in “public relations.”
  3. Another woman confessed that early in her career she had accidentally overspent on advertisements by $50,000.
  4. A third lady said that among many mistakes, her most recent was the typo on the front of the ACC booklets: The council has been connecting aftermarketers since 1941, not 1944.
  5. Finally, a man recounted how, long story short, he had unknowingly allowed a professional presentation to include a video showing him shirtless at his home.

ACC President Jacki Lutz closed out the session by reminding attendees that while many of the mistakes were traumatizing in the moment, they ultimately helped their makers grow both as marketers and professionals.

Following the introductions and Lutz’s welcome, Steffanie Savine, vice president of sales and accounts at the Marx Group, took the floor to discuss the state of the industry. She asked attendees to answer the questions: “How’s business? What keeps you up at night?”

“The ‘how’s business’ discussion is a tradition at the ACC conference,” Savine said. “It’s a great way to start the day off, by getting everyone engaged in conversation. ACC is all about aftermarket marketers having an opportunity to exchange ideas and best practices, and there’s no better way to do that than by talking about how everyone’s business is doing, and what keeps everyone up at night.”

Following Savine’s discussion, Jeff Stauffer, president and CEO of Staufman Marketing Group, shared the “10 golden nuggets of marketing” he has gleaned after a career in the industry.

“Unleash your Curious George” by getting out of the office and understanding the “why” of what you’re marketing, Stauffer suggested. He also encouraged marketers to “be a problem solver, not an IDK person,” and to “network, not Netflix.”

Finally, Brenda Meller, owner and marketing consultant at Meller Marketing, inspired everyone to update their LinkedIn accounts and connect with each other during her presentation on optimizing LinkedIn to support brands and generate leads.

LinkedIn isn’t just for finding jobs, Meller said. It’s also about connecting with others and digital networking. If utilized properly, Meller said, LinkedIn can lead to speaking engagements, professional relationships, and more.