Marketing United's greatest hits

McKenzie Gregory

As we gear up for our biggest, most inspiring year of Marketing United yet, we can’t help but think back to all the wisdom that's been shared in years past. Take, for instance, our library of MU keynotes. Though we're only in our third year of the conference, our video archives are filled to the brim with energizing talks from world-class marketers across all industries and disciplines. 
It's hard to play favorites with all the keynotes we've had the privilege to experience at MU, so these just some of our top picks. Give them a watch, learn, laugh, and get inspired. And we hope you can join us (and experience this kind of magic in person) April 19th-21st for Marketing United 2017



John Jacobs, co-founder of Life is Good, closed the very first day of Marketing United with a bang. He lit up CMA Theater with a session that includes the following: Larry Bird, frisbees whizzing into the audience, a live kazoo band performing Beatles’ hits, embarrassing childhood photos, and the incredible brand story of how he and his brother went from selling t-shirts out of a van to owning a multi-million dollar company. And in the process, he inspired us all to not only do great work, but do great work that makes the world a better place. You’ll want to watch this again.



How can anti-marketing help us get the results that traditional marketing can’t? And when is preaching to the choir actually a good thing? In this fascinating session, Ben Swank, cofounder and consigliere at Third Man Records, gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the marketing behind one of the coolest brands in the music industry.



When it comes to “creating ridiculously good content,” there’s no one better than Ann Handley, chief content officer at MarketingProfs and best-selling author of "Everybody Writes." With a unique blend of humor and marketing smarts, her opening keynote kicked things off in style and set the tone for the entire conference in 2015. Her session is filled with inspiring tips and examples to help marketers create content that audiences will actually thank us for. Ridiculously good, indeed.



Scott Harrison started charity: water with a mission to bring clean drinking water to every person on the planet. Learn from Scott's personal journey from New York City club promoter to building an organization that’s funded over 9,000 water projects in 20 countries. The remarkable success of charity: water shows us the power of community and technology when focused on a single, shared mission. Grab some tissues for this one – very few 2016 attendees left his keynote with dry eyes. 



In this insightful, funny and angry-in-all-the-right-ways keynote, UnMarketing’s Scott Stratten gives his unique take on what brands are doing right, and more often than not, what they’re doing wrong when it comes to communicating with customers. You’ll learn how Scott built legions of online followers, his keys to creating great customer experiences, and why every marketer in the room should really, really hate him. [Note: You won’t hate him.]



It wouldn't be our marketing conference if we didn't give email some love! Email is one of the most powerful weapons in a marketer’s arsenal… but it takes a truly solid design strategy to get it just right. The difference between two emails – one that generates big results and one that never sees the light of day – can be little more than a single design element. In this session with Litmus email extraordinaire Justine Jordan, learn dozens of tips and tricks you can use to improve your subscriber experience, open rates, clicks, and conversions.


Using scientific proof and state-of-the-art multimedia techniques, Aaron Draplin of the Draplin Design Co. delivered a sucker punch of a talk that aimed to provide bonafide proof of work, the highs and lows of a ferociously independent existence and a couple of tall tales from his so-called career in the cutthroat world of contemporary graphic design. Just a regular guy with a trajectory a little dirtier than yours, his talk was open to all brave enough to show up.


We couldn't be more excited for Marketing United 2017 – especially after this little dose of nostalgia! To see our full lineup of keynotes and sessions for year three, check out the agenda.

About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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