Why (and How) Opal is Solving Marketing Alignment >

Brand Futures: Seattle, 2024 

Our first Brand Futures event in 2024 was a night of connections and eye-opening marketing conversations – courtesy of our all-star thought leadership panel. On Wednesday, February 28th, we brought around 40 marketers and communicators together at the Labour Temple in historic Belltown to discuss the future of our industry. 

Seattle certainly earned its nickname of “Rain City” that night with an evening-long torrential downpour. However, the rain did little to dampen the spirits of the tremendous professionals we brought together for this one-of-a-kind private meet-up. 

Creating Connections between Industry Leaders 

Seattle has long been seen as a hub of tech, innovation, and exceptional brands. Bringing standouts together from wonderful communities across the country is an important mission of Brand Futures. We’ve seen time-and-time-again that there are few things talented people appreciate more than the chance to meet like-minded peers. 

We were incredibly proud to have had fantastic brands in attendance such as Microsoft, Tommy Bahama, T-Mobile, Amazon, SAP Concur, Starbucks, TikTok, Boeing & more.

Food, Drinks & Atmosphere 

The historic and significant Labour Temple provided the perfect modernized, yet classic ambience to the evening. Located at the edge of Seattle’s tech district (just a few blocks from the Amazon headquarters), this was a great space to have cutting-edge conversations.

As much as the location caught the attention of the guests, the food created just as much excitement. Some of the standout gourmet selections included the salmon crêpe pinwheels, tenderloin slides (with chili coleslaw), and truffle deviled eggs.

Meet the Thought Leadership Panel

Each of these professionals had a unique POV on industry topics and the specific insight to back it up…

Meet our panel:  

Katie Pocklington – Head of Enterprise, Opal

As the Head of Enterprise at Opal, Katie helps customers establish a consistent presence in the market. She started her career by shaping digital strategies for Nike Training and later found her true calling in brand marketing at Nike Women, where she fell in love with storytelling.

Rebecca Dolan – Director, Organic Content & Engagement, Digital Marketing, SAP Concur

Rebecca leads the organic social media, employee social advocacy, peer-to-peer review sites, and website content for SAP Concur. She firmly believes that it’s not enough to create content – you need to use it effectively. As a former journalist, she thrives on using her research and storytelling background to optimize digital experiences and to drive demand.

Judah Huffman – Director of Social, PrizePicks

Judah Huffman is a dynamic social media strategist and innovator with a track record of success across multiple industries. From driving social content and strategy for PrizePicks, the fastest-growing brand in sports, to his time at Microsoft, where he drove engagement and trending topics across major social media platforms. Judah is also a seasoned NFL YouTuber, amassing over 22 million views and 120,000 subscribers.

Kelley Myers – Director of Social for Bing, Edge, Microsoft 365, OneDrive, Surface, and Windows

Kelley Myers is a senior marketing executive with a track record of developing and executing global social media strategies for industry-leading brands like Microsoft, Starbucks, and the Walt Disney Company. Drawing on data-driven insights and a profound understanding of social platforms, she demonstrates a track record of leveraging expertise to amplify brand awareness and foster business growth.

Panel Discussion Summary

Since our panel of insightful marketing luminaries spoke for close to an hour, we can’t recap every piece of wit and unique wisdom here. However, we’re highlighting the most standout moments and takes: 

  • How ad-free social changes the strategy from user acquisition to user retention. The goal will be to create content that creates real value for users. This is going to necessitate larger content teams and more agency demands. Ultimately, though, it is an opportunity for brands to better connect with their audiences. 
  • The Microsoft “Edge Hog” campaign that promoted the Edge browser and how they partnered with a real hedgehog rescue. It blew out all of the social metrics for the year. 
  • How social as a search engine solves the desire for people to see pictures and videos and real commentary – rather than just endless links. 
  • The partnership between SEO and social. SEO search terms can be a crucial way to inspire social, while social listening can feed ideas back into SEO content. 
  • Nostalgia seems like it should be counterintuitive for marketers since we love the latest and greatest. But in an audience, it can create a real affinity for brands on an emotional level. 
  • Idea generation is currently the best use of generative AI. It’s not replacing anybody, but it’s helping professionals work faster. 
  • Partnering with marketing ops teams is critical to scale integrated marketing.

More Opal Events in 2024

This was just the kickoff for our 2024 events! That means you can count on a wide variety of virtual and in-person events from Opal throughout the year.

Stay tuned for more information on the cities to which we’re bringing our signature Brand Futures series. 

Additionally, our next event is a webinar on March 13, at noon PST. In this webinar, Opal will be pulling back the curtain on our software implementation playbook for the first time. Tailored for marketing ops and martech professionals, these are the key topics we’ll be covering: 

  • The most common reasons software implementations fail
  • A proven strategy and cadence for live training
  • The most effective on-demand education content & comms
  • Different strategies for handling change management
  • Countless other implementation insights

Learn more and register here

Share This Post