samOn 3-5 December 2018, the US edition of our CMO Insight Summit will bring together senior marketing decision-makers and business leaders from across North America at the fantastic Sonesta Resort in South Carolina, to share their views on how to tackle the biggest challenges in marketing today.

Amongst others, the summit will look at key topics such as: getting ahead of the curve with an effective digital strategy; delivering a seamless and cohesive brand experience across traditional and digital channels; and driving results through effective storytelling.

From case studies that lift the lid on operations inside best-in-class organisations, to workshops and collaborative sessions that focus on real challenges and future technology innovations, to one-to-one meetings with industry peers offering practical advice tailored to your specific needs, the summit will provide you with everything you need to implement your key projects more effectively.

Our Approach

Every GDS Summit has one stated aim: to help attending executives implement their key projects more effectively. We do this by developing an in-depth understanding of those executives' project needs, the business outcomes they want to achieve, and the challenges they face in terms of hitting those goals.

Who Attends

Our summits are designed for executives looking to take their business to the next level – from market-leading brands to disruptive new entrants. As such, we’ve worked with some of the world’s best-loved and most forward-thinking businesses.
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Attendees Include

The upcoming summit will welcome executives from some of the world's biggest and most recognisable firms - as well as the most forward-thinking - as they look to address their project challenges.
Image of Darren Contardo
Darren Contardo
SVP Marketing
Image of Christine Escribano
Christine Escribano
SVP Integrated Marketing
Image of Vijay Venugopal Iyengar
Vijay Venugopal Iyengar
Director, Business Partner Marketing
Image of Nicola Blue
Nicola Blue
Vice President Amex Insights Global Consumer
American Express
Image of Tonya H. Berry
Tonya H. Berry
Vice President Marketing
Zep Inc
Image of Frank Igrec
Frank Igrec
Director of Marketing
Dicks Sporting Goods
Image of Sam Baum
Sam Baum
Director of Marketing
Red Bull
Image of Leana Less
Leana Less
VP Global Connections and Media
The Coca-Cola Company
Image of Andrew Fried
Andrew Fried
Allswell Home
Image of Christina Olney
Christina Olney
Senior Director of Digital Marketing
National Geographic
Image of Michael Gooch-Breault
Michael Gooch-Breault
Director of Marketing
Verizon Communications
Image of Jodi Patkin
Jodi Patkin
Acting CMO/Vice President, Brand Strategy & Communications
March of Dimes

6 Challenges in Marketing

Our summit is focused on solving your strategic challenges
  • Meeting customer expectations in a world where consumers feel entitled to a great experience
  • Using data to create personalized messaging, whilst remaining compliant and sensitive to privacy
  • Driving visibility into marketing effectiveness through meaningful metrics and measurement
  • Moving the needle on your content marketing efforts so that they convert as well as engage
  • Balancing the need to demonstrate short-term results whilst also driving long-term business strategy
  • Making sense of the increasingly crowded marketing tech landscape, and how to on-board new tools
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Summit Schedule

3 Days - 3 Summit Themes - 13 Workshops
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Monday December 3, 2018
Summit registration
2:00pm - 5:00pm

Grab your name badge, say hello, activate the onsite app and prepare to leave the office behind for two-and-a-half days of networking, learning and intelligence gathering.

Welcome & your itinerary explained
4:15pm - 4:25pm

What? When? How? Where? Join our Master of Ceremonies for a brief welcome and orientation session, where we’ll explain your itinerary for the next few days.

4:30pm - 6:00pm
Track 1: Content and engagement: appealing to the new consumer
4:30pm - 6:00pm
Track 2: Metrics and measurement: driving more marketing effectiveness
4:30pm - 6:00pm
Track 3: The future of marketing: skills, tools and mindsets for success
Cocktail reception
6:00pm - 7:00pm

Time to kick off your heels, loosen those ties and get to know your fellow summit attendees. Relax, drinks are on us.

Keynote dinner
7:00pm - 10:00pm

Fine dining, great networking and brilliant industry insight courtesy of our opening keynote speaker. Food for thought – in more ways than one.

Tuesday December 4, 2018
7:00am - 8:00am

The most important meal of the day. Get yourself set for a productive day by joining us for coffee, croissants and more.

Breakfast Panel: Keep it real, and Keep it coming
8:05am - 8:45am

• The shift from one beautiful piece of content to many pieces working together
• How are folks documenting their content strategy?
• More content doesn’t mean more results, so how are brands being more purposeful in the content they choose?
• How are brands achieving authenticity in a world where all brands are pretending to be “Transparent.”
• Timeliness and relevancy of content- keep a pulse on trends and procedure content quickly enough to give brands a voice in the conversation of the moment

8:50am - 9:30am
Session 1: Content, not nontent: What businesses can learn from social entrepreneurialism to eliminate irrelevance from their customer engagement programs
9:35am - 10:15am
Session 2: The Power of the Collective in a Time of Cultural Division
10:20am - 11:00am
Session 3: Gen Z: How they are changing the way we tell our stories and why we should pay closer attention
11:05am - 11:45am
Session 4: Managing the Content Wave
11:50am - 12:30pm
Session 5: Melissa & Doug’s mission to “Take Back Childhood” - Digital Well-Being: A movement of happier, healthier kids
Lunch & networking
12:35pm - 1:35pm

Worked up an appetite? Recharge those batteries with our buffet-style lunch, and prepare to meet the afternoon head-on.

1:40pm - 2:20pm
Session 6: Know thyself – Understanding your brand’s story is the most important insight of all
2:25pm - 3:05pm
Session 7
3:10pm - 3:50pm
Session 8: Marketing to Millennials: Vital Proteins Feed Your Beauty Campaign
Meetings & Networking
3:55pm - 4:35pm

Details To Follow.

Dinner & second night experience
6:30pm - 10:00pm

Time for some fun; you’ve earned it. Join us for our second night’s dinner and entertainment. Details to follow.

Wednesday December 5, 2018
8:00 am - 8:45 am

The most important meal of the day. Get yourself set for a productive day by joining us for coffee, croissants and more.

Session 10: Who do you Trust?-Influencer Hypnosis
8:50 am - 9:30 am

It’s no secret… influencer marketing is thriving. Entrepreneur magazine reports more than 49% of people rely on recommendations from an influencer and a recent study by Rhythm One shows that influencer marketing can provide a 960% return on investment. With traditional digital in flux and 47% of online customers using ad blockers, there is more reason for marketers to invest in influencers to authentically spread their message. Everything is so accessible & so potentially viral that trust is more important than ever. Consumers are looking to purchase from people they believe in and feel would not steer them in the wrong direction. It’s that faith in reputation that gives strength to influencers.

However, there needs to be a defined strategy to choose which influencer is right for your brand, your customer, your partners, your product and your marketing strategy. There has been a significant shift from celebrity campaigns with million+ followers. Consumers are turned off and have learned from recent influencer and financial fiascos like Fyre Festival to look and follow people with real credibility. There is a higher demand for people that are authentic, approachable & actually care about what they endorse which also benefits the influencer because it leads to more trust & a stronger belief in their message. Unlike a celebrity, a social media influencer is respected for just being themselves. With influencer marketing expected to become a $5 to $10 billion market within the next five years – mediakix, how can your brand thrive by using influencer marketing as part of your marketing mix?


Key Takeaways:

• Which influencers are best for your brand? Celebrity vs. micro…their identities and messaging must align with your brand and the influencers should want to genuinely work with you and spread the word.
• What is your approach for creative direction…if any at all?
• Measurement tools: earned media, site traffic, ROI..etc What are the best ways to measure for your brand and your business objectives?
• How can you push for the holy grail of influencer marketing strategies? What approach can you take to find a win-win for your brand, your customer, your sales objectives, your partners, your influencer, and possibly even give back to the world?

9:35 am - 10:15 am
Session 11: Chipping Away at the Iceberg: Making Sense of Big Data Within your Organization
10:20 am - 11:00 am
Session 12: Meetings & Networking
11:05 am - 11:45 am
Session 13: Spirits + Charity. How to be effective with cause marketing when you don’t want to seem as if you’re using charitable giving to sell more of your brands?
11:50 am - 12:30 pm
Session 14: Content as a Force of Transformation and Alignment in Your Organization
12:35 pm - 1:15 pm
Session 15: Talking points and key takeaways
Lunch & farewells
1:15 pm - 2:15 pm

Worked up an appetite? Recharge those batteries with our buffet-style lunch before your journey home.

Summit Location

Sonesta Resort, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Our events take place at some of the most prestigious venues in the world. Five-star accommodation, dining and amenities make attending one of our summits both business and pleasure. Being productive has never been so much fun.

Previous Summit

Cutting-edge insight, first-class networking - and unparalleled opportunities to improve your project delivery success rates. Find out what you missed last time around...

Latest Case Study

Senior executives love our summits because of the unparalleled opportunity to meet people with ideas on how to move their key projects forward. But don’t just take our word for it…

To discuss how GDS Summits can help you solve your project challenges contact us on: 0117 921 4000 or email