Can you find strategic marketing lessons at a transportation marketing conference applicable to a broader audience? It was definitely possible at last week's Transportation Marketing & Sales Association conference. I was there to speak on social media for business-to-business marketers and was happy to see a lot of strategic marketing lessons directly relevant to Brainzooming topics. Here are snippets from 15 strategic marketing lessons shared at the TMSA conference:


"If you think you're more important than others, you're starting in a hole." - Bill Butterworth

"Whatever you want, give it away." - Joe Calhoon


Teams are kept from effective working relationships through poor self-confidence, unhealthy competition, lack of communication, and an inability to change. Turning non-performing teams into strong ones depends on treating people with respect, celebrating diversity within the team, and instilling a sense of personal sacrifice for the team's success. - Bill Butterworth

Strong Performance

There are four keys to organizational performance: Having and communicating a clear strategy, executing flawlessly, creating a strong sense of trust, and cultivating a high performance culture. - Joe Calhoon

For sales and marketing alignment: Collaboration + Cooperation = Peak Performance – Peter Ostrow

“Push for the best creative there is, fight for it, and then make somebody else dilute it. Don’t do that yourself.” - Dick Metzler

Marketing’s Role

“Marketing is about strategy, understanding, and building the business. Communication is the end of the process. Marketing communications is part of it, but marketing is about strategy.” Greg Reid

“Marketing is the manipulation of perceptions for the express purpose of creating brand preference.” – Dick Metzler

Marketing Opportunities

The best marketing strategy is to ask questions in order to really know a customer. Small players can use deep understanding to pursue real opportunities to address challenging, irregular, or unexpected situations customers face. - "TMSA Why Buyers Buy Panel"

“You have to know your customer better than anyone in the company if you’re in sales and marketing.” – Greg Reid

Public Relations

When pitching a story, customize the pitch through understanding the audience the publication is trying to reach. You can provide value to the person you're pitching by being an expert on your topic (including your company, if that's what you're pitching) and providing opportunities for editors to experience the potential story, if at all possible. - "TMSA Editors Panel"

Social Media

According to the panel of editors, print isn't dead; nothing is dead. Publications are responding to new media by trying to put content into as many channels as possible. One publication has found value in its 1,000+ member LinkedIn group providing real sources for content. With the availability of more content channels, companies can benefit themselves by cultivating more spokespeople within their companies. - "TMSA Editors Panel"


You can't just sit behind your desk or your computer to understand the future of your marketplace. New ideas surface through conversations and at industry meetings before they reach publications. - "TMSA Why Buyers Buy Panel"

“Chance favors the prepared mind.” - Louis Pasteur (via Peter Ostrow)

Advice for Presenters

"Speakers should have a good opening, and a good finish, and keep them as close to each other as possible." - Joe Calhoon


Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your brand strategy and implementation efforts.