IMPACT16 Delivers Top Quality Content and Networking in Las Vegas

IMPACT16 Delivers Top Quality Content and Networking in Las Vegas - IMA

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IMPACT16, the signature conference of the Internet Marketing Association (IMA), rocked Las Vegas again this year, at the beautiful Aria Campus. This year’s version was the best yet! More than 125 facilitators shared their insights and unique perspective with the attendees which topped 700. As expected with IMPACT, there were many surprises and unique experiences as part of the experience.

The core of the event is the keynotes, covering a broad range of industry topics, with the leading experts in the field sharing their insights. Several topics came up more than a few times. For example, Andrea Ward from Oracle Marketing Cloud covered the increased need for connected data across a complicated spectrum. She introduced the concept of a brand fingerprint. Content was also a very hot topic, both on the keynote stage and in the breakout sessions.

Predictive analytics has become a major topic of conversation in marketing, and of course the discussion continued at IMPACT16. Darian Shirazi, Radius, went into detail on the predictive transformation we are currently going through. Based on successful accounts, we can use data to create predictive analytics that help us find more customers of that same type. At IMPACT16, Oracle and Radius announced that Radius’ leading B2B predictive marketing platform solution is now available on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace.

Melanie Butcher, Director of User Experience at IBM Commerce, showed us the work going on with IBM Watson to make interacting with computers more like interacting with people. It has shown that customers get more engaged the more they interact, and as Director of User Experience, Melanie has applied Watson’s technology to that end. The real language queries that Watson allows make for a very human-like experience. Her demonstration was a fascinating view into Watson’s ability to communicate in a human style.

Instagram was represented by Jim Squires, who questioned whether we are more or less social with the advance of technology. He also provided a blueprint for interacting with the audience on mobile. Businesses are using Instagram, and there are pockets of the social landscape that Instagram excels in. For example, six of the top 10 sites on Instagram are music sites.

One of the more esoteric presentations was given by Steve Cough, Founder and CEO of AVO. His was focus on telling stories and illustrated unique ways that data can be matched to occurrence in nature. His firm concentrates on leveraging methodologies and insights from the behavioral sciences to arm business leaders with the knowledge they need to build the companies that are shaping the world.

Each IMPACT conference has presented stimulating panel discussions, and this year was no different. A panel of CMOs discussed the technologies that are transforming the way marketers do what they do. When you get six CMOs together to talk about what they are excited about, the answers are bound to be fascinating. The technologies of the future were well-represented. Integration of content, mobile readiness and tomorrow’s communication technologies were all topics that the panel saw as drivers of change in the future.

One of the panel discussions and a breakout session featured the Women’s Leadership Group, moderated by Jeanniey Mullen of Mercer. Several women-specific issues were covered along with an entertaining dose of marketing banter.

The breakout sessions at this year’s IMPACT event covered many of the most important and discussed issues in Internet marketing. The breakouts allow a bit more attention to be paid to a particular angle, and the IMA assembled a top-notch group of subject matter experts. This year a dozen sessions, all focused on internet marketing thought leadership, brought us more than 50 speakers and moderators. As past attendees will tell you, great stuff happens in the breakout sessions. The narrower focus allows a deeper dive into topics like “Financial Technology and Internet Marketing” and “Content Trends in 2017 and Beyond.”

Internet celebrity Brian Wong, CEO of Kiip, shared excerpts from his recently published “The Cheat Code” book of secrets, hacks and tips to get noticed and ahead. Brian’s unique style makes for a very engaging presentation. The topic of his book was presented very well and made a great keynote.

One of IMPACT’s signature events is their evening Welcome Reception, this at the brand new SkyFall Lounge at the Delano tower of Mandalay Bay Resort, featuring a powerful line-up of Entertainment CMOs and Celebrities including Jeff Civilico, Headliner Comedian, Justin Weniger, CEO, Life is Beautiful; Ronn Nicolli, Global Marketing Leader, Wynn Resort Las Vegas, and James Scott, Director of Customer Development, LIGHT Nightclub. Once the party started, celebrity duo Heather Dubrow from Real Housewives of Orange County and popular podcast – Heather Dubrow’s World, along with her husband Terry Dubrow from Botched took the stage, followed by EDM Artist Steve Aoki, who joined IMA for an intimate Q&A on Digital Marketing and the Billion Dollar Millennial Movement. Aoki is a Billboard and World Music Award winning artist who got the entire audience fired up.

Jo-Ann Bloch’s excellent presentation on the collaborative economy kicked off day 2. She focused on the Kardashians and their “collaborative economy” as an example, creating an indelible impression that supported her presentation.

We learned about more plans from the IMA and some additional features and benefits coming up from Victor Cho, CEO of eVite. The core announcement was introduction of the IMA Influencer Circle. Victor then interviewed Dennis Kuhl, CEO of The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Victor started his remarks with “Content is king…”.

A particularly interesting session was given by Tom Ludington, Cayman Islands. The evolution of Internet marketing in the travel industry has been continual, as travel was one of the first products offered online. Tom gave us a view on how the Cayman Islands have used Internet media to promote the Cayman brand.

IMA Vice Chairman Matt Langie took over the keynote stage and presented some important aspects of the IMA to the membership. Matt shared the development of the Certified Internet Marketer program that the IMA has developed and partnered with several large corporations, such as Microsoft.

Symantec Director of EMEA CRM Matt Zumwalt sat down with Langie to discuss the importance of human engagement in the digital sales process. He presented human engagement as the “next marketing evolution,” quoting stats and experience from Symantec’s use of human interaction to build longer term customers and increase customer satisfaction.

Security and privacy were not forgotten, and IMPACT16 attendees were treated to a great discussion by Peter Lopez from Technicolor about the risks of marketing on the Internet in his presentation, “With Greater Accessibility, Comes Greater Exploitability.” Peter focused in the differences between perceived and actual risks in the data explosion we’ve experienced.

The IMA gets involved in many issues that affect its members, and that led to a discussion with Todd Schulte, CEO of, about the issues revolving around immigration and its effect on firms trying to obtain the right skill sets while building teams. Todd also introduced us to Sarahi Salamanca, who told a very uplifting story of her own walk through the immigration process.

Recognition of exemplary work has always been part of IMPACT, and this year saw an outstanding class of leading marketers who collected awards for Internet marketing excellence in over 80 categories of individual and company recognition. The winners were honored at a gala awards luncheon.

Kevin Akeroyd from Cision showed us that what is old is new again and tied us all into today’s media. What isn’t changing is that family and friends are still the sources of product information that we trust. He was followed by Matt Anchin of Monster who shared the reinvention of Monster starting in 2013 that focused on brand, reputation and revenue, in that order. Once an Internet pioneer, Monster’s shine had faded, and Matt’s team have focused on content that resonates with their audience.

One of the headlines of the IMPACT conference is the “Startup Battlefield” where early growth companies submit their business plans. The top six appear on the IMPACT stage in a “Shark Tank” style bake-off with genuine venture capitalists.

The “Startup Battlefield” segment started with a success story: a presentation from Joe Manning of Shipt. Joe shared aspects of Shipt’s growth and how it all took place. The case study of a successfully growing business set the stage well for the next round of battlefield competitors.

The battlefield was moderated by Aya Zook of Microsoft Accelerator. He was joined by two other prestigious VCs, Terrence Yang from Yang Venture and Jason Garcia from Silicon Valley Bank. These gentlemen also served as the judges for the competition. We heard presentations from seven start-ups chosen from over 100 entries. In the end, the judges selected as the winner, represented by CMO Lauren Pufpaf. was awarded a prize package including PR representation from leading Internet agency KCOMM, valued at more than $10,000.

One of the most interesting parts of the IMPACT conference is the predictions made by our many thought leaders. Some of the predictions for marketing technology included:

• Real-language queries of analytics, demonstrated by IBM Watson

• Machine generated content: e.g., feed in data and statistics to create a video giving an analysis of the data

• Increased use of podcast and streaming audio for the delivery of targeted content

• Greater granularity of content: creating more and more targeted content aimed at the type of prospect and the stage in the sales journey

• An ever increasing effort to engage customers with Internet marketing: new tools and ways of delivering content to help reach larger audiences with your message

The event was aptly wrapped up with a great concert and dinner featuring No Doubt tribute band “No Duh” and an amazing meal supplied by “The Halal Guys,” who have recently expanded into Las Vegas. Fitting end to a great conference.

Thank you for your attention and interests in advancing our industry.

Sinan Kanatsiz, CIM

Chairman, Internet Marketing Association (IMA),

Save the date – IMPACT17 Cayman is coming – April 27-29,

Revolutionary ThinAir Data Security Solution Announced

Security start-up ThinAir labs is launching their product at the Black Hat cybersecurity show in Las Vegas this year.  The company pre-publicized the launch July 26th with a press release and along with a new website at

For the last three years, ThinAir has been quietly working on a mission that will change the way security products are built. Their goal is to protect organizations with security through simplicity — building incredible protections that allow everyone, not just security professionals, to keep their most important files safe.

The company is now ready to deliver their exciting new product that provides unprecedented control and visibility to data, and is easy to implement and use.  They will be displaying the product at Black Hat and providing demonstrations on the unique power and simplicity of the ThinAir platform.

To learn more about ThinAir, sign up on their website or follow them on Twitter @thinairlabs

Four Distinguished Technology Business Leaders Bring Additional Expertise to IMA Board of Directors

The Internet Marketing Association (IMA) has announced the addition of four distinguished technology business leaders to its Board of Directors. They are Joe DeMike, Head of Global Operations, Google Accelerator; Andrea Ward, Vice President Marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud; Chris Hamaway, VP Sales & Marketing, Montage Resorts Worldwide; and Darian Shirazi, CEO, Radius.

DeMike launches new business ventures at Google, including access, advertising and commerce products. He has also participated in product marketing, brand marketing and sales operations. DeMike worked on Google’s “Get Your Business Online” campaign and was responsible for the Global AdWords Express product launch. Prior to Google, he founded a content marketing company and worked as an internal business consultant and strategic planner in the biotechnology industry at Genentech, Inc. DeMike served as a U.S. Army officer for eight years, leading soldiers in Iraq, and received the Bronze Star. With IMA, he will focus on veterans in Internet marketing, innovation and leadership.


Ward leads all aspects of global marketing and demand generation for Oracle Marketing Cloud Global Unit, including messaging, brand, demand generation, strategy and global field marketing. Her previous responsibilities at Oracle included leading marketing integration and communications for Oracle’s M&A practice, head of marketing for the communications industry business unit, and managing Oracle’s customer visit centers globally. Prior to joining Oracle, Ward held a number of marketing leadership and financial management positions at high-technology and pharmaceutical companies. With IMA, her focus will be on mentoring.

Hamaway is responsible for developing and leading the overall sales and marketing strategy for Montage branded hotels. He oversees hotel sales, digital marketing and revenue management for all company brands. Hamaway previously served as the Senior Corporate Director of Global Sales for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, where he led the team responsible for generating revenue and providing strategic sales direction for over 70 properties around the world, as well as being a founding faculty member of Ritz-Carlton’s Leadership Institute. His experience also includes the opening team at Atlantis Resort in the Bahamasand General Manager of one of the largest travel companies in the U.S. With IMA, Hamaway will focus on hospitality for IMA groups.

Shirazi is an entrepreneur and was an early employee at Facebook as a software engineer. He also worked on the Sell Your Item team at eBay. Shirazi has founded, invested in and advised many successful technology companies. He holds patents related to aggregation and identifying trends in web feeds. With IMA, Shirazi will focus on B2B, strategy and relationships.

In addition to these appointments, the IMA Board of Directors also includes:

  • Victor Cho, CEO, Evite; IMA focus on new platform and premium membership
  • Sinan Kanatsiz, CEO, KCOMM; IMA Chairman and Founder
  • David Krauss, Global Vice President, Sage Midsize Enterprise Solutions; IMA focus on CMO as a service, SMB marketing
  • Matt Langie, CMO, Curalate; IMA focus on education, strategy, CIM business unit
  • Jeff Marcoux, CMO Lead, Microsoft; IMA focus on enterprise, Midwest group (Chairman)
  • Jeanniey Mullen, (title), (company): IMA focus on Chair, IMA Women Leaders Group (Chair), growth marketing, innovation solutions
  • Vince Walden, Partner, Ernst & Young; IMA Controller and Treasurer

“It has been my personal pursuit to identify and appoint some of the industry’s strongest leaders to our board, the appointment of these gifted leaders, will continue to propel the IMA’s value to our worldwide members and their respective organizations.”

069 – Mike Matuz on Fitness, Marketing, and Digital Disruption


Mike (@playmakergrp) started working as a personal trainer in several different sports clubs while attending college at Chapman University. There, as a collegiate athlete he used his sports background to create a variety of innovative training systems for his clients. After graduating, Mike received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing from Chapman University along with several National accreditations in health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness.


“An educated consumer is a plus.” – Mike Matuz

In this Conversation We Cover:

–  The disruption of the fitness landscape.

–  How fitness trainers need to think about their business.

–  The role of fitness professionals to their clients.

–  Why an educated consumer is a good thing.

–  How FSF utilizes gamification to keep clients engaged.

–  The direction that fitness is going with the revolution of functional movement.


In this conversation Mike and Dominick discuss the early years of his fitness brand, First Step Fitness, and their current trajectory. Mike goes on to share his thoughts on the fitpro industry and the role that marketing plays within the context of a fitness brand. Finally, Mike speaks about the changes his company has made in response to digital disruption and what that means for the industry going forward.

Show Links & Social:

Mike Matuz: [social_link type=”linkedin” url=”“][/social_link][social_link type=”twitter” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link]

First Step Fitness: [social_link type=”linkedin” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] [social_link type=”wordpress” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] [social_link type=”twitter” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link]

IMA Network: [social_link type=”linkedin” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] [social_link type=”wordpress” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] [social_link type=”twitter” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link]

Dominick Sirianni: [social_link type=”linkedin” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] [social_link type=”twitter” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] Email:

All podcasts:  



IMA Video Podcast

Facebook launches ‘Reactions’ to allow more diverse engagements to content

reactionsWritten by Erik Leist, Internet Marketing Evangelist for the Internet Marketing Association.

The simple ‘Like’ button is no more. Facebook hinted a few months back that they were considering expanding reactions to posts from just like, comment and share to some new choices.

For a long time users have asked for a ‘dislike’ button. Facebook, not wanting to focus on negativity has finally responded with ‘Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry’.

How will this affect businesses, should brands be concerned? Absolutely not. It will help you gain insight into customer sentiment without a user posting a comment, firstly. Secondly it will encourage more users to interact in meaningful ways with your brand – more opportunities likely means more engagements. Brands should expect to see a spike in engagement in the short term as users experiment with this new feature.

Our new favorite reaction is definitely ‘love’. Instead of a sort of ‘meh’ like, users who are excited about your posts can give much stronger affirmation. Angry may seem like the most troubling reaction for your brand, but we feel ‘haha’ could see the most abuse. If you post something serious and customers are laughing at you, you’re going to want to find out why.

068 – Live from IMPACT15, Founder of Student Tutor and IMA Partner, Laura Petersen



laura-petersen-ima-podcastLaura Petersen (@lsp_s) is the co-founder of Student-Tutor as well as a partner here at the IMA. An entrepreneur, lifelong learner, and master teacher, Laura loves finding ways to do better with less and leverage tools and tricks for better efficiency, productivity, and fun. She helps the IMA with podcast write-ups, social media, and articles inspired by the guests.



“You can’t do it all yourself. Delegate more, empower people more, give them wings and they’ll really impress you.” – Laura Petersen

In this Conversation We Cover:

–  Her experiences at IMPACT15 and her main takeaways.

–  The main difference between IMPACT14 and IMPACT15.

–  Laura’s role in producing the IMA Leader podcast.

–  Why you need to delegate tasks in your business.

–  Laura’s advice for new Internet Marketers.


In this conversation Laura and Dominick discuss her experiences at IMPACT15 and her main takeaways, the differences between IMPACT14 and IMPACT15, how the conference has helped her to grow her own business, how new internet marketers can step into the game with no prior experience.

Show Links & Social:

Laura Petersen: [social_link type=”linkedin” url=”“][/social_link][social_link type=”twitter” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link]

Student-Tutor: [social_link type=”linkedin” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] [social_link type=”wordpress” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] [social_link type=”twitter” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link]

IMA Network: [social_link type=”linkedin” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] [social_link type=”wordpress” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] [social_link type=”twitter” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link]

Dominick Sirianni: [social_link type=”linkedin” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] [social_link type=”twitter” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] Email:

All podcasts:  



IMA Video Podcast

067 – Christoph Trappe on Authentic Storytelling, Social Media, and Self-Publishing


christoph-trappeChristoph Trappe (@ctrappe) is an author, global keynote speaker and a top content marketing influencer. He travels around the globe to help organizations and people share their authentic stories.




“A lot of people out there are talking about storytelling but they aren’t talking about authentic storytelling.” – Christoph Trappe

In this Conversation We Cover:

–  How authentic stories can be used to create long-term successes.

–  The #1 mistake companies are making on social media.

–  The technology and services he used to get his book out into the world.

–  How he repurposed his blog posts to get his book written.


In this conversation Christoph and Dominick discuss his new book titled Get Real: Sharing Authentic Stories for Long-Term Success, why he wrote it, the many frustrations of writing, and the innovative process he is using to write his second book. Christoph then shares his observations on the state of social media and the mistakes that most companies are making with their strategy. Finally, he dives into the world of self-publishing and reveals the exact tools and technologies he used to get his book published and listed on Amazon.

Episode Links:

Buy the Book:

Read the Blog:

Show Links & Social:

Christoph Trappe: [social_link type=”linkedin” url=”“][/social_link][social_link type=”twitter” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link]

IMA Network: [social_link type=”linkedin” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] [social_link type=”wordpress” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] [social_link type=”twitter” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link]

Dominick Sirianni: [social_link type=”linkedin” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] [social_link type=”twitter” url=”” target=”on” ][/social_link] Email:

All podcasts:  



IMA Video Podcast


The Enclave Appoints New Director of Meetings and Special Events

Brand New Las Vegas Event Venue Expands Leadership Team To Oversee Development


Enclave announced today that Heather Coldwell has joined the Enclave team as the Director of Meetings and Special Events. Heather Coldwell comes with a wealth of experience within the industry, having spent the last ten years at big name companies like Wynn Encore Las Vegas, Block 16 Hospitality, Minus 5 and Hard Rock where she played an instrumental role in sales and business development. Joining in advance of the launch of the Enclave, Heather will oversee the development and implement strategy for maximum success of events.

With her most recent venture at Wynn Encore Las Vegas, Heather was the Director of Restaurant Events where she oversaw all aspects of restaurant group sales for 17 restaurants and lounges.  This experience will transition into her role at Enclave for all event bookings that will include, but not limited to execution of catering, staff management, directing vendors, live entertainment for private events and much more. Heather comments, “I am excited to start a new challenge with the Enclave and work with this terrific team.  Enclave will be an amazing new addition to Las Vegas and promises some new and exciting upcoming concepts for events.”

Eli Stearns, one of the Managing Partners of the Enclave leadership team said “We conducted a very expansive and lengthy search process for our Director position, understanding that our people is the biggest key to success. In Heather, we found the perfect candidate to lead this new venture.  She has great relationships in Las Vegas and years of experience at managing and leading teams in the events world.  We are thrilled to have her on our team.”