NEW LONDON, CT: Conversion Marketing, which launched early this year and filled its ranks with IBM veterans, is supporting a virtual summit for IT giants CenturyLink, VMware, and Amazon Web Services.
The project, called Connect: A Virtual Series, will be broadcast on November 1 and feature a panel of experts from AWS, CenturyLink, and VMware. It will be hosted by Katie Linendoll, a tech correspondent for "Today" and The Weather Channel.
Work on the summit began in August, and Conversion Marketing has produced a promotional video for the series. According to partner and agency lead Matt Berry, the project has a $200,000 budget.
Since its launch in January 2018, Conversion has filled out its ranks with IBM communications and marketing vets, including Berry, a former VP of marketing and assistant to Jon Iwata, retired SVP of comms and chief brand officer.
Earlier this month, the agency hired strategist Kami Snyder, a marketing and product-line management executive. Marketing specialist Joanne Macdonald, a former worldwide marketing manager at IBM, joined in September, and creative strategist Ron Favali came aboard in July. Favali was program director for IBM MobileFirst for iOS and Apple Partnership Marketing until May 2017.
Berry said he wants to replicate the successes he had at IBM by following the tech giant’s data-focused blueprint. When Conversion started delivering analytics, it signed CenturyLink and VMware as clients.
After that, the agency worked on The Catalyst Club, a client advocacy project for VMware and CenturyLink. The so-called "club" is a group of select clients who receive "exclusive access and benefits" and meet every quarter, according to a statement.
The success of The Catalyst Club led to VMware and CenturyLink teaming up with AWS on its Connect series.
"It’s something I lived and breathed every day, looking at the data and understanding the data," Berry said. "Now I’m working with so many new companies, I can see the exact same appetites. They’re already embracing it; it’s something appealing to clients, and it’s something we’re comfortable doing as IBM alumni."
Conversion is also applying the social media lessons it took from IBM. The agency puts clients through 90-day programs to build up their "social eminence," a concept championed by Iwata, according to Berry. A similar IBM program trained thousands of employees, according to a statement.
Conversion is a sister agency of Green Ink Marketing Communications, a firm that worked with IBM for 20 years, Berry said. Conversion’s principals are Berry, Green Ink founder Alan Green Jr., and Gary Schaefer, a managing partner at Green Ink, according to public records.
During his tenure at IBM, Berry launched IBM brands including MobileFirst and PureSystems.