ImageAs we go into the final days of preparing for The Social Shake-Up Conference (September 15-17), what I’m continually asked is what the conference is about.

If you are in marketing, you have no doubt heard many great marketing gurus talk about the importance of purpose when it comes to marketing a product.  Perhaps you have heard the dynamic Jim Stengel talk about “purpose-based marketing”  and you already know how he was able, as CMO of Proctor and Gamble, to tie buying disposable diapers to a concern we all have for children in a story-telling partnership with UNICEF.  You may know about how the Unilever brand, Dove, was able to create a global community around the purpose of re-defining female beauty.  You may also know how MasterCard was able to put our value for the indefinable pleasures of family, experience and connection above our concern for using a credit card, and to back it up with real support for refugees and others who are threatened by using cash.

The examples abound of companies now becoming B-Corps -- companies like Warby-Parker and others whose purpose is not only to return maximum value to shareholders, but also to benefit society and the environment.  

The purpose of The Social Shake-Up is not only to discover the many ways that large businesses are incorporating social into their practices, but also to demonstrate that all this disruption is actually working to improve the ways that companies act in the world – for shareholders, for customers and for all the rest of us. As noted in IBM’s CEO studies,  “social” is not only a business strategy; CEOs’ concern for social is also prompting their objective to become more transparent and more ethical.

Taking this two-pronged purpose into consideration, we’re gathering some of the best leaders we could find: Wendy Lea of GetSatisfaction, Peter Kim of Daichis, Michael Brito at Edelman, Frank Eliason of Citi, Jay Bartlett of Xerox, Liza Landsman at e*Trade, Porter Gale, Brian Solis, Richard Margetic at Dell, Susan Emerick and Tami Cannizzaro at IBM, Neil Bedwell at Coke, Gail Ennis of Karmasphere... and on and on.  Check out our complete list of speakers here.

Our purpose is also being shared by a terrific roster of sponsors, from SAP and Adobe and Cox, to Shoutlet and Spredfast.

This won’t be one of those conferences where the audience sits in the back of the room; just as we have done with our Best Thinkers webinar series, we’re designing the panels for maximum audience participation.  We hope you’ll join us, not simply for all the great content and networking, but also to help us demonstrate our purpose.   

I look forward to seeing you in Atlanta on September 15: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/event.

image: road to Atlanta/shutterstock