AD eCommerce & Marketing Summit Unites Leaders Under ‘Be Different’ Theme - Modern Distribution Management

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AD eCommerce & Marketing Summit Unites Leaders Under ‘Be Different’ Theme

Over 515 attendees gathered for the 2024 AD eCommerce & Marketing Summit to discuss digital and marketing leadership, products and marketing.
MDM-AD Be Different

Forward-thinking distributors will be hard-pressed to find a segment of their operations that isn’t touched by the potential artificial intelligence and automation have to transform their business. eCommerce and marketing in distribution is no exception.

Between Feb. 12-14, over 515 attendees gathered in San Antonio for the 2024 AD eCommerce & Marketing Summit to hear from 50 experts on digital and marketing leadership, product content and digital marketing.

The annual meeting, themed “Be Different,” kicked off with a keynote on how the rapid advancement of AI technology will transform marketing for distributors and manufacturers, including through increased efficiency and reduced costs. Paul Roetzer, founder and CEO of Marketing AI Institute, emphasized the need for adaptability and preparation for this transformation.

“You can build a smarter version of your team, you can build a smarter path for your career, you can build a smarter version of any company in any industry, by using [AI] capabilities in all aspects of your organization,” Roetzer said. “CEOs are looking at every aspect of their business, all the partners they work with, and wondering if they have the right people to help them move into this next phase.”

So where do distributors start? Identify the best use cases to implement AI efficiencies. Those use cases are processes and tasks that are: driven by data, repetitive, predictive and generative.

Marketing AI Institute Founded and CEO Paul Roetzer delivers the keynote at the 2024 AD eCommerce & Marketing Summit in San Antonio.

Jessie Johnson, Principal Analyst at Forrester, closed out the summit with a keynote about ways to leverage AI to differentiate from the competition.

Automation and integration of emerging technologies and evolving business models were among other key topics at the summit.

“By leveraging emerging technologies and pioneering strategies, we can stay ahead of the curve and take advantage of the digital shift,” Caroline Ernst, AD Vice President of eCommerce Solutions said in a Feb. 26 news release. “This summit serves as an essential avenue for leveraging the growth of our community and finding more opportunities to connect with one another.”

Over 515 attended the 2024 AD eCommerce & Marketing Summit on Feb. 12-14.

Attendees at the summit were offered four content tracks featuring panel discussions and roundtables tailored to their specific interests and areas of expertise within eCommerce and marketing. On Feb. 13, MDM’s partner John Gunderson of Dorn Group spoke on behalf of MDM CEO Tom Gale on the convergence of sales, tech, data and people within distribution.

Dorn’s John Gunderson spoke on behalf of MDM CEO Tom Gale on the convergence of sales, tech, data and people within distribution.

During the event, members and service providers took part in structured booth sessions to explore partnership opportunities and discuss innovations that can support their businesses. In addition, eCommerce and Marketing network members engaged in organized network sessions to exchange thoughts on digital trends, share best practices, and address day-to-day challenges.

Nearly 50% of attendees at the summit were first-timers, and 15% of attendees were new to AD events. (Editor’s Note from MDM Senior Editor Vesna Brajkovic: I was one person who made up these percentages. It was my first time attending the summit and any AD event.) 

2024 AD eCommerce & Marketing Summit Awards

The summit included an awards show celebrating AD owner/members who achieved eCommerce and marketing success, collaborated with AD to improve their customer experience, and introduced innovation to their companies. Winners included:

  • Digital Mindset Award: Ideal Supply
  • Most Improved Digital Supplier: Techspan Industries
  • eContent Digital Experience Award: McNaughton-McKay
  • Electric Company Digital Supplier of the Year: Ergodyne
  • Digital Innovator of The Year: Etna Supply Company

(Photos: MDM/Vesna Brajkovic)

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