Agenda — CMO Summit

The Agenda

Agenda is tentative and subject to change.

Wednesday, September 18

2:00pm – 5:00pm  Registration


Thursday, September 19

7:30am – 4:30pm  Registration


8:00am – 8:45am  Breakfast


9:00am – 9:30am  Welcome & Introductions—Chris Dolnack, NSSF Senior Vice President & CMO

Get pumped for this year’s CMO summit with a sneak peek of what you can expect and get to know your industry peers in attendance.

9:30am – 10:30am  The Most Human Company Wins—Mark Schaefer

We’re in the middle of a marketing rebellion. The brands of today are built on human impressions. Best-selling author Mark Schaefer will break down how you can survive in this new marketing landscape where customers buy based on personal value more than product features, where trust in brands is at a 10-year low, and why nobody sees your ads anymore.

10:30am – 11:00am  Networking Break


11:00am – 12:00pm  The Pursuit—Rorke Denver

Leading a team to excellence is no easy feat, but as the saying goes, where there is a will there’s a way. Drawing on his experience as a U.S. Navy Seal, Commander Rorke Denver will share why excellence doesn’t happen by accident. You have to pursue it. Being intentional about your training, behavior and drive can help you achieve your leadership, culture and performance goals.

12:00 – 1:15pm  Networking Lunch


1:15pm – 2:15pm  Influencers, Video, Social Media: Marketing to Gun Culture 2.0 and Beyond—Jon Patton

Its 2019. The landscape of the firearms industry is changing faster than ever before. How do you reach the next generation? You’ve probably heard the term “influencer marketing,” but do you really know what it means? For that matter, do you know why it matters? It’s time to learn about content creation strategies from an actual content creator. Jon Patton has been in the trenches of content creation for the better part of a decade and he will walk you through how to use content creators and influencers to effectively reach the new-age gun enthusiast.

2:15pm – 3:00pm  Marketing to the Generations—Paula Iwanski

There’s not a “one size fits all” when it comes to reaching your target audience. With all the choices out there for marketers, how do you know which medium to choose? Industry veteran Paula Iwanski will review the generations, how they consume media and how to determine what’s the best solution for your business.

3:00pm – 3:15pm  Networking Break


3:15pm – 4:15pm  Strategic Futurist & Corporate Strategist—Nancy Giordano

In this digital age, it’s not only important to live in the present, but also look to the future. Nancy Giordano, one of the world’s top female futurists, is helping visionary leaders reshape their organizations and teams. She’ll share insights on emerging technologies that can help spark innovation.

4:30pm – 6:00pm  Networking Reception

Kick back, enjoy some refreshments, and build relationships with your fellow CMO Summit colleagues, sponsors, and guest speakers.

Friday, September 20

8:00am – 8:45am  Breakfast


9:00am – 9:45am  Social Media Update and Live Fire Q&A—Chuck Rossi

Chuck Rossi, a 30-year Silicon Valley veteran who spent 10 years leading Facebook’s software release infrastructure team, will provide an update on social media and the firearms industry (including examples of recent successes) and answer audience questions.

9:45am – 10:30am  24 Million People Want to Buy Their First Firearm. Will It Be Yours?—Rob Southwick

Recent NSSF research shows there are millions who want to buy their first firearm. However, their motivations for owning a firearm vary widely. This presentation will describe the motivations and product preferences for the eight major consumer segments that make up the 24 million Americans who want to buy their first firearm, plus:

  • Why they haven’t bought yet, even during the unprecedented 2009-2016 sales run;
  • Where to find them;
  • The marketing messages and visuals they find compelling; and
  • Other insights regarding how to encourage them to buy their first firearm and help the industry grow!

This presentation is a must for marketers and will present actionable take-home insights for all members of our industry.

10:30am – 10:45am Networking Break


10:45am – 11:45am Fearless Leadership—Carey Lohrenz

Supercharge your performance in today’s competitive business environment! As the first female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot in the U.S. Navy, Carey Lohrenz is used to working in fast-moving dynamic environments where inconsistent execution can generate catastrophic results. Learn how you can be a fearless leader through courage, tenacity and integrity.

Optional Add-on Research Track

12:00pm – 12:50pm Latest NSSF Research Insights That Will Help You Succeed and How NSSF is Applying Research to Bring You New Customers—Jim Curcuruto

NSSF’s vast and ever-expanding research library is totally useless. Useless, that is, until it is actually used. Those that do use research insights will find it easier to compete and succeed in today’s challenging market conditions. NSSF wants our members to succeed and have a competitive advantage over non-members. That’s why we’ve been providing quality research reports and information to our members for the past decade. Jim Curcuruto will cover insights gained from NSSF materials that will help you better understand current market conditions and provide you some direction on how best to position yourself and your company for future success. Jim will also discuss how NSSF uses this research to build programs such as +ONE that are helping to bring new customers to market.

1:00pm – 1:50pm  Communicating with the American Public About Firearm Ownership—Mark Damian Duda

This presentation will provide an overview of recent research findings of the most effective ways of communicating with the American public about the benefits of firearm ownership. While the shooting sports industry devotes substantial funding and effort to communications initiatives to boost participation in and support for target shooting and firearms, to this point, little reliable data exists indicating the words, phrases, messages and communications strategies that work best. Without compelling and persuasive messages promoting the benefits of firearm ownership, public perception and understanding of firearms and the shooting sports in general may begin to erode. In July 2019, NSSF and Responsive Management conducted a major study that identified the words and phrases that most resonate among the American public regarding firearm ownership, including those who hold pro-, neutral or anti-gun ownership attitudes. Also discussed will be the effectiveness of the top pro- and anti- arguments pertaining to hunting among the American public and how this information can help you build effective campaigns.

2:05pm – 3:00pm Not Your Grandma’s Research: A Dramatically Different Approach to Understanding Your Customers and Prospects—Susan Baier

As marketers, we are trained to focus on WHO — their age, income, buying behavior and budgets. But what really drives engagement and purchase isn’t “who” — it’s WHY. This presentation will provide perspective on different approaches to segmentation and persona development, with examples of brands using attitudes to define their target audiences. Susan Baier will also reveal some new insights that NSSF has gained through its own recent segmentation research, and how it has streamlined NSSF communications. Come learn how developing attitudinal segments can blow the doors off your marketing strategy, content and messaging.

3:10pm – 4:00pm Activating Ammunition Sales: Insights from Using In-the-Moment Conversational Insights to Understand Consumer Shopping Behaviors—Jon Dore

In this fast-paced and engaging session, you’ll learn about the who, what, where, when and why of ammo purchasing utilizing shopper feedback collected on-site and in-the-moment from an NSSF funded study in July 2019. Partnering with Reach3 Insights, and by employing groundbreaking conversational research exercise – which leveraged geo-triggers and modern messaging services instead of email invitations — the NSSF was able to engage shoppers in a manner that was more organic and authentic than traditional survey-based research approaches. What’s more, this inherently mobile approach allowed for the collection of rich video selfies alongside robust quantitative feedback. The result: deeper, more immersive insights about the ammo shopping experience and purchase motivations across many key retailers. Be sure not to miss this one!

4:00pm – 5:00pm Networking Hour (including beverages and appetizers)