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Marketing summons future at Vegas conference

By Eunice Bridges
Phillips 66 Corporate Communications

Innovation will lead the way.  

That was the message that permeated throughout the Phillips 66 Power Ahead Marketing Conference, an event for Phillips 66®, 76®, Conoco® and Phillips 66 Aviation customers, held recently in Las Vegas. 

“We're encouraging innovation and trying new things like never before” with an increasing sense of urgency, said Vice President of Global Marketing Pam McGinnis

And signs of change were everywhere — from a branded electric-vehicle charging station to sessions on digital strategies for Gen Z consumers to a “c-store of the future” concept with the latest technology.  

The branded marketer conference, which was held for the first time since 2017, is designed to strengthen the relationship between Phillips 66 and key customers, from large marketers to independent owners/operators.  

It drew more than 1,200 attendees, among them Phillips 66 Chairman and CEO Greg Garland and President and COO Mark Lashier, who urged customers to embrace innovation. 

“The future is bright if we're willing to try new things,” Lashier said.  

EVs a hot topic 

EVs were a hot topic throughout the four-day event, since Phillips 66 announced plans with FreeWire Technologies to explore opportunities to deploy battery-integrated charging technology within its U.S. network of fueling stations and other locations.  

Lashier said that EVs will constitute about 10% of the U.S. vehicle fleet by 2030, which means there will be both increased demand for charging infrastructure and continued demand for liquid fuels for years to come.   

“It's going to be a long, gradual change,” Lashier said during a fireside chat that also touched on the company’s efforts around renewable fuels. 
 

Going ‘phygital’ 

In another large session, Brand Manager Sunny Lopez introduced a term that picked up steam in the conference vernacular – “phygital,” a mashup of physical and digital.  

“Phygital means that consumers want you to offer a seamless experience across your brick and mortar and your online presence,” Lopez said.  

At the expo, the c-store of the future featured digital price and advertising displays, an innovative way to use existing security cameras to produce customer flow data and a self-checkout machine that uses 3D imaging to identify products without the use of barcodes.  

Lashier, who will become CEO on July 1, said that future success hinges on working hand in hand with customers on technology and innovation. 

“We have to trust each other on this journey,” Lashier said. “If we do that, we're going to be unstoppable.”