Marketing Now day 2 – social media gets practical

April 22nd, 2009

Social media gets practical at Marketing Now
You thought day one was great, just wait for day 2!

It started with balls.

Before Sharon Crost even began speaking, she was throwing beach balls into the crowd.

As you might expect, the balls got tossed around and much laughter ensued.

Sharon challenged us to consider the beach ball as our brand or idea. Why did the ball stay in the air? Because it was fun, because everyone else was doing it. Great analogy!

Up out of your seats

To demonstrate how easy it is to spark a conversation online, Sharon put an opinion up on the projector. If we agreed strongly with the statement, we had to come to the front. The neutrals went in the middle (I heard someone mention they were "strongly neutral!") and those who disagreed went to the back. We then passed the microphone around to those who wanted to explain their permission.

It was kind of like an altar call (if you know what I mean, say amen!) in that it broke up the speaker/speakee relationship, and made everyone decide where they stood – literally!

The day before, Sharon had told me she didn’t think of herself as an expert. To my mind, that’s what makes her such an expert! Because she came from the same background as many in the room (marketers schooled in direct and database marketing), Sharon a) can relate intimately to her audience, and b) works extremely hard to grasp – and convey – the concepts of social media.

In our interview with Sharon , she said her three tags were interactive , enthusiastic and value-add . Sharon, that’s exactly what you gave us!

By the numbers

Next up, DraftFCB ’s Stephen Johnson blew us away with a) some sociological/psychological insights into social media, and b) the Orion software that he’s developed with DraftFCB.

Orion helps you visualise the key influencers in social media. In a cautionary tale, he showed us how the San Lu milk powder scandal was evolving on social media for months before the mainstream media got hold of it.

Stephen said many wise things – fellow speaker Jim Stewart called him a brainiac! – but my favourite was this:

"In the new digital economy a recommendation from a total stranger is entirely acceptable"

Ain’t that the truth.

Get Found

Jim Stewart took the stage next, giving what David Meerman Scott called the best presentation on Search Engine Optimisation he’s ever seen.

I tweeted the details of Jim’s presentation (you’ll have to trawl for them – don’t worry, you’ll learn lots). It was really interesting seeing how Jim’s perspective weaved into the perspective of the other speakers.

What do I mean? A lot of social media marketing comes from the PR discipline, where the measures are softer, and the emphasis is on good content and building relationships. SEO, on the other hand, comes from the world of direct marketing, where the measures are rock-hard, and the emphasis is on one thing: driving traffic.

In many ways, Jim echoed the key messages of the previous speakers, especially about creating great content, but he emphasised the SEO benefits of it.

For marketers, it’s reassuring that the same strategy -

  • creating great content,
  • building communities,
  • linking generously,
  • giving stuff away -

…leads to both good overall marketing results, and good search engine rankings.

That’s it for now. The Q&A session will warrant it’s own blog post! Coming soon.

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Personal branding vs. business branding – where’s your line?

April 21st, 2009

The issue of personal vs. business identity online keeps coming up.

It was a recurring question at the Marketing Now conference last week.

Jeremiah Owyang’s grappling with how much to reveal . Courtney is amazed at how personal business has become .

And every time we talk about Twitter , we get two responses. Some people love the real, human interaction; others can’t bear hearing what others have had for breakfast. It’s extremely polarising.

At iJump, we believe (or at least I personally believe!) the real brand is made up of the people who represent it, far more than the brand identity as written down by experts. So businesses with a healthy culture shouldn’t fear their employees’ personal brands busting through the screen. It’s a positive thing.

Of course this solves nothing, it just brings up more questions – which we hope to answer in due time! Questions like:

  • How much should you mix personal and business identities online? (eg. is your Facebook profile for business, or friends and family, or all of the above?)
  • If businesses really let their staff build their personal brands, don’t they risk losing customers when the staff move on? (A problem faced by sports teams, TV shows and sales departments especially)
  • How much personal information is too much information on Twitter? (Your stories are most welcome!)

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David Meerman Scott and Chris Brogan in New Zealand, day one

April 18th, 2009

Marketing Now Conference
Some connection troubles prevented me from posting this update until today. Enjoy! This is from Wednesday 15 April.

What are the new rules of marketing and PR? What does lead generation look like in a social media world?

Those were some of the questions covered today with two of the world’s top social media teachers, speakers and doers.

David Meerman Scott’s New Rules

David Meerman Scott kicked off the day with the new rules of marketing and PR. One of those rules is to give things away, and David backs his theory up with solid practice: download his free ebook here .

After a morning break he got onto his latest book, World Wide Rave , a study of why things ‘go viral’.

Towards the end of his session, David shared his own experience of what hasn’t worked – as well as what has – in promoting World Wide Rave. Not an easy thing for any marketer to do, but a really heartening thing for any other marketer to see – that any experimentation will have its share of mistakes.

That’s why you need to think like a venture capitalist or film producer. It’s not about the success of a single campaign, it’s about launching a portfolio of efforts, and measuring the success of each one.

Chris Brogan’s Lead Gen 2.0

Chris Brogan took the stage in the afternoon, and beguiled us all with stories about people he knew, experiences he’d had and … us! I wondered why he’d been taking photos all morning instead of listening to David. He’d been gathering material for his presentation-on-the-fly, a brilliant way of keeping our attention and helping us see things differently, by seeing ourselves!

I’m not going to try and summarise everything David and Chris said – that’s what live tweets are for . But I will note what stood out to me:

  • The more you release control, the more you stand to gain. For example, the old way to generate leads is to give something in exchange for an email address. But that limits the number of people who will make that effort, and it reduces your ability to spread your message. Give it away, don’t just half-heartedly give it away.
  • You are as valuable as your content. That’s a direct quote from David, and it was a chilling reminder for me to get back into blogging! Particularly since I was nodding in recognition of many things they were saying, and yet realising, I haven’t expressed this information! So I apologise, iJump readers. It’ll never happen again!
  • Marketers love rules. At iJump one of our sayings is, there are no rules, only relationships. I strongly believe this but I marvel at the outstanding success of David’s book (which we all got a free copy of, by the way!). It shows me that marketers hunger for boundaries, for the rules of the game, and it means there’s a lot of opportunity (and responsibility) for those who seek to delineate this new world. David has done an admirable job, giving clear guidelines while avoiding strict black-and-white rules.
  • Marketers are impatient. And rightly so. It’s your hunger for action that has got you where you are. The culture of social media, on the other hand, is discovered over time, like finding your way around a new neighbourhood. You could get a Lonely Planet guide, or you could take a gift to your new neighbours and get to know them up close.
  • Marketers find Twitter hard to understand. This isn’t from Chris or David, it’s from my continued observations. As a rule (remember, though, there are none!) people who communicate well in person struggle with twitter, while more introverted people like me take to the medium naturally. Of course, just as I have learnt to turn my personality up for face-to-face meetings (and I love presenting to a crowd), an extrovert can learn to navigate the body-language-free world of Twitter (and social media) with a willingness to explore, and some friends to help them.

That’s all from day one. More soon!

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Follow the Twitter conversation at the Marketing Now Conference

April 13th, 2009

Marketing Now hashtag = #mktgnow I won’t be speaking at the Marketing Now Conference , but I will be Twittering like mad.

Follow the hashtag #mktgnow for up-to-the-minute news from the conference this Wednesday and Thursday. (What’s a hashtag? )

It’s a great way to learn, even if you can’t make the conference. And if you will be there, it can really enrich your experience, giving you extra insight into what’s going on.

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Get a sneak peek of the Marketing Now Conference

April 8th, 2009

It’s just a week until the Marketing Now conference in Wellington, and if you need a little nudge to register, we have some sneak previews from two of the speakers.

International online marketing strategist Sharon Crost will run an interactive, enthusiastic session about unleashing your inner super hero:

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And Melbourne-based social media specialist Stephen Johnson from DraftFCB will be addressing best practices in building brand advocates:

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We’ll be putting up part 2 of our interview with Stephen over the long weekend. Subscribe to iJumpTV to make sure you see it!

Other speakers include Chris Brogan and David Meerman Scott , both legends in the small world that is social media, and ‘Google guru’ Jim Stewart .

The conference starts on Wednesday, 15 April, at Te Papa in Wellington. I hope to see you there!

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