Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly at the Inbound Marketing Summit

We wanted to share the smartest and the dumbest things we heard at the Inbound Marketing Summit last week – fortunately there was stiff competition for the former. We were one of the sponsors of the event under our newMeetia initiative and we found plenty of value for marketers at the two day event along with a little malarkey and lots of stuff that was just plain fun.

Good Fun: Steve Garfield Helps Us Set a Simultaneous
Video World Record at the Inbound Marketing Summit 

Clearly, online social and content marketing is now main stream. While some speakers valiantly jousted against straw-man “old marketing” enemies the best presentations were about integrating new online marketing with the old, “inbound”(online-inquiry) with “outbound” and online media with offline. And the rants against self-discipline were more than offset by practical advice about how to measure and manage online marketing.

Mobile and online marketing fit naturally with marketing in other media according to Tim Hayden, Chief Strategy Officer and Partner, Blue Clover Studios. We should keep in mind that “ninety percent of Word of Mouth takes place offline,” he said, citing Keller Fay research based on continuous monitoring of the brand conversations of 36,000 survey participants. Experiences like live social events, tradeshows, sampling, stunts, tours, retail, and guerilla actions are highly influential according to Hayden. He also mentioned outdoor at least twice - your humble blogger noticed compelling outdoor while creeping through Boston on the way to the event (including a very distracting billboard flashing that IT IS NOW ILLEGAL TO TEXT WHILE DRIVING IN MASSACHUSETTS).

We’ve been seduced by the illusion of accountability” in online media asserted Tom Webster, Vice President, Strategy of Edison Research. “Any given metric is meaningless until you prove it isn't” he insisted. “If you're only measuring the effect of your tweets on twitter, then you're measuring if you're good at twitter.” It is time, he stated to “stop measuring tweets and start measuring people” before, during, and after online media actions. Webster concluded that the hard work of relating online marketing to marketplace results is far from finished.

Effective B-to-B content marketing should non-promotional in tone, relevant, solution-oriented, well written, supportive of your business objectives, and provide factual proof according to Maria Pergolino, Director of Marketing at Marketo. She defined content marketing as the “creation and sharing of content for the purpose of promoting a product or service.” Proof is key to credibility in such content, she explained, because content consumers are justifiably skeptical. Pergolino provided a live example of how to manage, reuse and adapt content to new opportunities by explaining how she put her presentation together and by distributing a two-sided laminated Marketing Cheat Sheet that summarized her key points. Two attendees told your humble blogger that her presentation was "the best of the show."

Social marketing ROI is easily calculated using formulas provided by Paul Gillin, Principal of Paul Gillin Communications. He closed the event with a surprisingly well-attended and straight-forward tutorial on the topic. His simple math was based on lifetime value of a customer and conversion rates which have long been essential metrics of subscription and catalogue marketing.  Gillin's underlying assumption is that social media leads are similar to leads from other sources which has to be proven in any given instance.  But other presenters provided evidence that social media-sourced leads are in many cases more likely to convert and remain loyal so his assumption may understate the ROI.

Stay tuned for the bad and the ugly. As always your comments are appreciated.

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Anonymous Berry Insurance said...

Great post! Love the highlights. My favorite was Scott Stratten talking about engagement, "online networking is not a replacement for offline's an enhancement." I have a few quick summaries in works as well on our blog at Would love comments.

October 14, 2010 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Roger Wilson said...

“How to Excel Through a Crisis” was the presentation that earned my most heartfelt appreciation on a broader plane at IMS. Crisis consultant Robbie Vorhaus challenged us to practice and prepare for the inevitable crises of life by practicing every day doing one less thing we really didn’t want to do with our lives and one more thing we really wanted to do. So doing is training for crisis according to Vorhaus because the right way to handle a crisis is to follow one’s intuition which is greatly strengthened by exercise. Acting with less fear worry, entitlement, denial, grasping, hesitation, wishful thinking, blaming, and complacency and more confidence, gratitude, creativity, commitment, courage, accountability, and awe, he maintains, builds capacity for life’s trials. One less, one more!

October 14, 2010 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Paul Gillin said...

Thanks for the shout-out. I particularly like your description of Maria Pergolino's comments. Marketo does just about everything right in content marketing and her list of quality criteria is right on the money.

October 16, 2010 at 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Mike Warren said...

It is good that your share your thoughts about this conference last 2 years.

February 2, 2012 at 8:50 AM  

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