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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Inbound Marketing Summit Wrap-up #IMS09

I took notes during the Inbound Marketing Summit (IMS) in Dallas so that I could post about each of the individual presentations. I also decided to do something that I've feel doesn't get enough emphasis coming out of conferences -- what are the immediate actions you can do to start taking advantage of what you've just learned. These aren't intended to be full plans but just the first thing to break the interia of doing something new.

So, here is my list of the presenters, their presentation, and my action take-away. You can click through to any of the individual posts to see more of my notes.
If you attended IMS09, or have heard any of these presentations, or thoughts on social media, share what you would want someone to know as they try something new.

Giovanni Gallucci - From 0 to Social in 50 Minutes

Presenters: Giovanni Gallucci of Giovanni Gallucci

Title: From 0 to Social in 50 Minutes – Extreme Social Media for Business


  • Zappos didn't get huge because of Twitter. They got huge because they changed their culture to trust their employees and providing more customer service than anyone else.

  • Search Engines – especially Google – still love social networks because amount of traffic is still important to them; context is important and soc nets have groups for everything; and search engines link out to other sites.

Jake McKee - How LEGO Caught the Cluetrain

Presenter: Jake McKee of Ant's Eye View

Title: How LEGO Caught the Cluetrain

Main Point: Embrace what your community is doing without your help. Also look at highly-engaged but small segments of your market – they might provide a new way for you to do business.

Take-away Action: Determine if you have customers outside your normal demographic that are high-value.


  • Lego didn't accept “unsolicited” product ideas. This turned into a culture that Lego couldn't talk with their customers at all.

  • Lego noticed that Adult Consumers had created a large secondary market for trading/purchasing pieces. And that community had already created tools that the community wanted/needed.

  • When you have community members committed and they come to you for acknowledgment, you should ask what you can do for them.

  • Talking with the highly engaged minority can provide a lot of good information.

  • Changes to social media engagement starts with a change to culture inside the company.

  • Core of Lego community effort focused around their shift from selling boxes to creating a creative medium (i.e. what you can build)

  • Lego has a tool that you can design an object, submit it, and have just the pieces you need to build that model sent to you.

  • Take advantage of consumer evangelists can be more effective than your own PR.

Greg Cangialosi - Extending the Reach of Email

Presenter: Greg Cangialosi of Blue Sky Factory

Title: Extending the Reach of email

Main Point: Look for the low-hanging fruit of email marketing to make it better.

Take-away Action: If you haven't segmented, look for at least 2-3 segments you can create for your lists. If you haven't tested, pick one area you can start doing A/B testing on – subject lines are good to start with.


  • 3 Types of Email: Social, Marketing, Transactional

  • Make it easy for people to subscribe. Don't put up barriers or ask for too much information

  • Segment your audience data (demographics). Segment what content your users get. Allow users to manage their own content preferences. Segment on behaviors (especially good for follow-up segments)

  • Email provides an unbelievable opportunity for A/B testing to optimize your marketing

    • Subject Lines

    • Copy & Creative

    • Call to Action

    • Time of Day

  • When people stop responding to your emails, find a way to re-engage them. Or, if they won't engage, start putting them into a drip campaign that is different than your master list. Maybe quarterly, or a specific request to confirm their interest.

  • Email is the common currency of Web2.0; All social networks require using email to sign up.

  • Email can be a key driver of social content. Convert your email lists into your community on social networks. It is a good way to jumpstart those efforts.

Paula Berg - Nuts about Online Communication

Presenter: Paula Berg of Southwest Airlines

Title: Nuts about Online Communication

Main Point: Establish yourself in social media channels before the crisis hits

Take-away Action: Make a social media fire-drill plan. Practice it!


  • Picked 30 employees from all over the company who oozed pride about working at Southwest

  • The blog has continued to increase in readership over the last 3 years

  • We can't control the conversation but we can lead with our POV and facts about what we are doing. Try to make sure we are staying ahead of current news trends so we can talk about what is relevant to people.

  • Being a human being during blogger relations really got a positive response from bloggers

  • Blogs allow the public to share positive views of your company, something that media usually isn't looking for.

  • Southwest posted a video of their rapping flight attendant. They didn't wait for a consumer to put it up, they took the opportunity to show their commitment to flight attendants personalizing the experience.

  • Social media presence has started to boil down to the people who really want to engage with us.

  • You have all the talent you need already in your company.

Greg Matthews - Social Business from the Inside

Presenter: Greg Matthews of Humana

Title: Social Business from the Inside: A Case Study

Main Point: Experiment, Experiment, Experiment

Take-away Action: Start a personal blog so you get familiar with the tools for when your business is ready to jump in.


  • We are changing from an information economy to a collaboration economy.

  • Business is like a small town. They are building pieces that help them work better as a corporate community.

  • Use social media (like Twitter) for taking meeting notes. Something that is immediately posted and public for people to check afterwards. (And contribute?)

  • Take what's fun and then make it healthy. That's how Humana approaches making games.

  • “We don't know what the long-term benefits of our projects will be, but we are working to find out.”

Mike Moran - Internet Marketing by the Numbers

Presenter: Mike Moran at Converseon

Title: Internet Marketing by the Numbers

Main Point: Marketers must measure their website and online campaigns. When you measure, you are responsible for making things work. All the Internet stuff you know won't do any good if you don't get ROI from your site.

Take-Away Action: Determine what your conversions are and your current conversion rate for those.


  • Internet Marketing is more about marketing than the Internet.

  • Numbers have found you. You don't have to calculate the numbers but you have to be the person that makes decisions based on the numbers.

  • Transactional – If someone buys something, was it profitable to get them to that point

  • Relational – Each customer acquired is measured individually

  • Management doesn't care what goes into the execution; They want to know what the results of the execution were.

  • Know your business to know if you should calculate your conversion rate by dividing by Visitors or Visits.

  • Conversions are the metrics that you should be tracking. “What do you want people to do?” That's the question that matters most.

  • In relation to setting up source tracking “Why did we go through that much trouble?” Answer: “Because it's the only way to measure how your marketing programs are working.”

  • Every sale does not cost the same amount. It costs far less for you to sell more to existing customers. Make sure you understand the lifetime value of your customers.

Mike Walsh - Discovering the Power of your Community

Presenter: Mike Walsh of Leverage Software

Title: Discovering the Power of your Community

Main Point: As you get older, especially when you join the workforce, the noise level in your life increases significantly to the point of overwhelming distraction

Take-Away Action: Look at all your social networks and determine where you can focus your attention.


  • Everyone wants to be in the Discovery space. Both Twitter and Google think that they do it but the other service doesn't.

  • Social networks within the enterprise allow for internal discovery – feeds that provide news about what company-centric projects are going on.

  • Be a Kid Again! Simplify, Simplify. Don't worry about what's not relevant to you.

  • Minimize your trusted sources of information to get more signal

  • Communities have two sides – need to be aware of what both need

    • Host

    • User

Rick Frantz - Discover what really works in optimization

Presenter: Rick Frantz of MarketingExperiments

Title: Discover what really works in optimization

Main Point: If something you are doing doesn't work, doing more of it won't change that.

Take-Away Action: Write down your value proposition. Compare it to your compeition and evaluate if it's a real differentiator.


  • Hitting the ketchup bottle on the bottom doesn't work.

    • There has to be a better way to do other things in life

    • When something is not working well, doing more of it won't produce better results

    • Obvious solutions are not the best solutions

    • Measuring and Testing are the only ways to discover what works better

  • Starting an argument doesn't help you persuade, it only helps you hurt someone.

  • Landing Page Optimzation Meta-Theory

    • People don't by from websites, they buy from people

    • You don't optimize pages, you optimize though sequence

    • To optimize though sequence, you need to enter a conversation

    • Then guide the conversation to a value exchange

  • c = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) - 2a

    • C = Conversion

    • M = Motivation

    • V = Clarity of Value Prop

    • I = Incentive

    • F = Friction

    • A = Anxiety

    • Value Prop and Incentive are Value Contributors

    • Friction and Anxiety are Value Inhibitors

    • You need the Contributors to outweigh the Inhibitors

  • If you don't have something that differentiates you (the Value Prop) then you are just getting by on the ignorance of the market.

  • When you advertise on something people are looking for, make sure that you're giving them what they want when they come back to your site.

  • Every page on your site should have a Primary Objective and should stick to it!

Eric Bowzer - Art of Persuasion in New Content Marketing World

Presenter: Eric Bowzer of SiteCore

Title: Art of Persuasion in the New Content Marketing World

Main Point: Tracking and evaluating content leads to success sooner.

Take-Away Action: Pick at least one landing page -- Does the page lead your users deeper into your site? How can you create a path to lead users into your site?


  • Land pages need to deliver on ad's promise

  • Keep telling stories as they move deeper into your site

  • Understand what your sales process is

  • Learning to Listen

    • Score your content – Give scores to content so you can start building different profiles of your visitors.

    • Score your actions – Lead Scoring

    • Test and Validate with content and score engagement

  • The show isn't over after the first dance

    • Episodic delivery of content

    • Build assets that can be subscribed to

    • Us the crowds to help filter info for other users

  • Traditional segmentation doesn't work anymore

    • Use community as magnet and microscope to understand what your segments should be

    • Allow self-segmentation

    • Match content to emerging segments

    • Find ways to bring people in past the landing page of your site

  • Pick Your Pitch

    • Understand your intimacy level with customers

    • Understand how to make that window of consideration longer

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Panel - Listening and Monitoring: The New Way to Market

Presenters: Amber Naslund of Radian6, Blake Cahill of Visible Technologies, Gabriel Villablanca of Brafton

Title: Listening and Monitoring – The new way to market

Main Point: Just because you aren't listening, doesn't mean people aren't trying to talk to you.

Take-Away Action: Find a conversation that is happening about your company in a space you haven't been monitoring before.


  • Amber – Companies are getting dragged in to SM whether they like it or not.
    Social Media is like the phone, people are trying to call you and you wouldn't just let your phone ring and ring un-answered?
    Use listening to inform the content development strategy. Customers don't necessarily want to hear marketing that “align with your core brand messages.”
    What is the language that your customers are using when talking about themselves and your company/products.
    When you can't act on the flow of information coming in, you need to scale up to a better tool.

  • Blake – Companies are seeing the transparency of the negative experiences customers are having and that scares them.
    Companies have had access to this kind of data for quite a long time but may not have known what to do with it.
    If there is no conversation, that's a huge opportunity.
    Most of the conversations are neither positive nor negative. They are just neutral. Companies are mining the neutral to determine why people don't have a stronger opinion.

  • Gabriel – We do end up being like therapists because we uncover areas that company doesn't have strengths and isn't sure how to handle those areas.
    Big companies can put the resources behind doing more listening. But smaller companies need to be flexible with the tools and roll with shifts in the market.

Bill Tolany - Q&A with Whole Foods

Presenter: Bill Tolany of Whole Foods

Title: Q&A with Whole Foods

Main Point: Be in-tune with your customers as close to person-to-person as possible.

Take-Away Action: Give guidelines/direction in social media to the people closest to your customers.


  • Stores at the local level have their own blog. It's difficult for corporate to be relevant to local audiences.

  • Shorten the distance between customers and employees (team members).

  • Engage as brand advocates for local producers.

  • Cannot measure individual purchases at stores based on Social Media but do notice trends in how much people are thinking/talking about Whole Foods.

Chris Kieff - Best Practices for Listening and Engaging in Social Networks

Presenter: Chris Kieff of Ripple6

Title: Best Practices for Listening and Engaging Consumers in Social Networks

Main Point: Social media isn't a broadcast medium, it's designed for community engagement.

Take-Away Action: Pick a community and find a way to engage with them.


  • Be Relevant, Authentic, Responsive (That's the foundation, you hear it all the time.)

  • Beware of the mean (the middle, the average). Beware of the extreme.

  • Allow Feedback and responses from the people; respond back to them.

  • Don't Be Creepy

  • Talk to them in their backyard

    • 85% of consumers feel companies should be present online to interact with customers and help solve problems

Tim Marklein - Advocacy, Badvocacy, and Upsetting the Apple Cart

Presenter: Tim Marklein of Weber Shandwick

Title: Advocacy, Badvocacy, and Upsetting the Apple Cart

Main Points: Companies need to be prepared to re-think how they are approaching their customers.

Take-Away Action: Inoculate your legal team against the shock of using social media.


  • Advocacy is the new wave of marketing. This goes beyond influentials or elites.

  • Marketers need to re-think channels, reach and influence.

  • Apple Cart #1 – Customer at center with different hubs:

  1. Inside – Day to Day interactions
  2. Outside – Expert sources
  3. Mega – Media/Celebrity/News
  4. Social – Online and Offline groups they consider themselves a part of
  • Apple Cart #2 – Engagement Methods – Not just the same mass media channels

  • Apple Cart #3 – Legal and Regulatory Controls

  • Apple Cart #4 – Measurement; Advocacy isn't all digital but it can be measured.

  • Apple Cart #5 – Budgeting; Most marketing budgets are not designed to fully embrace social media. Social media requires more headcount.

  • Apple Cart #6 – Organizational Structures; Change from hierarchy by silo'ed function and switch to community-based roles

Mike Volpe - SEO 101

Presenter: Mike Volpe of HubSpot

Title: SEO 101 – Why everyone should know the basics of search optimization

Main Points: Know which battles you should be fighting over keywords

Take-Away Action: List the terms you want to be found on in Google. Be realistic! (Remember the ninjas)


  • Don't fight ninjas when you're not fully trained.

  • Google is smarter than you. Don't try to trick it. Make sure your copy matches what you say the page is about.

  • Meta-Data Description is what Google shows when presenting results. You should customize this per page on your site.

  • Google figured out how to understand which pages people will want to look at, more than just keywords on page. Links are the currency of the Internet.

  • If you have more content, you tend to get more links into your site.

  • SEO is like the lottery. The more tickets you have, the better your chances to win. In SEO, the more content you have (optimized for different keywords) the more likely you are to get links into your site.

  • Re-purpose your content and publish in as many places as possible.

  • Create content that can be shared. The more people can share, the more links will get pointed back to your site.

  • Don't be afraid to be polarizing. Have an opinion and get people talking -- on both sides of the issue.

Chris Brogan - You Shall Know Us By Our Dialtone

Presenter: Chris Brogan of New Marketing Labs

Title: You Shall Know Us By Our Dialtone

Main Points: Understand how to allocate people in your organization to get involved in social media

Take-Away Action: Create a main, central location that you own to use as the call to action


  • It doesn't matter what your customer is doing with your product, they are still your customer. Even if they are using it ways you didn't expect.

  • Listening is the new black. Marketers aren't used to listening, they are used to collecting surveys and market research instead.

  • You don't control facebook. If you pin your marketing strategy on those tools, you are constrained to what they let you do.