Meeting of the New Marketing Minds, Part 1

Last week I was fortunate to have attended the New Marketing Summit at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. There was certainly no shortage of information and knowledge sharing going on during the two day event. A wide-variety of non-stop sessions and panels filled each day, while keynotes from hosts Chris Brogan, Paul Gillin and David Meerman Scott sweetened the experience even more. Our very own Christine Perkett spoke on a panel that discussed “PR 2.0” with Tony Sapienza (Topaz Partners) and Bobbie Carlton (Beacon Street Girls) towards the end of day two. And if the sessions weren’t enough there was always plenty to learn from the 300+ attendees who made the journey to the conference.

New Marketing Summit 2008Photo Credit: Steve Garfield

After reflecting on the experience and all the information absorbed during the two days, I’ve selected three common themes that resonated throughout.

  • Listen, Listen, Listen
  • Content Creation – Be the Publisher
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Lose Control

In order to keep the size of this recap in check, I’ll be breaking each of the take-aways into separate (“snackable”) posts.

Your Customers Are Talking About You – LISTEN!

Mike Lewis, President of the Business Marketing Association of Boston kicked off the conference with a video of him at Quincy Market in Boston asking random people what they thought “New Marketing” was. Surprisingly, what he found was that most people actually got it. The old form of marketing, according to Lewis, was to talk “at” people – one way communication. New Marketing is about listening and engaging with your customers.

The “Listening in a Blizzard – Social Media Monitoring, and the Future” panel with David Alston (Radian6), Candace Fleming (Crimson Hexagon), Todd Parsons (BuzzLogic), Tony Priore (Biz360) and Mike Spartaro (Visible Technologies) continued the discussion on the importance of listening. They really hit the nail on the head when they said “…your customers are out there talking about you on the Web. They are blogging, commenting, making videos, etc. about the brands they either love or they hate (probably more about the ones they hate).”

Alston, during another discussion he presented at the Social Media Breakfast (#smb9) on October 16th expanded on the theme by asking the question “if someone was outside your place of business shouting about how much your company sucked, how long would it take for someone to run out to them to get them to fix the situation?” The same philosophy applies to relationships online.

When people are talking about you, take the time to listen and engage with them. If it is a positive comment, take the time to thank them and be sure to save that comment, retweet it (if you are using Twitter) and favorite it! If the comment is negative, reach out to that person directly and help them. Taking that extra step can turn a bad situation into a very positive one.

At PerkettPR we work with several of our clients on their social media initiatives to help them listen and engage in online discussions. The results have been incredible, and customers that might have, at one time, left the company, are now happy again and talking about their positive experiences with their social media spheres.

New Marketing means using today’s many social media resources to better listen, understand the issues, and get directly involved with your customers to make a positive difference in their experience with your brand.

Stay tuned for the next part of the New Marketing wrap-up series coming up tomorrow.