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.

A Tale of Two Breakfasts

While working for a virtual company is an altogether fantastic experience, it’s not uncommon for a little “cabin fever” to set in every now and then. Escaping from the home office for client meetings or networking events can offer a nice change of pace. This week I was able to venture out for some [quite cold] fresh air to attend a pair of Social Media Breakfast events here on the East coast.

Pancakes with Pulver

Brickway on WickendenTuesday morning brought me to Providence, Rhode Island to participate in one of the stops on Jeff Pulver’s Social Media Breakfast Tour. The Brickway on Wickenden was the perfect location (thanks to Sara Streeter) for the small turnout of folks ready for social media conversation. The smaller head count allowed for a much more intimate series of conversations.

A highlight of the morning was a challenge offered up by Jeff Pulver. It involved creating a brand new word to describe the experience of meeting someone online and then later on in real life. The word could not already exist and had to be capable of being used as a verb. We came up with quite a few candidates during the 2 hour session and were even able to get some instant feedback on our creations from the BlogTV chat room while Jeff streamed the entire breakfast live via EVDO. The search for that perfect word is being continued on various blogs as well as Facebook.

Muffins with Mavens

Wednesday morning not only brought Bryan Person’s Social Media Breakfast 5 event to the S & S Restarant in Cambridge, but it brought an ugly mix of snow and rain that attempted to slow down the early commute. Despite the tricky traveling, the event was very well attended. It was nice to see a good number of new faces in the crowd along with the regular set of social media mavens.

SMB5 was sponsored by our client, Mzinga, and featured a series of 5-minute speeches from Scott Monty, Doug Haslam, Jim Storer and Laura Fitton on how Twitter has changed their lives. Each presenter brought a unique and engaging story to their discovery, use and love for Twitter. Steve Garfield was able to provide a live broadcast of each speaker via his Nokia N95 for those who were challenged by the weather.

In addition to the numerous still photos that were taken at the event, I was able to capture footage of the speeches. You’ll find the speech by Mzinga’s Jim Storer below. Links to additional media created from the event can be found in the round-up post on socialmediabreakfast.com.


Jeff Pulver’s Social Media Breakfast Tour

Boston is a great place to be if your job revolves around social media. Each month you can count on multiple events taking place, and all of them are supported by a tight-knit bunch of social media and PR professionals.

One such event is the Social Media Breakfast, which was the brainchild of Boston’s own Bryan Person. Bryan founded the concept of the Social Media Breakfast in 2007 and has successfully organized four events to date. His fifth is scheduled for February 13th in Cambridge, Massachusetts and reservations quickly filled up in a few days. Jeff Pulver also brought his flavor of social media to Boston in 2007 in the form of his “Real-Time Social Networking” event which he started in Tel-Aviv, Israel.

The concept is simple. Take online activities like “tagging” or posting on your friend’s wall and apply them to a real person! Jeff provides small stickers for real-time tagging and Post-It notes for people who want to post to each other’s walls. His first of these events in Bean-town was a well received evening affair at Vox Populi. His second was a mash-up between between Bryan’s SMB concept and his own real-time networking idea. Are you ready to move to Boston yet?

Fortunately for those outside of Boston, Jeff has begun taking the Person/Pulver mash-up on the road as “Breakfast with Pulver (and friends).” Scheduled dates for February include:

A date for San Jose, California is also scheduled for March 17th, but will be specifically for friends attending the Spring 2008 VON.x Conference. Additional events for Chicago, Atlanta, Toronto, Montreal, Nashua, London (UK) and more are being planned for futures dates. A Facebook account is required to get more details on each event and to RSVP.

Employees of PerkettPR will be at Jeff’s Breakfast in Providence on the February 12th as well as Bryan’s Social Media Breakfast in Cambridge on the 13th. I highly recommend attending one or more of the events if you reside in or near any of the cities listed. Its guaranteed to be great time filled with food, fun and networking. Besides, where else can you cover someone with stickies in public and get away with it?!