If there was any common thread running through MTO Summit in Chicago last week, it wasn’t the technology innovations or even the focus on execution. The room was full of people talking about new ideas and how to do something different without damaging what (if anything) is still working in the event world. In fact, there was so much great information that I‘m breaking this post up into two parts. Here is part one.
Chris Brogan, social media consultant, author, speaker (I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was also a gourmet cook, Broadway star and base jumper), kicked off the conference with his take on changing things up. Here is some of the paraphrased wisdom he dispensed:
CB on the importance of focusing on marketing strategy: “It’s not about the tools. It’s about what we do with them and how we connect. Have a marketing strategy that integrates social media sometimes. Let’s do marketing, sales and prospecting and use these new tools.”
CB on the importance of acting human and treating customers humanely: “It used to be a little easier because we all used to be willing to accept being a number. We were OK with being on a conveyor belt as a customer. It’s about putting the ‘human’ back in your business. No letter from my Mom starts with ‘having trouble viewing this.’ We’re using blogs and Twitter to be seen and heard. You don’t get a lot of complaints on a survey.”
CB on social media: “Social media tools allow us to do what we want to do really well. No one wants to join a social media group for Diet Coke. After the first post, ‘I like Diet Coke’ or ‘really? So do I.’ What’s left to talk about? The number one opportunity is that social tools allow us to share what we like. Social media is like Hamburger Helper. It augments what you’re already doing. “
CB on marketing for events: “Be brief. What are your marketers doing writing 2,000 word missives to get you to come to the show? We are a world that lives on a 140 characters now (actually 120 so we can retweet). We process in the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) factor. The audience does too. I implore you to look at your marketing language. Make it stick by holding up a mirror to yourselves. “
CB on Using Twitter for Sales: “Ask—how do we share? How do we extend? How do we search? Search for the data (search.twitter.com) on Twitter and then execute on it. Sniff on Twitter for new press releases. Find out about the prospect before you call. Twitter is a sales channel and a prospecting tool. Use it to make fast decisions and small decisions.”
CB on who should handle social media in your organization: “The job of social media isn’t just for the guy in the t-shirt and a goatee. It’s everybody’s job.”
CB on social media metrics: “One of the things about social media metrics is that there are lots of numbers that don’t mean anything. The only metrics should be did I or didn’t I increase revenue or reduce spend? Keep looking at how to get the dollar number bigger.”
CB on webcasting and free content: “Webcasting your event is just another way to get your audience to wish they were there. Think like entertainment people. Friends don’t let friends launch bad Webinars.”
CB on mobile apps: “We as a culture are connected to our phones but we’re not taking advantage of the mobile web. We live on our cell phones but design for our laptops. Flow content between shows. Don’t only design for the iPhone.”
CB on what he does for large companies: “I Look at channel development, lead generation, and conversion. My advice is tool agnostic. Start with an objective. Look for a revenue number you can move. Use a simple execution that will move that revenue number quickly.”
CB on how to distribute your time on social media channels: “Break social media down into three things: listening (1/2 hour a day), connecting (1 hour a day) and publishing (1/2 hour a day).”
CB on cats and soap: “Cats bad. Nubby soap weird.”
The takeaway: Obviously it’s time to try something new. What are you doing differently in your organization? How are you using social media to augment your existing processes? Are you still rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic or leaping off the bow?