Two Days of People Who Truly “Get” Inbound Marketing
With so much happening in the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s only a few times a year that I venture outside of California to catch a good conference. The Inbound Marketing Summit (IMS) in NYC was one of those events compelling enough to lure me in advance of the West Coast version later this year.
To baseline on the subject, I’ve written much on inbound marketing, and am in fact, Google-ranked #1 inbound marketing expert in San Francisco, CA. Inbound marketing is the practice of online marketing that deliberately uses a combination of search engine optimization (SEO), various social media channels, and blogging to publish content that people will seek-out, find and engage with. But IMS is more than just about practice, tips, and tricks. It’s about mindset. As one presenter said, “inbound marketing is not just a department in a company…it’s a measurable activity of everyone within the company.”
The Panels & Presentations
One of the great aspects of IMS 2012 is that it was filled with industry experts, a lot of whom already know, or know of, one another. That makes for two great things. The first is presentations and content that can build upon and add to one another in sequence. Panelists earlier in the day were regularly referenced by later presenters, and their talking points further enhanced. It takes solid conference preparation to ensure content isn’t duplicative, but it’s something more when speakers are of the same ilk, and are welcomed to build upon one another’s work. The Pulse Network, organizers of the event, accomplished both with IMS NYC.
The second great aspect about a group of this sorts is it makes for great banter and liveliness. Jamie Anderson of SAP was able to share his take on the evolution of CRMs to incorporate customer conversations along with customer data, and at the same time, be playfully harassed about his Scottish accent. And when it comes to liveliness, Chris Brogan, President of Human Business Works delivered one-part stand-up comedy act, two-part exceptional share on how to make Facebook and Twitter truly meaningful for your business. “You can’t spend Facebook ‘likes,'” Chris said, dispelling the once-hopeful idea that tweets and likes alone are a valuable currency.
A mere sampling of the two days of talks, IMS was chock full of valuable discourse on inbound marketing, transcripts of which can be found here. Some key presentation points were neatly captured via conference Twitterers using the #IMS12 hashtag. Some of my favorite tweets include:
- Social Channels are for warming people up, not blasting ads at them –
@chrisbrogan @annetstone: tell personal stories. Make the customer the hero, feel like a superstar. @BerniXiong: To self-promoters: “Don’t hump my leg.” @chrisbrogan
- SSEO = Siri Search Engine Organization, it’s going to be HUGE! What happens when a person searches on
#mobile using their voice?
- Inbound marketing needs to be part of the DNA of your entire organization. Great words of wisdom from
@berniebay. @pistachio Make content people would pay you for.
- @roaddoggz Marketing VPs should come out of IT. I’m a geek who loves marketing. We can play well together.
- #IMS12 businesses need to hire a journalist to do IM right
@SocialMktgFella: #IMS12 I feel like I want the Hill Holiday guy to breakout and sing “She Will Be Loved” http://bit.ly/Ao8cXF
Space 404 is a posh, multi-leveled, modern venue on the West Side of NYC. Not far from Madison Square Garden, and just over the Lincoln Tunnel, Space 404 is conveniently located. I can’t say much about parking, because I taxied into town, but this part of town appeared to support several parking lots in close proximity, making the venue even more appealing.
On the downside, the space has somewhat poor acoustics, and sounds from the upper level easily trickle down to and mingle with the presentations on the stage below.
Pulse Network did was is most essential in delivering an exceptional conference; attract the true thinkers, influencers and experts in inbound / content marketing. They were able to keep speakers on topic to ensure each delivered precisely what the mantra of new marketing is all about–delivering valuable free content. In conversations with other conference-goers the sentiment was the same: “This was time well spent.” Deliver that, as this conference did, and you’ve reached the results so many other event organizers merely aspire to reach.
As with any conference or hosted event, there’s always room for improvement. Make no mistake, this conference was well-delivered. However, these are three areas where Pulse can work to improve the next.
Headed west-bound, and that’s my review. See you all at the Inbound Marketing Summit in San Francisco!