My SF Inbound Marketing Summit Takeaways

The San Francisco Inbound Marketing Summit, this past April 28th and 29th was a great learning and refresher experience for me. It featured an intense format with the majority of speakers limited to twenty minutes for their presentation and questions. But, this format also allowed for a wide-ranging spectrum of speakers due to the fast paced, what Chris Brogan referred to as, “ADD-style” format.

This was the first meeting that I tried to dual-task taking notes in a Word document and tweet highlights/memorable quotes at the same time.  I think that I achieved a respectable degree of success with both. Click to see either my #ims09 tweets, all of the #ims09 tweets or my conference notes.  I’m  sure that my notes (and maybe my tweets) are both a bit cryptic and unpolished, so here’s a summary of eight key takeaways along with my best effort at attribution as to the speaker had what I thought was the most salient comment about each item:

  1. Everyone is a publisher on the internet – whether you are  brand or an individual you are known first and foremost by the content that you produce and publish online. Jason Falls put it that content is king because consumers demand engagement, engaging content becomes conversation and websites then become living, breathing things. John Battelle urged that we should “dare” to let our brands create content and conversations, he said that “every marketer is now a publisher, every publisher is now a marketer and every consumer is now both”. Most importantly, we should “work on stuff that matters” according to Tim O’Reilly.
  2. Content should not just reside on your “website”, it should be posted on blogs, forums, review sites or wherever someone may wind up looking for information on a topic that your content covers. 30% on your domain and the rest in other places according to Brian Halligan from Hubspot.
  3. Speak to individuals through personas and segmentation. Don’t expect your content to be all things to all people. David Meerman Scott emphasized personas in his example of hotel websites. He stated that all hotel websites seem to feature products, e.g. pools, restaurants and rooms while, in his opinion, hotel sites should focus on buyer personas and then create content that speaks to those separate personas. In agreement, Darren Guarnaccia said that we all want to be “self-segmented” and that this should be done organically on sites.
  4. It’s objectives that must determine what you monitor online. The “Listening and Monitoring” panel really stressed that in order to monitor effectively, you absolutely must establish what the strategic goal is and then refine your listening tactics accordingly. And Susan Rice-Lincoln summarized this when she said that “Social Media has been long on tactics and short on strategy so far”.
  5. Inbound Marketing offers nearly unlimited potential. Dharmesh Shah opined that “Outbound Marketing was limited by the width of your wallet. Inbound is only limited by the depth of your creativity.”
  6. Web 2.0 is progressing to the Web Squared according to John Battelle. Meaning that the the next step in terms of computing and networking with not be additive but a multiple step forward.
  7. All campaigns must be fully integrated across platforms, on and off-line to be most effective. Chris Brogan also said to “remember the physical world” to be most effective in social media.
  8. Think beyond your brand. Tim O’Reilly stressed that it’s not about your brand or your story, but rather it’s about your community.

These were the things that resonated with me, but in the spirit of sharing and aggregating, here’s a list of other Inbound Marketing Summit San Francisco blog posts:

Please leave me a comment if I missed any posts and a big thanks to all of the speakers, panelists and in particular, the organizers

Check back later this week as I’ll try to translate this for the resort industry; in particular, I’ll be posting ideas on how to implement Inbound Marketing in our segment.

Photo credit: (CC) Brian Solis. (Yeah, I’m the one wearing the white shirt, dead center in the first row)

11 responses to “My SF Inbound Marketing Summit Takeaways

  1. Eric – this is a terrific summary of insights from IMS. Very nice! Thanks for the link to my “memories” post.

    Bernie Borges

    • @berniebay Thanks! I tried to wait until I was done putting together my thoughts before I read all of the other posts. It was really interesting to see what each person keys on and how they summarized such an interesting event.

  2. Great summary Eric! I think the emphasis on content and community is so important since it is your community that makes your message viral. If there is no substance to the message, than it will fall flat. Believe that if you do utilize your creativity than there are no boundaries to what interactive marketing and social media can accomplish.

    Sounds like a great experience and love the idea of an “ADD” schedule 🙂

    • @Kara Glad you liked my summary and I like that you found the emphasis on content to be a key element, because it certainly is.

      The schedule had its plus and minuses, but in the end, I think it accomplished what the organizers intended – it jammed a ton of great content into just 2 days!

  3. Great summary. Very helpful since I wasn’t able to be there – hope to make it next year.

  4. Eric, great job on the summary here, and thanks for letting me be your wingman at Inbound Marketing Summit 2009. I’m looking forward to the Utah Tourism Conference!

    • Looking forward to the Utah Tourism Conference as well, in particular, sitting on the “Using Social Media Technologies for Tourism: It’s Time to Join the Conversation” panel with you!

  5. Eric–way late commenting, but better later than never. Great recap here, and summary…Hope to see you at a future IMS–or in Utah. Good luck heading into summer.

    • @MarkIvey It was a pleasure meeting and chatting w/you at the SF IMS as well, and I look forward to seeing you in the future – please drop me a line next time you pass through this area. Enjoy your summer, from what I recall it sounds like you’re going to be busy!

  6. Pingback: Inbound Marketing for Ski Resorts « Resort Marketing – Don’t Forget, It’s All About Fun!

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