IMS Boston – highlights and roundup of blog coverage

Here’s a quick roundup of some of the coverage, commentary and blog posts from this week’s Inbound Marketing Summit. This year’s Boston event broke new records in terms of attendance, rock-star speakers (see our press release), exhibitors and general good-vibes about the state of social and inbound marketing.

TPN contributor and video know-it-all Steve Garfield also broke his record for the most people shooting video at the same time (how cool is that).

 

It’s all about…content!

So, what were some of the prominent themes? Personalized content, storytelling, and video content were at the top of my list. Along with integration and how consumer social and enterprise social (CRM, CMS, video, mobile) are coming together.

In fact this is how we are thinking about organizing our next IMS – in New York at the end of January – around a content marketing track and an enterprise technology track. We’d love your inputs as well. And to all who made #IMS11 a big success – thanks!

So, on to some of what others were saying and pondering while at IMS this week:

  • “Professor Youngme Moon talked about brands that we feel passionate about, and used Mini as one of the examples, including some of their powerful advertising. More so, she shared her own feelings about the brand and how the story related to her. These tales give us more to consider than simple numbers and data points.” – TPN advisor Chris Brogan, on his blog
  • “A panel on Social CRM reinforced the idea that marketing & sales is about the individual. No longer are reps able to sit in the office of a sales lead and see the diplomas on the wall, pictures of kids on the desk or other mementos that helps build a relationship. Instead, there is social media. A good CRM will make it easier for a good salesperson to integrate their calendar, contacts, emails and deal history into one source. If your only interaction with a customer is over the phone, you need every piece of information you can get to develop rapport quickly and perhaps most importantly, authentically.” – inbound strategy blogread post
  • “Social media “scientist” Dan Zarella is a different kind of marketing guru. He eschews head-nodding maxims like “be part of the conversation” and puts commonly held notions to the test. With a mix of scientific method and just enough statistics to be dangerous, Zarella recently shared his own version of Mythbusters at the Inbound Marketing Summit (#ims11) in Boston, Ma – The Contest Strategistread post
  • “Brian Halligan (founder and CEO of HubSpot) was really good. He really talked about how the next wave of marketing will be the personalization of the web.” – PointBlank, Direct Capital blogread post
  • “How much better does it get for online marketing geeks? Former Apple chief evangelist and author Guy Kawasaki spoke about his book Enchantment this morning. His updated take on How to Win Friends and Influence People gives a fresh take on how to connect offline as well as online in a digital world. He definitely models his first premise: Be Likable!” – New PR Words and Music blogread post

 

Measuring ROI

Check out this clip from TPN Finance on The Pulse Network – Butch Stearns and I discuss with Chris Brogan tools and tips for small businesses that are starting up.

June 30th marks Social Media Day, “a day to celebrate the revolution of media becoming social” (according to Mashable) (here is the link to mashable’s article http://mashable.com/smday/) and sticking with that theme of social media I wanted to briefly talk about social media’s ROI. Many business leaders are of the opinion that SM does not have ROI due to the mystic that follows SM however the reality is that there is none at all. ROI with social media requires out of the box thinking and during my segment I give shed light on some of the essences that is this revolution.

Another TPN Finance Segment – Discussing the 10 cent wings…

Check out this clip from TPN Finance on The Pulse Network – Butch Stearns and I discuss with Chris Brogan tools and tips for small businesses that are starting up. In particular, Chris discusses the concept of giving away the 10 cent wings – something he blogged about recently – http://www.chrisbrogan.com/10-cent-wings/ . It was a great way to re-think the business models out there and think about whether or not you can reinvent and reinvigorate your business taking a trick from the world of beer and wings. The overall interview was great and very interesting with a lot of great insights.

Have you thought about changing your business by changing the game and “giving away the wings”?

Have thoughts? Please let me know.

My interview with Chris Brogan

Check out this clip from TPN Finance on The Pulse Network – Butch Stearns and I discuss with Chris Brogan tools and tips for small businesses that are starting up.  In particular, Chris discusses the concept of giving away the 10 cent wings – something he blogged about recently – http://www.chrisbrogan.com/10-cent-wings/ .  It was a great way to re-think the business models out there and think about whether or not you can reinvent and reinvigorate your business taking a trick from the world of beer and wings.  The overall interview was great and very interesting with a lot of great insights.

Have you thought about changing your business by changing the game and “giving away the wings”?

Have thoughts? Please let me know.

Trying a new business model – TPN Finance conversation

Check out this clip from TPN Finance on The Pulse Network – Maggie Rulli and I discuss an “experiment” we recently conducted for the Inbound Marketing Summit in SF.  We recently announced a “Pay as you want” approach to the conference, basically we offer the conference attendees the opportunity to pay the amount they feel is appropriate for attending the program.  The concept is built upon the models that have been launched at Panera Bread, the Boston Pedi-cabs, and more.  In this segment we discuss the results of the program as well as the models that we explored when deciding to pursue this model.  Have you thought about changing your business model?  Do you think there is an opportunity to turn your business in a new direction with a new model?

Have thoughts?  Please let me know.

Her are some links we discussed in the segment  –

http://theweek.com/article/index/215351/paneras-pay-what-you-want-restaurant

 

http://event.inboundmarketingsummit.com/sf/

http://www.supersoniccarwash.com/buy_online

Changing business models

Recently, I have been talking with people about their businesses and their financial model and I keep finding myself asking the same question – “what is the business model and has it changed”?  More specifically, we keep discussing the following phrase – “this is a business model game”.  Think about it – how often has someone come along with a similar business but changed the “model” for the business and in doing so had great success.

For example – I was discussing a car wash company that created a model whereby a customer could sign up for a monthly “unlimited” service and wash his / her car as much as he/ she wanted.  Within a few months, the company had 500 people signed up at $30 per month – a great way to cement the foundation of the business.  And yet, I am sure, the average person on that plan would not normally have spent $30 per month to wash a car.  But the business model was attractive and a new business was born.

Is your business in need of a new model?  Is there a new model that could revolutionize the game you are playing?

TPN Finance Segment – Strategies for starting a business

Check out this clip from TPN Finance on The Pulse Network – Maggie Rulli and I discuss strategies for starting a business and different ways to fund the business.  I would be curious your take.  Have you started a business?  How did you fund it?  We also included some interesting links below.

Have thoughts?  Please let me know.

Strategies for starting a business –

How to leverage and extend capital – working with vendors and customers for fund the startup:

http://www.inc.com/resources/startup/articles/20060601/mlechter.html

Manage cash flow:

http://sbinfocanada.about.com/cs/management/g/cashflowmgt.htm

Debt versus equity:

http://finance.yahoo.com/how-to-guide/career-work/12825#c1http://boston.com/

The Pulse Network – TPN Finance – a discussion about Vulture Investing

Check out this clip from TPN Finance on The Pulse Network – Maggie Rulli and I discuss the concept of Vulture Investing.  While it has negative connotations, the concept of looking for opportunistic investments and ways to grow your business is the responsibility of every good CEO and business leader.  Also – check out the good articles below to learn more.

Have thoughts?  Please let me know.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2062460,00.html

http://www.forbes.com/2010/09/02/private-equity-distressed-assets-intelligent-investing-aig.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulture_fund

Do not start it if you cannot measure it

Recently there has been a lot of talk about social media as a marketing tool and whether or not it is actually an effective measurement tool.  I would postulate that the problems with answering this question is the question itself.  Is the telephone an effective marketing tool?  Is email an effective marketing tool?  Is direct marketing an effective marketing tool?  People ask these questions when the real question they should be asking is – are these effective marketing mediums.  Social Media is another medium that allows companies to communicate with their customers and prospects.  Plain and simple.  To think of it as much more is to give it too much credit.

When you start thinking of it this way, the first question that you would ask is – what is the return.  On direct mail you ask – if I mail this many pieces, what should I expect for a response.  On a phone campaign you ask – if I invest in this many calls, what should I expect for a response.    The same can be said with social media campaigns.  Ask yourself – if I invest this many dollars into a campaign, what is the response I expect to achieve.  In fact, I often recommend that clients work the other way – lay out your expectations first and then design the program based on these expectations and then see if you have the investment dollars to support.

For anyone who says you cannot measure the investment, the response should be simple – thanks and good luck.  That is the defense mechanism that lots of “consultants” put up to protect themselves from the pressure of targets.  Don’t allow for it.  All marketing and outreach campaigns are measurable.  And digital media and social media are no different.

Are they?  Should they be?

The Pulse Network Finance – Creating a Quality Business Plan – Part 2

Check out this part 2 clip from TPN Finance on The Pulse NetworkMike Nahass and I discuss the basics to developing and presenting a business plan.  As we explore in more depth all of the different things we have learned sitting on both sides of the table we try to give suggestions and ideas about what goes into a good plan and idea.  Have thoughts?  Please let me know.

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