“We’re all stupid!” That is my first thought going into any conference or gathering of industry experts. I have seen my share of ‘experts’ come and go. I’ve seen many people follow a trend only to see it fail or cost people more than they bargained for (including myself). So, over time, I have become disillusioned with the idea that there are individuals out there in the world who aren’t as clueless as Cher from the movie of the same, when it comes to being an expert in anything. That said, I live in the philosophy that individuals can be very intelligent but people [the masses] are always, stupid. Yet, her I was in a crowd of Marketing Specialists, SEM Experts, Social Network Superstars and such. Yippy.
Would you know, I felt very bad after being in the venue for less than 30 minutes. Getting back on the horse, getting my feet wet, and all those colloquialisms we use to explain trying something again – opened my eyes to the fact that I was the stupid one.
PodCamp Nashville was absolutely awesome. For me, there were four big takeaways that changed the way I feel about marketing.
- Email Newsletters actually work! – I was as surprised as you are! We all get those evil, annoying emails requesting that we ‘Look at this!‘, ‘Look at that!‘, or ‘ You need to buy this!‘ – Those are useless, in my opinion. The ones that really work are focused, targeted and offer valuable information (from the reader’s perspective, that is). Using a service like MyEmma or MailChimp allows you to create a marketing campaign with specific goals and supply email recipients with confidence that you aren’t a spammer. Once you’re blacklisted because you brought a bad service it can be hell getting out from under the darkness. Thanks Landry!
- Social Media is a beast that can be tamed – Kate Gallagher of Paramore|Redd did a great job of explaining how their successful social media campaigns are planned, work effectively and how to track ROI (now that blew my mind). She explained the effect tracking click throughs on social outlets, using applications like bit.ly, trackur, and setting up Google Alerts make the task of tweeting and following with ROI in mind possible. One thing that I felt vindicated a lot of people out here looking for work was the fact that social media positions exist. Yes children, there are people that get paid to Facebook, tweet and Myspace; but it is HARD work… trust me.
- Remember… You catch more flies with honey – From the plethora of sites that exist on the internet, we have all found ourselves scratching our heads saying, ‘where am I at in this website‘ or ‘ERROR! where am I suppose to go now!?‘ Justin Davis – website usablility expert made the process of telling a room full of marketers ‘Care about the Users!’ entertaining and effective. One great quote from his seminar was, ‘Show the users some courtesy! You wouldn’t ask someone their age first time you meet them. Why do that to a new visitor?’ – Duh! Like Leeloo said in the Fifth Element, ‘Not without my permission!’
- Everyone should know by now, but it bears repeating: Content is KING! – Every speaker made this point clear from the start. One of the best analogies was Herding Cats [by Gill Murrey]; not so fun to do but not impossible.