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Five Things I Learned Recording Marketing Smarts Live in Seattle

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On March 28, 2012, for the first time, we recorded the Marketing Smarts podcast live in front of a studio audience (well, the audience seated in the foyer of the Seattle Art Museum). The event was the first stop on our Smart Marketers Tour, which is bringing the podcast to audiences across the country. (Shows are in Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, and Boston.)

This particular episode had me speaking with two guests: Ian Lurie, CEO of Portent Interactive, and Geoff Livingston, author and marketing strategist. I learned a lot talking to these two smarties, so I wanted to take this opportunity to share five specific facts I learned.

1. Ian Lurie is a marketing idealist.


We were talking about problems that marketers have marketing themselves, and Ian expressed criticism of a tendency that marketers have to come up with "entire new terms for what we're doing." Then, he came right out and said, "I am a marketing idealist," adding, "I actually think that what we do can change the world." Given that our culture tends to disregard marketers (when I told a friend I was in marketing, he responded, "I won't tell anyone"), it was refreshing to hear someone express faith in what we do.

2. Geoff Livingston is a marketing idealist as well!


My interview with Geoff began with a discussion of a post he had written that was fairly critical of the PR profession. As someone who admits to having "worked as a public relations strategist in the Washington, D.C. region for more than 16 years," Geoff is entitled to his opinion about the discipline, and I found his critique grounded in a legitimate desire to see PR be the best it can be. He said, "We need to elevate the conversation and demand a standard of excellence from our brothers and sisters." If that's not an expression of idealism, I don't know what is.

3. Google is not the government.


Towards the end of our interview, Ian and I talked about "black hat" SEO. It came up because, in the eyes of some people, the practice of SEO has a bad reputation (which is one reason that some folks have been looking for another term to describe the SEO brand). While we label some SEO tactics "black hat," the label reflects Google's perspective and not that of the law, per se. In other words, such tactics may get you in trouble search results-wise, but they won't get your arrested. After all, Ian reminded us, "Google is not the government," as Michael Gray has pointed out. That's probably a good thing, considering Google knows so much about us! (Wait, maybe that's a bad thing... )

4. There's a name for that face we make on Skype calls.


You know that face you make when you're using video on Skype but not looking at the camera, or you are but you're too close or the angle is weird? According to Geoff, that is known as the "Skype goober look."

5. Recording the podcast live is FUN!


I usually record Marketing Smarts in the relative comfort of my home office. I don't get to see the person I'm interviewing (maybe it's the goober-ness, but I find video distracting during interviews). Recording in my home office also means that it's just my guest and me. Sitting across from someone you are talking to makes conversations more lively. Recording a podcast in front of an attentive audience who responded to our jokes and then asked intelligent questions made for a much richer experience for audience and presenter. (Of course, I can only speak for myself here. If you were there, what did you think?)

As I mentioned, we have four more live events scheduled in the coming months. If we're going to be near you, come on down!

Also, if you'd like to hear my interviews with Ian and Geoff, you may do so here, or subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes and get all the episodes!


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My name is Matthew T. Grant, PhD. I'm Managing Editor here at MarketingProfs. I divide my time between designing courses for MarketingProfs University and hosting/producing our podcast, Marketing Smarts. You can follow me on Twitter (@MatttGrant) or read my personal musings on my blog here.

If you'd like to get in touch with me about being a guest on Marketing Smarts or teaching as part of MarketingProfs University or, frankly, anything else at all, drop me a line.

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