Something Old, Something New at the Mixer
Eight years ago, in the spring of 2000, a company I co-founded called ClickZ held a two-day conference on email marketing at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, MA. This guy from Yahoo, Seth Godin, had just written a book called Permission Marketing, and email as a marketing strategy was shiny-new and ripe with exciting possibility.
This was, of course, a bit before spam dulled some of that shine: the closest we came to discussing spam was a panel "face-off" on opt-in vs. opt-out. The subtitle there ("You decide!") seems quaint now.
People were so hungry for information that we sold out the event... plus a few: It was standing-room only at the general session.
Memories of the ClickZ email event crept up on me last week at the MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer, because once again I felt a similar crackle of energy in the room. The Wall Street Journal says Twitter is starting to gain mainstream acceptance, but companies are curious about other social media tools, too, if the 300 attendees at the Mixer are any indication. Like email in 2000, the social media sessions were often standing-room only.
There's a difference, though, between 2000 and 2008. Marketers are smart enough these days to know that any one digital tool isn't going to cut it. Instead, they recognize that companies need a... well, mix of several to achieve their online objectives. In my view, the Big Three are Search, Email and Social Media, which is why one of my favorite sessions at the Mixer, led by Blue Sky Factory's Chief Smarty Pants Greg Cangialosi, was titled Email and Social Media: True Love Always. In other words, the best way to use any of these digital tools is in tandem with others.
The learning was of course top-shelf in Arizona. But we had plenty of fun putting the real "social" in social media! If you missed the Mixer, or followed the buzz about it on Twitter and want to know more, check out what others are saying about it in my longer post on the MarketingProfs blog. (And definitely plan on joining us again in 2009 -- June 8 and 9 in Boston!)