Unsummit – Interactive Marketing Un-conference

unsummitMy first unsummit was very insightful. Though extensive audience participation is not typical, this type of events poses more questions than answers. The topic is perfect – nobody is an expert – we are all learning in real time and trying to catch up with interactive marketing universe. 

Interesting points:

Social media: it is important to have a strategy. What are you trying to communicate? Facebook is a tool, not a strategy. The decision “we should be involved into Facebook” can not be considered strategic.

The army experiment (not so good): One group decided to set up a Facebook page. However, the page did not have a following of fans (was not sufficiently promoted to fans) and attracted people who did not support the army. The Facebook page was used as an online “protest;” soon after the Facebook page went live the protest was organized outside of the unit’s building. The protesters most likely used the Facebook page to find each other and organize.  

Another army experiment (good): prospective recruits could ask questions through the website, and soldiers from different parts of the world answered these questions on the video. The video was posted on the site unedited. This approach increased the credibility of the organization.

Internal communication:

yammerCompanies are using private Facebook pages and Yammer. Medtronic encourages all new hires to sign up on Yammer during the orientation. Price Waterhouse discovered that Yammer helped people who work in different locations to communicate better and extended the practice to the whole company.

The “intranet” becomes more collaborative… the move is inevitable.

New tools

dropboxDrop Box  – a tool that allows saving large files on the cloud to be accessible from different computers.

setster  Setster – a free tool for adding appointment setting functionality to web sites and blogs. The consultant that recommended the tool noted that his clients are using the tool quite willingly.

todoist  Todoist  – a free tool for creating… to do lists in a quite sophisticated form.

xmind  XMind – a free team brainstorming and mind-mapping tool.

Social media reality check session tried to return the unsummit attendees back “to the real world,” where average person may not be as comfortable with the new tools and ideas as everybody in the room…

We should not try to set trends; we should utilize trends that already exist.

 The most popular tools of the future will be most likely “low friction” tools – the applications that are simple and easy to use.

One of the presenters was working on the real estate iPhone app that allows the person to enter his preferences for a house. When the person would be half a mile from any matching house on sale, the phone would ring and inform about the house on sale.

Personal information right now: the user goes to places (sites) that have his personal information. In the future, the personal information might be stored in the browser, and the sites would “react” to this personal information.

Minnov8  – a podcast done by a local group highlighting innovations of local companies in the interactive space.


The minnov8 group brought up an interesting point: in the past the definition of “genius” was an exceptionally gifted scientist making discoveries by himself. In the future, the definition of “genius” will change to the person who is able to synthesize ideas of many gifted scientists…

 “In the future, it is not what you know, it is what you share.”

danahboydRecommendation to review publications of Danah Boyd – Social Media Researcher at Microsoft Research New England and a Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.


Development trends: attempts to transpose to mobile what already exist online. This approach does not make sense and can be compared to early paining of children in adult clothes (during the time when children were perceived just small adults).

Mobile is different – “it is not your website squished down.”

But, the question is: How can I get all that content to the mobile?  This question is similar to a more prosaic task: How do I feed a toddler nutritious food if he is not going to sit through a meal?  The answer: Snacks!! 🙂  

We need to “snakefy” mobile information for the user. Typical user is not viewing mobile content longer than 5 minutes.

ralphGood example or mobile applications is Ralph Lauren

fiercewirelessMobile resource: Fierce wireless.  The site has a free newsletter subscription and can be searched for verticals topic (health care, etc.) specifically. 

  • Prediction: Android devices are expected to outstrip the rest.
  • Most people do not read “long form” on a mobile devise; they bookmark something interesting to read later.
  • Completion of tasks on mobile devices now is less than 50% (usability issues across devices).
  • New term: m-commerce –  mobile commerce. 

Important: to fail fast and cheaply and learn from it (last session).

Unsuccessful examples:

A beer brand created a contest for schools which offered students to send a picture where they were “interacting with the brand.” The brand had a ranking of “party schools” and offered an ultimate prize – a trip to Cancun for a spring break. The problem: colleges and parents did not like it and the campaign had to be stopped. 😉

slurpee  Slerpee  created its own branded social network for enthusiasts. The probability that the people would join one more social network is less comparing to adding a possibility of interaction with the brand to the social networks that already exist. Definitely an expensive effort. Better approach would be a Facebook app or a simple Ning site. “Go where the people are…”

 More successful example:

Kreg-community Kreg tool company created a simple Ning community for people who use their tools. The community is active and can help its members to solve problems in the area of tools (what is important for the brand). This is definitely successful (and inexpensive) effort.

Online Marketing Summit – Minneapolis

online-marketing-summitMinneapolis part of Online Marketing Summit   was very educational, and I hope this event will come to the Twin Cities area next year too.

The most interesting ideas from the event (in my understanding):

Excellent SEO opportunitiy: video (the competition is not that significant yet). Optimize video (put on YouTube, add to you site, image files, text around, links to the video).

vimeoVimeo – video posting site, which allows customizing anchor tags text links from anybody who embeds your video.

Google-BaseAdd your items to Google Base

Check for duplicate content (tool – copyscape.com http://www.copyscape.com/ )copyscape

Do not forget REL=”Canonical”

Dealing with IT is a sensitive topic… IT can feel that SEO is technical responsibility at which they fail. It is good to start the conversation with a statement that SEO is something most companies are not doing and that SEO is an additional opportunity to help the company to make money.

SEO blog to read http://www.businessol.com/seo-blog/ 

How to track AJAX and Flash Actions with Google Analytics Event Tracking

301 other domains to your www; 301 passes link ranking.

Absolute links are better for SEO… Ideally, a CMS would use relative on stage and publish absolute links live.

Description is not affecting ranking on Google (but still in Yahoo); careful with pure call to action without relevant keywords…

Tip: if the site has too many pages and optimization of each page title is not possible, insert reversed breadcrumb into title.

More pages on your site, the better page rank you have

Web 2.0 allows to “extend the message to people who has highest propensity to link to us.”

Applying traditional marketing metrics to social media is similar to applying advertising metrics to PR.

Who “owns” social media in the organization?  It depends on the goal…PR? Marketing? Customer service? However, C-level executives needed to be champions.

How to deal with more than one Web analytics packages: decide in advance which package should be used for which data and follow this rule.

Web analytics should be considered as:
strategy > infrastructure > value creation.
Currently 37% of companies don’t have formal strategy for extracting value from data…

Optimization is the reason why you collect data.

Ikea-YouTubeVery good example of YouTube channel – ikea 
Successful videos provide valuable content (job search tips – successful; explanation of how to use job search web site – not successful).

How to find relevant niche community: find niche bloggers – check blog roll.

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