Marketers, PR & IR Professionals, Social Media Managers… at our core, we are all communicators and relationship builders. Today, more than ever before, we benefit from having a variety of means with which to engage our target audiences. That said, multi-channel, multi-party conversations bring to the table as many great opportunities as they do risks. And as if that’s not enough to juggle, our universe functions at warp speed, and often, just when we think we’ve mastered one aspect of what we do, the game changes, and we better change — not just to keep up with the game, but to stay one step ahead.
The question for all of us is: “How”?
Yesterday, a group of marketing and e-commerce decision makers — from small to very large, public to private and non-profit, North American-based to global companies — gathered together for an invitation-only experience in New York City: Econsultancy’s Peer Summit 2010 , celebrating its 10th Anniversary and, with its strong presence in the U.K., brought its proven format across the pond for a successful event, spearheaded by Econsultancy’s Vice President, North America Rebecca Lieb .
While I greatly enjoyed sharing my own thoughts and best practices as a sponsor and participant, this was one of those times when I walked away with more knowledge and insight, not from books or theory of how things should be, but from colleagues experiencing similar situations, navigating common challenges and sharing real successes. As a result, what was discussed was too good not to share; so here are just a few pearls of wisdom garnered from some of our best and brightest communicators:
- This is the era of “ubiquitous access.” Today’s marketing is not just about mobile marketing, or social marketing or traditional or direct marketing. Those days of silo strategies are gone. To succeed today, all of what we do involves the social web and conversations within it. And we will be connecting through a variety of senses.
- You don’t need to be a techno-geek to succeed in marketing. The majority of us may not have advanced degrees in technology, and may not understand every application, and that’s okay. As a matter of fact, understanding the application isn’t key, neither for us or our clients. Rather, understanding the essence of those applications, platforms, technologies — what they mean, can do and can bring to us — that’s what really matters.
- Content is still king. We’ve known this for a long time. That said, the conversations surrounding our content RULES. We are humanizing and building relationships. People aren’t passionate about products, but what’s connected to those products. It’s our job to deliver true, unique value.
- Old branding tells us what to think; new branding accepts ourselves for who we are. Personality over product; it matters. Decentralizing brands is a must. No longer can we think of our brand as being contained in any one place. They must live on our websites, our social media sites, our mobile apps, our advertising, our news, our client services…everywhere. And because people have more options, brand experiences are more diversified and we should operate with that in mind. We are at a time of true convergence of ecommerce, technology and marketing. Insight marketing is essential to our success.
- Technology has finally empowered us to capture intent. In the past, the people doing the purchasing had the power. Today, people doing the “liking” or “sharing” are those who matter just as much — if not more. Our challenge is finding out what to do with this information, and how to act on it.
For more great insights and commentary on the state of marketing, check out these resources:
- #smmeasure , Marketwire’s weekly Twitter chat on all things social media measurement
- What Frank Sinatra teaches us about marketing 
- Econsultancy’s Digital Marketing blog