I had the chance to peek into Peter Mosley's intensive session called, Web 2.0 Everything You Always Wanted To Know, But Were Afraid To Ask! So, What's With This Thing Called Web 2.0. The Mose (as he's affectionately known) is one of the few people who "has acquired the rights to the material contained in The Cluetrain Manifesto" (I have no clue what this means). While I was in his session (which was only for about twenty minutes), he was discussing the ineptness of email deliverability and how individuals would be better suited to simply call someone on the phone to ensure that their message gets through, or enable messaging through RSS and feeds. He talked about how deliverability rates on personal emails were now becoming a huge concern. I'm not sure I agree with this, and I'm definitely planning on touching base with The Mose to see where he got this data, and how it compares to mass emails campaigns, etc... If anything, as we're doing more and more email marketing initiatives at Twist Image, we're seeing much better (in fact, near perfect) deliverability and open rates when the lists are clean with proper permission.
Next up was my opening keynote for the CMA - Canadian Marketing Association - National Convention and Trade Show 2007 entitled, Burn The Ships - New World Tactics For Marketers In A Digital World. I had a great time walking the delegates through everything from Blogs, Podcasts and Wikis to YouTube, tagging and more.
The highlight of the day was watching Dr. Joseph Plummer - Chief Research Officer for the ARF - Advertising Research Foundation. Dr. Plummer provided some key insights, research and stats that back up the social media movement. The best part of his presentation, titled - New Ways To New Consumer Insights - was that he never mentioned "Web 2.0" or "Social Media." Simply put, consumers want media on their own terms, and it has to resonate with them. Not the messaging, but the full experience. It's not just about how an ad makes a person feel, it's about how they link themselves into the brand experience as a totality. Granted, this is not a marketing epiphany, but we're seeing solid research that now backs up what can be done via Social Media channels.
Why the excitement?
Marketers have known all along that advertising is about the right message to the right person at the right time, but as Plummer weaved through his examples and referenced back to some of the content I brought forward in my Burn The Ships presentation, I had my "aha!" moment. Social Media is an Advertisers opportunity to validate this model. Granted, it may not have the mass media slam that's needed to drive a huge campaign through the roof, but experimenting in the space can (and is) defining the true brand experience.
Imagine for a moment that all of this Social Media talk is met up with solid research from the ARF? We are getting closer and closer to defining a real ROI model for Social Media (from the looks of it, it will have little to do with CPM, upfronts, etc...)... that does get me excited.
Update: You can read some comments about the first day of the CMA National Convention and my Burn The Ships keynote here: