Let me start off by saying that it sucks that mesh - Canada's Web 2.0 Conference (May 15th - May 16th, 2006) drops on the same dates as the CMA - Canadian Marketing Association - National Conference and Trade Show. I really wanted to attend (and speak) at mesh in Toronto, but I have to be in Montreal for the CMA (I am already booked to speak on the Marketing For Entrepreneurs & Small Business intensive and I have my own session - The Brand is Flat: How Brand Democratization Is Going To Change Your Business.. For The Better - which will be a homage to my compadres west on the 401 at mesh), plus I am on the organizing committee for the CMA.
In the great soon-to-be-tradition of Marketing 2.0, there's a sort of Long Tail riot happening today as some of the mesh Godparents discuss how they managed to market and come uber-close to selling out mesh with bottom-up marketing and Web 2.0 gumption. Based on the speaker line-up, the branding and the passion from the founders, I'm not surprised.
Back in the day, I published one of the only rock magazines in French for Canada called Arena Rock. One rainy day, my business partner and I were hanging out at his place wondering how we could get the word out about our newly launched venture (there was no Internet back then, in fact cordless phones still sucked). As we watched MusiquePlus (the Quebec version of MuchMusic), we noticed a crowd gathering. It turned out MusiquePlus was having an open house, but the doors only opened at noon. The line-up was already around the block. We grabbed boxes of mags and handed them out to the crowd (they made great make-shift umbrellas). We then headed back home, grabbed some hot chocolate and turned on the tube. As soon as noon hit, the cameras came on and sure enough, everyone in line was holding a copy of our magazine, screaming and waving it in the air. We were just trying to give them something to do while they waited out in the cold and rain, and the crowd, in kind, really turned us on to a new way of marketing.
That was my first encounter with viral (guerrilla?) marketing.
Now take a concept like that and apply it to a Web 2.0 world. A world where a couple of passionate people connect to other passionate people and words spread like wild fire. That's the new world of marketing. As marketers, we're forced to look at what a brand is in a Blog world and how to speak to a target market in a wiki universe.
That excites me.
Hot chocolate anyone?
You can see what the other mesh folks are saying here: