Here are my notes from the session. I'll be happy to respond with greater detail in the comments of this post if anyone is interested.
- Interest precedes spending. You need chatter and buzz before people open their wallets. For example, it's unusual for sponsors to fund your proposal if others aren't telling them it's a good idea, too.
- Using web 2.0 technologies is not the same thing as having an online community. Your communications have to be bidrectional. For example, Bearing Point uses an internal wiki for collaboration. It allows for the spontaneous creation of project teams. Their wiki will be supplanting their current knowledge management system. They are able to upload documents and make them searchable on their wiki.
- Corporate wikis are not there to replace Wikipedia, but to fill in the descriptions of projects and acronyms peculiar to you.
- Bearing Point went on to create a wiki for marketing purposes. It looks cool and you can find it here. 50,000 people have participated on their wiki in the past 6 months. Wow.
- Everyone agreed that your IT department has got to be heavily involved in all of this.
- Social Media Group was next. They are working on a global social media effort for Ford. They also showed how social media marketing worked for Firefox.
- Social Media Group tried to do this same thing for Harlequin for a series of vampire novels. They created a MySpace page for the main character. They ran it for 16 weeks and then stopped. The demands from the MySpace community never stopped and Harelquin didn’t have the person to continue the interaction. People got unhappy about not being able to connect to the lead character because no one was listening any more. That’s an old media approach. The marketing campaign has a finite duration in the old way, but these days it is an evolving, infinite conversation.
- Andy Beal of the Marketing Pilgrim blog spoke next. He was great. “Radically Transparent” is his new book. Nike is doing it well by developing communities on line to keep track of progress and compete with others. Sounds cool!
- Andy said that Apple doesn’t get it. They are a totally closed group. They don’t need it because they have a group of insane fanatics as customers. Apple’s customer service ratings are down.
- One of the panelists mentioned how important it was to use your own products. The original users within their company helped to guide the development of their products.
- It's crucial to note that you are not building a community, you are joining one that already exists. What a great statement!
- The companies that have a strong social marketing presence are the ones that have been turned over to the employees.
- In the case of companies whose products are torched on blogs, they need to engage the blogs in a discussion. The conversation is going to happen with or without you. If people are saying bad things about your products you need to know about it and get involved.
Like I said, this was an outstanding session. Comments and questions are welcome. If I can find other bloggers who went to this one, I'll post their links here.