Internet Summit 2011: Engagement and Data Rule the Day




Tackling the social marketing landscape can be quite challenging. With it’s continuous growth and evolving technologies, it’s a battle to stay a step ahead while remaining relevant to your customers. For the nearly 2,000 internet executives, senior marketers, digital professionals, entrepreneurs and investors attending the recent Internet Summit 2011 in Raleigh, NC (November 15 -16) this challenge became a little more achievable.

Being a first time attendee to the conference, I walked in with no preconceived notions just an open mind, an active Twitter account and a laptop ready for note taking. I wanted to capture a few new marketing tactics that could be applied to my active email marketing and social media initiatives. What I walked away with proved to be much more meaningful – fresh knowledge and practical applications.

Kicking off the conference was opening keynote panel, The Future of Digital Media & Marketing with Ro Choy, Formspring; David Payne, Gannett; Maria Pergolino, Marketo; David Perry, Google; and moderator Kurt Merriweather, Discovery Communications. The panelist shared their opinions on the next trends in media and marketing. One key point resonated throughout – the role of data. The panelists agreed that data will remain consistent in driving how we track and communication with our customers. As someone who relies on data to drive messaging, this point struck a chord with me. It’s one of those things that you hear and say “Well, no kidding.” but it can quickly get away from you if you don’t keep reminding yourself to pay closer attention to it.

The two days were filled with sessions on social media, mobile, cloud services, search, analytics, video, usability, e-commerce, online advertising, and big data that provided best practices and real world examples for attendees to identify with and apply in their businesses. Even with all this great information flying around, no one could have anticipated the high energy and excitement that keynote Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia and host of DailyGrape.com would bring.

It was standing room only as the “King of Social,” challenged us all to stop settling for the one way marketing push and start engaging with and listen to our audience. After Gary spoke, I was pumped to get back to work and begin building a stronger approach to engaging my customers. But the knowledge sharing didn’t stop there. The afternoon continued with presentations that drove home messages on:

  • Measure what matters for ROI (awareness, interest, action),
  • Understanding your data to build better goals and objectives,
  • Constantly improving customer engagement,
  • Using email to help solve some challenges with your customer not just selling them,
  • Portraying consistent brand identity through all marketing channels,
  • Listening with intent to understand what’s going in your industry before putting content out

The conference was well worth the two days out of the office and I can’t wait to continue connecting with my colleagues as we test some of the methods and theories we learned.

So, I’m headed back into the office with my building blocks in hand (and 27 new Twitter friends). Ready to buckle down, strategize and implement these new tools and tactics. I’m eager, encouraged and enthusiastic to see how my things stack up.

About DeShelia Spann

DeShelia Spann is a promotions marketing and communications specialist at Eaton Electrical. She’s responsible for email marketing and social media strategies for the Eaton’s power quality business. www.switchon.eaton.com