Last week I attended a talk by David Meerman Scott, along with Tim Washer from IBM, at Harvard Business School. David is the author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR , a book which many (including me) consider one of the bibles of Internet marketing. He is as good a speaker as he is a writer. The fact that I spotted Benson Shapiro in the audience should serve as a testament of his stature.
If you haven’t read the book, you should. In his talk, in addition to some great engaging YouTube examples of successful campaigns, David made presented some great guideposts for Internet Marketing efforts. Here is my summary of his points:
1: Nobody cares about your product except you! Market to buyer personnas. The days of developing a product and then figuring out how to push it are over. You need to identify your customer personas, and define your products or services in relation to their needs.
2: No coercion is required. In today’s environment you need to earn attention. In the old days you bought it, and perhaps this can still work, if you spend enough, beg the media enough, and chase them one at a time. The new way is to earn recognition by publishing and engaging. On the Web “You are what you publish”.
3: Think of your viral marketing efforts like a venture capitalist. A VC invests in multiple businesses, with the expectation that some small percentage of them will turn out to be winners. You need to set the same expectations with your marketing efforts.
4: Hire Journalists for your marketing department! You need the creativity. And they aren’t getting jobs at the newspapers anymore.
5: Put down roots. Point the way to your virtual doorstep. Get people’s attention, and then provide a secondary offer to drive the leads home.
6: Be willing to lose control. Gain the exposure, and manage fear. If people learn about your product and buy for a reason other than what you originally designed it for… let it go. This is good stuff!
David also borrowed my Grateful Dead analogy in his talk, discussing how they built their fan base by encouraging taping and giving away their music. But I guess I’ve borrowed a lot of ideas from him as well, so that’s ok.
Overall, a great talk. I recommend his book, and certainly recommend seeing him speak if you have the chance.