Conversational Media Redux

I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by the CM Summit put on by Federated Media. I chatted with John Battelle last night at the cocktail reception and made the observation that this whole event was very web 2.0 of him. Meaning one of the keys of understanding what makes Web 2.0 tick is the idea that it's great to show your competitors' content—as long as they come to your site to see it. Literally a third of the people at the event had FM name tags,  but they provided value so I was happy to shake hands (I think about 7 of his people will be visiting Traction next week) because the event was pretty terrific.  Lot of interesting insights about how brands are able to use conversations as marketing—and this is important stuff to understand. As budgets start to get slashed in the coming months, it will be companies that understand how to foster connections with lower cost connections between brands and consumers that survive and thrive.

I'm going to go into each of these in depth in subsequent blog posts, but here are my top ten random nuggets from the conference:

  1. Brands are Twittering like mad and a few new success stories have emerged—like Dell generating half a million bucks in sales from tweets about surplus inventories.
  2. Avinash Kaushik, whose published some great books on web analytics, had this quote: "Engagement is not a metric, it's an excuse." I love that. He went to say don't try to sexify your metrics. Call them something ugly so they just say what you're really measuring. Time spent on site should be called "Time Spent on Site." True nuff.
  3. My pal, Richard Jalichandra from Technorati, was on stage. Showed a great case study of how brands can align with content relevant to their audiences: an NFL Draft channel on Technorati sponsored by Hummer. Brands need to think about how they can align with conversations. Great creative media example. Also, seems to be doing really well with Technorati Media network annoucning an acquisition of AdEngage yesterday.
  4. creative = media = creative ... these disciplines are becoming more and more intertwined
  5. Federated Media launched a new social media metrics dashboard tool. If you know the url, post it in comments!
  6. Social media tactics such as Facebook brand pages and Twitter are less expensive, but not without investment. They are only effective and authentic if they are done well. That takes time, energy and experience. A combination many brands don't have.
  7. Current TV VCAMs (viewer created ad messages) are preferred 9 to 1 by their users. Kind of obvious and one of those statistics that don't mean much—but the examples they showed were pretty damned good spots
  8. Justin Curtis, the digital creative director at Grey (and a very nice guy) pontificated that the art director/copywriter model cannot survive. The need to think across technology and media is a challenge. A great specific example he gave: a client was doing multivariate testing in a rich media banner and he had to direct the copywriter to give him 25 headlines to test in the ad. Not the kind of thing a creative director trained to find the one line that best expresses a very specific message necessarily knows how to respond to.
  9. Porter Gale, the VP of Marketing at Virgin America, presented a case study on their brand. A great story of a brand being built from the ground up (reminded me of my conversation with the CEO of Pandora). Really great. I  but I don't think they're doing a good job leveraging conversational media and I'm not sure why she was presenting at this specific conference. Porter, expect a phone call...
  10. Hashem Bajwa from Goodby showed this great piece for Wii on YouTube. Props. 

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