Spin and Other Delights at SF PR Summit 2013

Yesterday I took a break from the challenging road of startup marketing and spent the day being inspired by peers and leaders in the media, technology and life.

The overarching theme of the conference is storytelling, which is really the new buzzword for marketing.  Storytelling has always been at the heart of brand creation and elevation.   Even in the driest B2B presentation, you are creating the image in the buyer’s mind of a better organization, driven by the successful use of new tools.  

As the app marketplace becomes increasingly more and more crowded, the latest numbers being over 1 million offerings in each of the Apple and Google stores, it is becoming more and more difficult to elevate products above the noise.  Some thoughts on taking your product to the next level from yesterday’s speakers:

Noel Lee of Monster Cable– Romance your product, make others fall in love with it.   No one “needed” better cables, but his passion to help others experience better audio has driven category expansion and profit.

Kym McNicholas– Show me, don’t tell me.  Create an emotional connection.  Every good product interview should revolve around five must have points and there should be stories for each.  Stories that don’t involve the words:  revolutionary, game changer, leading and thought leader.

Brian Solis- Businesses need to create experiences to succeed in the future.   Good marketing “creates a sense of urgency to do something with it.”  This is key to preventing your app from being removed from someone’s phone.   Check out Brian’s new book for more.  “What’s the Future of Business?”

My favorite panel was on competitive analytics.  What is clearer and clearer to me every day is that marketing requires more math than ever before, which as a liberal arts major who took the minimal amount should frighten me.  But, it doesn’t as I think that all the new available data just makes me smarter than ever before.   The key is figuring out what the right metrics are for your business, which will tell you whether or not your strategy is successful.

Favorite speakers who I’d like to hear on a panel again:

Jolie O’Dell @jolieodell

Kumi Rauf @ilovebeingblack

Jai Decker @jaidecker

Chris Heuer @chrisheuer

Sarah Cornwell  @sccornwell


Sites/Apps that I need a minute to check out:

Tracker, Kissmetrics, Compete, TimeHop


Want to get inspired today?  Follow the conference on Twitter at #sfprsummit

Back in the Mix

It happens every time I am working with a client–all my focus is on their project and not on my own business.  Yet, I am breaking a cardinal rule that I tell anyone looking to promote a product or service–being relevant when you don’t want something.  Active engagement without always trying to make a sale can be welcome interaction.

All of us are experts or knowledgeable about something.  Finding time to share what you recently read can  be helpful to others with the same interests.  In today’s information overloaded society we need all the help we can get to lift useful information to the top of our scope.    For me, Twitter is still one of the best tools for learning about breaking news or industry highlights.  I follow the right experts and the news comes to me.

I was surprised that this recent HBR blog didn’t come to my attention from someone I follow.  Bill Lee pronounced that “Traditional marketing — including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications — is dead.”  Though I suspect that real marketers don’t agree with him and didn’t want to promote his fallacy.  I don’t disagree that marketing is changing and there are many new tools to reach customers, but what still is important is the marketing mix.

If you are trying to sell a new product to a 75 year old man, I’m willing to bet advertising during the 6pm news show will be more effective than a streaming ad on Pandora.   Fundamentals are still important–understanding your audience, how they like to interact with brands and then picking the marketing mix that will achieve the goals.  Most importantly, are those goals measurable?   That is really how marketing is changing.   What CEOs aren’t getting is a dashboard that shows how hard the organization’s marketing dollars are working.

Part of the reason I selected Marketing Mixology as my company name was my belief about how critical that part of the planning process is to success.   I’m excited as I get to talk about Marketing Mix Optimization with one of my favorite agencies to work with, Creative Feed, at a Marketing Analytics conference in San Francisco.  I can’t post the presentation, due to some client confidentiality, but if you want to learn more, just ping me.