By Pattie Simone, founder WomenCentric
Don’t you love learning about new stuff?? I do. Whether it’s productivity systems/products, new apps and technology, a tasty new recipe or restaurant recommendation – I enjoy discovering and then sharing those resources with as many people as possible! This is when I say ‘yeeha’ for social/online platforms
But it’s fun to get out too – so I try to go to as many local networking events as I can, as well as hopping a plane for a speaking gig or a valuable function/Conference.
The effort is always worth it! If I didn’t go to TWTRCON in San Francisco last year I would have missed meeting Hootsuite’s cute mascot (and giving a Smart Chirps for Sales workshop). So, yup, even with all that we can accomplish virtually there’s still a lot to be said for face time.
At this all-day conference I interviewed the President of Hootsuite, Ryan Holmes, and learned a ton from the other presenters and vendors. I got to hobnob with the founders of some really interesting startups, chatted with a few other entrepreneurs and folks who worked for a variety of new media companies, as well as other marketers & business development staff from small, mid-sized and global firms.
The BIG picture take-away: These people did not drink the kool aid. We are not in Kansas anymore, and cannot do business the way it was done even 5 years ago. There are amazing success stories to learn and profit from, and dismal failures to avoid. What intrigues me the most – so many people are going about their day as if the ‘revolution’ isn’t happening.
And yet – we are in the early stages of a net-and mobile-fueled communication, research, customer service & selling revolution unlike any other.
The bottom line: early adopters are listening, measuring and engaging with their audiences – via a variety of new social & mobile tools. They are using and testing various mediums (mobile being the hottest) to see which program or solution helps them build a brand buzz & make more sales (yes, this is about making money!) in better, faster, smarter ways.
If you’re a restaurant owner, by God, you better know about and be monitoring what’s going on in foursquare, yelp, gowalla, etc. In fact, many companies who are NOT in the food service business are getting good traction from sharing tips on foursquare, so take some time to find out how they are leveraging that tool – using location-based marketing – in very creative ways (see my interview with Matthew Shadbolt, Director of Internet Product & Marketing, from The Corcoran Group – a Real Estate company!)
So, don’t miss out on all the opportunities out there – get out, get informed. Read, ask questions. If you are involved with marketing, business development, fundraising, or sales; or if you’re running a business or thinking of starting a company - try to attend some online marketing education events like SES, Realtime Report, CaT and ARF Re:think. Get moving & learn as much as you can about digital and mobile options – because the longer you wait, the harder it’ll be to catch up with your competition!