Ten Enchanting lessons learned from Guy Kawasaki at IMS11

I had the privilege of attending the first Hubspot Inbound Marketing Summit in Boston in September 2008. That conference was a true “game changer” for me as I heard both Seth Godin and David Meerman Scott telling those of us interested in social media marketing that we were on the edge of something big. It was a pleasure to return three years later to realize how true their words really were and to see how far we as professional marketing and communications people have come. (You can see my video interview from IMS11 on The Pulse Network here.)

Over the course of the next few weeks I plan to share nuggets of information about the outstanding thought leaders who spoke to us.

I’ll start with my favorite, noted social media marketing guru and author Guy Kawasaki. (Guy truly had “rock star” status at this conference as attendees, myself and friend Cathy Rodgers included, lined up to meet him.)

Guy Kawasaki at IMS11 with MarketingMel and 7wavesCathy

In preparation to hear Guy I read his book “Enchantment.” Like all authors, they talk about their latest book when onstage. But Guy has a disarmingly charming way about him that keeps you mesmerized by his stories. He is, well, enchanting.

Here are 10 of my takeaways:

1. Likeability: Have a marvelous smile (Mari Smith’s charming smile was his example), dress equal to your peers and pefect your handshake.

Facebook guru Mari Smith has a great smile

2. Achieve Trustworthiness:  Become bakers, not eaters. (Great word picture isn’t it?) Trust others. Default to “Yes. How can I help you?”

3. Perfect your product. He used the Ford MyKey program in which parents can pre-set the volume and top speed of a car as an example. Provide value. It is much easier to enchant with really good stuff!

4. Have a mantra. Guy’s is “empower people.” What’s yours?

5. Conduct a pre-mortem. Ask “why will our product fail?” Come up with all of the reasons beforehand to ensure its success!

6. Plant many seeds. I loved this one. Guy talks about how Marketing 1.0 meant “sucking up to a traditional media hierarchy.” Marketing 2.0 with the power of social networking is flat. The people make it successful and “nobodies are the new somebodies.”

7. Enchant all the influencers!  He gave us a homework assignment to watch Justin Bieber’s movie “Never say Never.” (I did Guy!) Justin and his team enchanted all of the influencers from viewers of his YouTube videos to moms, to girls in parking lots who wanted tickets.

8. Invoke Reciprocation: When you do something for someone and they say “thank you” say, “I know you would do the same for me.”  Think about the power in that line! Then enable people to pay you back.

9. Presentations: Sell your dream! Guy says that Steve Jobs didn’t sell an iPhone he sold something cool and thin and sexy.  Customize your introduction every time and keep your presentation to the 10-20-30 rule; 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 point font.

10. Use technology to enchant. Don’t make it hard for people to engage with you. He talked about removing the speed bumps and obstacles to communicatingWhat was really humorous was that Guy was given a stick mic for his presentation. He is used to wearing a lapel mic. so his hands can be free. After several comments from Guy, the conference organizers got the hint, removed “the obstacle,” and presented him with a lapel mic.  “Social media is core to existence,” he said. (And Facebook has certainly proven that again with its recent change announcements at F8.)

Although Guy said much more these were a few of my key takeaways. Do you plan to move forward on at least one of these in order to become more enchanting to your employees, customers and loved ones? I do!



  • Sue Painter says:

    Love this post, totally. And Justin was at the hotel I was just at in Scottsdale, too!

    • maryellen says:

      Thanks Sue. So you no doubt were surrounded by swooning young females? I never would have rented that movie normally but it really is a great lesson for all marketers. Guy was right on as usual!

  • Great stuff! Each takeaway is a valuable nugget. I especially resonate with having a mantra. I love mantras because they keep you grounded, focused, motivated, and in integrity.

    Sounds like IMS11 was a fabulous event!

  • Jeff Brunson says:

    I loved Guy’s book. What a wonderful opportunity you had to meet him and hear him. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Linda Pucci says:

    This is wonderful, Mary Ellen–so many good tips here. It seems to me that you can have the best product or service on the planet but if these other things are missing, no one will know (or believe you). Guess that is why Marketing 2.0 is so powerful!

  • I’m so jealous. I love Guy and loved his latest book. He is so genuine and authentic in everything he does- especially online. Thanks so much for sharing these tips. I can’t wait to read all about the other great stuff you learned in Boston.

  • Loved reading this post – and I love his lessons – similar in some ways to my 10 commandments. Great value, advice and savvy! In particular what struck a chord was “Become bakers, not eaters” I love this visual – awesome.
    Thanks for sharing so that those of us who weren’t there got to taste a little of the pie too!

  • Hunter Boyle says:

    Thanks for the great recap of this session, Mary Ellen. I have to confess, I’ll probably never master the Duchenne smile or watch the Bieber movie, but I have incorporated (stolen) some of these ideas already. In fact, I’ll be road testing a few of them in a social media presentation tomorrow. Nice to have connected with you and your blog virtually via the IMS event. Hope to meet you in person next year.

    • maryellen says:

      Thanks Hunter. I’m sorry we didn’t get to meet in person as well. Good luck with your presentation and hope to see you next year at IMS Boston!

  • Mary Ellen – thanks for this post. I felt like I was listening to Guy himself at IMS. What I like about your list from Guy’s keynote is it focuses on the customer: sure he has some tips about making your product great, but more businesses fail because they focus too much on the product and not enough on their customer. The biggest success of marketing 2.0 and social media is that it has put the focus back on customer service.

    • maryellen says:

      Thanks so much for your comment Maria. And, you are correct that it is indeed about time to make it about *you* and not about *me.* I love the way Guy says, “default to yes.” It re-shapes our thinking!

  • Thank you for a great summary. Justin

    Beiber is a good esxample of the power of internet marketing by not only enchanting the influencers but also bypassing them to get his product out. Another example is Lady Gaga who sold her songs on the net since none odf the “smart money” would pick her up.

    • maryellen says:

      Thanks for your comment Bilol and you are right…Lady Gaga is another fine example of marketing on the web. In fact I track and update her follower count every time I give my social media preso. and mention the power of twitter.

  • Thank you so much for sharing these take-aways! I love this one “Invoke Reciprocation: When you do something for someone and they say “thank you” say, “I know you would do the same for me.” Think about the power in that line! Then enable people to pay you back.”

    So often people want to give back and want to help but they just aren’t sure how or what the best way would be to do so.

    • maryellen says:

      Thanks Jennifer. I love that concept and have incorporated it into my daily living. “I know you’d do the same for me.”

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