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!


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Small Business Advertising TipsMy friend Sandy Ratliff understands small business. Sandy’s a star marketer at the Virginia Department of Business Assistance and travels all around her state sharing her wealth of knowledge with small business owners. Here’s how she describes what she does. “I primarily focus on helping individuals launch and expand business within my 25 county service area of Southwest Virginia.   I do about 40+ workshops a year and over 200 counseling sessions with new and existing business.”

Sandy and I originally met on twitter and our friendship has blossomed to occasional lunches and regular contact through our social networks.
Recently she reached out to me to ask for my input on tips to provide small businesses who want to advertise.

It was an interesting question since the whole field of advertising has been turned on its head over the past few years with the advent of social networking for business. Clients now obtain information when, where, why and how they want it. (For more information be sure to check out David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR)

Here is the list we discussed and that Sandy presented to her clients:

  1. Look at the demographics of the media source: Does it reach your target audience? Example: I used to be the executive editor of a high end regional lifestyles publication. One of our advertisers, the owner of a classy gentlemen’s clothing store, swore by his success with our publication and said the price was worth it.
  2. In what markets will it run? Example: If you are a small neighborhood based gym do you really want to run a radio ad that will reach thousands? We’re moving to an era of geo and micro-marketing.
  3. Be educated: Know the media source coming to meet you in advance. Know your target audience and how best to reach them.
  4. How does your target audience like to hear from advertisers? Coupons? Facebook? Twitter? Daily deals? Ask them!
  5. Can you do it yourself? Google and Facebook have brought advertising opportunities direct to the small business masses. Experiment with some online D.I.Y.
  6. Cause marketing: Recently MarketingMel had the opportunity to sponsor a portion of the PTA night at the Johnson City Cardinals baseball game along with one of my client’s, CapTeeVation. Together we paid for the hot dog supper provided to the first 250 through the gates. What a great opportunity to support something very positive in our community; education. Look for things that your company believes in and then get behind them. You’ll reap multiple rewards!

What are some tips that you’ve used effectively in small business advertising? Please feel free to share here. I’ll be glad to add them to the list.

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