Online Marketing Summit – Washington DC

Online Marketing Summit – Washington DC

The Online Marketing Summit has been making its nationwide tour and so far the verdict has been: Excellent. I had the privilege of sitting on one of the panels and addressing the audience of 120+ professionals eager to know about trends and challenges in the new Web 2.0 world. There’s a lot on social networking, search engine marketing, user generated content, virtual worlds, and web analytics from executives of some of the leading companies in those fields. There was talk about EMM and MRM, but slowly people were interested in my version, called C4ISR Marketing. Aaron Kahlow, one of the organizers, has put on a great seminar and if it comes to your city, you should definitely plan on attending.

Jeff Ramminger, EVP of Marketing, KnowledgeStorm, gave one of the most riveting keynote speeches I’ve heard in a while. His talk on delivering the content that readers want would have been worth the reasonable registration fee just to hear him speak.

I was one of the last speakers of the day, participating on a panel discussion. The topic was concerning what local Washington DC area organizations are doing regarding Web 2.0 opportunities. I emphasized that some of while the “jury is still out” on some Web 2.0 areas such as Second Life and other virtual worlds, there are other things that marketers can be doing that are quick, inexpensive and important.

For example, create an objective statement defining your organization on Wikipedia. Do it before someone else does it for you. Even though wiki content is dynamic, you need to strike first and monitor. If your competition has an entry, add to their entry with the factual line, “Competitors of ABC Company include YOUR COMPANY.” Stick to facts. I maintain that there is nothing inherently unethical about a statement like that placed on the wiki entry and invite your opinion.

One of the the interesting aspects about the audience was the absence of the Fortune 500 companies – no Marriotts, Lockheed Martin, Capital One, Danaher, etc. There were many medium to large companies and trade associations (this is DC, of course!). Ironically, many defense contractors that sell C4ISR solutions to the Federal government weren’t present.

Why was this? Do the big guys know and do everything right when it comes to Web 2.0? Are they still trying to figure it out and couldn’t even send someone just to check it out? The networking and professional development at this event was terrific; it was marketed by the American Marketing Association (AMA), the Business Marketing Association(BMA), Web Analytics Association (WAA), the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), and other great organizations. There should have been a larger representation from the big guys and yes, even Federal agencies.

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