5 Things I Learned at OMS 2012

Last month I spent a day in the basement of the Denver Marriott City Center and it was enlightening. The Online Marketing Summit was a full-day workshop highlighting a range of tactics to connect with customers. Here’s 5 useful lessons.

1. A website is a conversation
No one will approach you and ask you “What is your mission statement,” so why is it pasted on the homepage of your website? Someone who visits your website is looking for how you will make their lives easier/better/more enjoyable. Most likely you’re not the only one that provides your product or service. Engaging visitors in a conversational manner answers their questions and convinces them to provide you with useful information about themselves. This helps convert visitors into customers. Awareness of the language that you use throughout your site can make this difference. And it can be a result of something as simple as labeling a button “Buy Now”(too aggressive) vs. “Add to Cart”(passive).

2. Marketing campaigns should truly be campaigns
An e-blast does not make a campaign. The average sales person will give up after contact #4, but most decision makers aren’t ready to buy until contact #9. Developing a multi-touch campaign can make the difference. By initiating a campaign that has multiple stages you are allowing prospective clients to explore what you are offering and develop a familiarity with your company.

3. Internet tracking is creepy but effective
One presenter relayed a story about how he clicked on a targeted e-blast he received and within an hour he had received a phone call from the sender to follow up and see if he had any questions about the offer. Creepy. Using information that is volunteered through social media allows you to qualify prospectives before you initiate contact. Combining social media and tracking technology companies can effectively locate, engage and ultimately land new clients.

4. Online marketing takes place anywhere you get internet
This is a simple reminder. A rising number of people aren’t reading your e-blast at their desk in Outlook. They are probably previewing it on their smart phone or tablet device or through web mail. So the templates you’ve used for years don’t necessarily look good in these applications. You always have to consider the wide array of options new technology provides your audience and then compensate for all the variables.

5. It’s important to look at why you do something
Anyone can produce a better widget or provide outstanding service. But why do you do it? What is it about your organization that means prospective clients should choose you? If you have a passion for what you are offering, existing and prospective clients will see it and respond in a positive way.

All of these ideas remind me that technology, when used correctly, can be an extremely powerful tool. But, there has to be more to it. People are skeptical of one-off e-blasts and special offers. When you engage them with continuous, passionate dialog they will not only buy in, they will become your best advocates.



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