It’s important for modern day marketers to be engaged online. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, or one of my favorites for business, LinkedIn (boring I know, but valuable), social networks are incredibly valuable. However attending marketing conferences a few times a year often exceeds any value gained from social networks, hands down.
There are just things you cannot learn online, and meeting face to face with like minded marketers can save you time and a lot of headaches. Today, I’d like to share with you valuable things learned at InfusionCon, which has quickly become a premier conference for small businesses, hosted by my current employer, Infusionsoft.
InfusionCon was held this year in Scottsdale Arizona, Westin Kierland Hotel and Spa. There were 2100 attendees from all over the world. Many of them Infusionsoft users, but not all. Here are a few nuggets from the event.
Internal Marketing Can Make Staff Happy
One of the more anticipated events of the conference is the Ultimate Marketer competition. This is where customers submit their marketing plans and how Infusionsoft has been used to optimize their business for consideration as a finalist to present at the conference.
One of InfusionCon’s Ultimate Marketer finalists was Dustin Burleson of Burleson Orthodontics. The things he and his staff do with Infusionsoft to grow sales is simply amazing.
Based on his presentation it seems that Dustin is committed to investing in his staff, that happy staff makes happy customers. He’s also realistic, knowing that everyone has a bad day from time to time.
What did he do? Dustin took the success stories and testimonials of his patients (some of which is non-profit work), and queued them up to be ‘dripped’ on staff every 10 days for, get this, 7 years. His staff would get 200+ stories over a 7 year period before starting the sequence over again.
Ever having a bad day at the office, look there’s an email reminding you of the “significance of our work, it is worth it, we are changing lives.”
Your Database Can Be Your Greatest Business Asset
During a breakout session, 2011 Ultimate Marketer Jermaine Griggs spoke of the importance of monitoring prospect interest and behaviors by having the system tag actions they take (or don’t take) in the system. This detail provides great insights as to the effectiveness of their marketing.
He suggest two categories of data collection:
* Internal items – what they do.
* External items – what they tell you.
An example might be an email sent where the prospect responds to a link, “top 10 reasons customers want to learn to play an instrument” (Jermaine specializes in helping people learn to play music by ear) clicks a link (internal item). The landing page shows them the reasons, and then asks them to rank the top reason they are considering buying, and if they have ever bought an online course before (external data).
This combination of internal and external data provides a insightful picture of a prospect or customer profile.
Persistence is the Greatest Overnight Success
By far one of the most talked about speakers at the conference was Daymond John of ABCs reality show Shark Tank.
Some of you might find this hard to believe, but as much as I like entrepreneurship, television is not something I do much of, as a result I’ve only seen glimpses of the show. Make no mistake, Daymond John is an entertainer. Besides asking members of the audience to stop recording his presentation, his story was compelling and inspiring. He took an idea he absolutely believed in, FUBU clothing and ran with it.
He spoke of his trials of getting his clothing business up and running on a cultural movement of rap and hip hop music. How, when LL Cool J finally decided to wear the FUBU clothing line, and leveraged a national Gap TV campaign to rap the FUBU brand under the auspices of GAP. Clever.
However, as many stages as Mr. John is today, it didn’t come easily, and as marketers we do well to consider that persistence is key element to success. He posted this tweet shortly after he finished his presentation.
In the end conferences can offer an incredible return on investment of time and resources in both relationships and strategy development. In this case applying marketing to staff to keep them focused and happy, building value in your business by tracking engagement customers and prospects have with your marketing, as well as having the persistence through the challenges are all keys to success.
Where you at InfusionCon or another conference recently? How do these lessons measure up with your experiences? Chime in below.