The San Francisco Inbound Marketing Summit, this past April 28th and 29th was a great learning and refresher experience for me. It featured an intense format with the majority of speakers limited to twenty minutes for their presentation and questions. But, this format also allowed for a wide-ranging spectrum of speakers due to the fast paced, what Chris Brogan referred to as, “ADD-style” format.

This was the first meeting that I tried to dual-task taking notes in a Word document and tweet highlights/memorable quotes at the same time.  I think that I achieved a respectable degree of success with both. Click to see either my #ims09 tweets, all of the #ims09 tweets or my conference notes.  I’m  sure that my notes (and maybe my tweets) are both a bit cryptic and unpolished, so here’s a summary of eight key takeaways along with my best effort at attribution as to the speaker had what I thought was the most salient comment about each item:

  1. Everyone is a publisher on the internet – whether you are  brand or an individual you are known first and foremost by the content that you produce and publish online. Jason Falls put it that content is king because consumers demand engagement, engaging content becomes conversation and websites then become living, breathing things. John Battelle urged that we should “dare” to let our brands create content and conversations, he said that “every marketer is now a publisher, every publisher is now a marketer and every consumer is now both”. Most importantly, we should “work on stuff that matters” according to Tim O’Reilly.
  2. Content should not just reside on your “website”, it should be posted on blogs, forums, review sites or wherever someone may wind up looking for information on a topic that your content covers. 30% on your domain and the rest in other places according to Brian Halligan from Hubspot.
  3. Speak to individuals through personas and segmentation. Don’t expect your content to be all things to all people. David Meerman Scott emphasized personas in his example of hotel websites. He stated that all hotel websites seem to feature products, e.g. pools, restaurants and rooms while, in his opinion, hotel sites should focus on buyer personas and then create content that speaks to those separate personas. In agreement, Darren Guarnaccia said that we all want to be “self-segmented” and that this should be done organically on sites.
  4. It’s objectives that must determine what you monitor online. The “Listening and Monitoring” panel really stressed that in order to monitor effectively, you absolutely must establish what the strategic goal is and then refine your listening tactics accordingly. And Susan Rice-Lincoln summarized this when she said that “Social Media has been long on tactics and short on strategy so far”.
  5. Inbound Marketing offers nearly unlimited potential. Dharmesh Shah opined that “Outbound Marketing was limited by the width of your wallet. Inbound is only limited by the depth of your creativity.”
  6. Web 2.0 is progressing to the Web Squared according to John Battelle. Meaning that the the next step in terms of computing and networking with not be additive but a multiple step forward.
  7. All campaigns must be fully integrated across platforms, on and off-line to be most effective. Chris Brogan also said to “remember the physical world” to be most effective in social media.
  8. Think beyond your brand. Tim O’Reilly stressed that it’s not about your brand or your story, but rather it’s about your community.

These were the things that resonated with me, but in the spirit of sharing and aggregating, here’s a list of other Inbound Marketing Summit San Francisco blog posts:

Please leave me a comment if I missed any posts and a big thanks to all of the speakers, panelists and in particular, the organizers

Check back later this week as I’ll try to translate this for the resort industry; in particular, I’ll be posting ideas on how to implement Inbound Marketing in our segment.

Photo credit: (CC) Brian Solis. www.briansolis.com. (Yeah, I’m the one wearing the white shirt, dead center in the first row)