Saturday, November 28, 2009

Can You Hear Me? Radio interview at ad:tech

speakerAs you can see from the lack of recent posts on Cobbsblog, things have been particularly busy this month. My November started out with a trip to a trade show in New York called ad:tech. This event brings together a very interesting mix of companies that are in some way or another related to digital marketing.

Digital marketing is one way to describe what my work for Monetate is all about, so I was at the show checking out the digital marketing scene and looking to learn whatever I could. (Quote du jour: "A real expert always looks to learn more and does not always try to look like he's learned everything.")

Judging by the huge crowds, digital marketing is doing well these days. For all our sakes I am hoping that the larger-than-expected attendance bodes well for the economy in 2010.

Shortly after I fought my way through the check-in lines and gained entrance to the exhibit hall I was interviewed for WebmasterRadio by marketing guru Bryan Eisenberg. Here is a link to the interview. (I apologize for sounding out of breath but I had to shout to be heard above the crowd--the sound engineers at WebMasterRadio did an amazing job of filtering out background noise but they couldn't change the fact that I was shouting.) Oh, and here's a link to Bryan.

Anyway, if you take a listen to the interview you will get an idea of what Monetate is about and what my role as "evangelist" for the Monetate technology involves. (If you can't listen to the audio right now, the short answer is that my role as an evangelist is to get people excited about what the technology can do.)

I carry out my role by communicating across multiple media, most of which don't charge for participation. Over the years I have learned how to do this out of necessity, often working for startup companies that did not have a marketing budget to speak of (or we had a budget but it got eaten by engineering, or product delivery, or something else that was deemed a priority over marketing at the time).

Starting from back in the days when this type of thing was called guerilla marketing, I have pioneered the idea that if you offer up free content that is also valuable content, people will find that content, consume that content, and give some respect to the content creator. So when I created a web site back in the mid-nineties that was full of high quality computer security information, people who had read the content would call up looking for security advice, which we sold as security consulting, creating a blue ribbon client portfolio that became very valuable and was eventually snapped up by a much bigger company that paid us a premium for it.

A dozen years on and I am working on marketing a marketing product, finding that a lot of people have twigged to this strategy, so things are not quite so easy. But the strategy is still sound and I will keep persevering, adding new tactics like social media (an umbrella term for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs) to my arsenal. And of course, radio interviews whenever they present themselves.

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