Wednesday, November 2, 2011

meshmarketing 2011

What's the ROI on a conference? It was one of the most compelling statements (with regard to measuring and establishing ROI) that came out of Scott Stratten's unbook: UnMarketing... for me, anyway (see the excerpt at the end of this post for more details). Some companies will expect/project a conference to generate X number of leads, and for conferences that can run anywhere from nothing to tens of thousands of dollars to attend (much less exhibit at), those leads better be qualified, right? Or not... just "being there" is often part of the ROI or, as @unmarketing puts it, integral to the ROR (return on relationships). Early on as an independent consultant I found it difficult to justify the expense of events/conferences. Do you have to travel to get there? How expensive? Who's attending? I still have to pick and choose which ones I attend (and I'm not exhibiting or speaking at any... yet), but ultimately there are increasingly those events that I can't afford not to go to. meshmarketing is one (this year, at least).

Different than mesh, meshmarketing (@meshmarketing) is all about providing "insight, perspective and information to more effectively embrace and capitalize on the fast-growing digital market." mesh is more about all things web broken into four categories: media, society, business and marketing. Both are valuable, but this year I had to pick one... meshmarketing it is! My first mesh event.

Why now? Timing was a big part of it (mesh's May schedule would have been tough for a number of reasons, but you don't care about that), but really it's the feedback I received from other attendees who spoke to the value and relevancy of the sessions, and the quality of attendees that made the decision easy (plus I remembered to book in time for the early-bird rate).

What's my expected ROI from meshmarketing? To get validation that content strategy/marketing is increasingly being considered a pillar of digital strategy and to continue debunking the myth that "social" media is the answer to all of your problems. Like anything else (marketing conferences included), media channels are tools. Social media is another cog in the wheel, but it's the wheel that gets you from A to B.

How many other analogies can be made here to beat a dead horse? OK, now how many?

Scott Stratten's unbook excerpt:
Return on investment (ROI) is one of the lamest excuses that I hear all the time. Most old-school salespeople could never calculate their efforts in ROI in the first place. I ask them what their ROI is on the networking event that they drove to last week or the conference that just attended to see their current customers. It is more ROR (return on relationships) and, truthfully, that is really hard to calculate.
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