Being a lifelong nerd, I was excited to attend the sessions at the TARGUSinfo Online Lead Quality Summit or #OLQS last week in Las Vegas. It’s like a little taste of being back in school except without the tests. I mean look at me, I’m basically writing an essay now, so it’s full circle. And there were parties (sadly, I did not attend due to health reasons, aka, sinus infections are evil.)
I did live tweet the sessions as both GoWithGragg and my personal Twitter account until both my Blackberry and my laptop died early deaths. Not having a device to connect to the Internet for 12 hours was PAINFUL.
The conference proved to be well planned and organized and the TARGUSinfo staff was out mingling with the rest of us- and the logo-ed M&Ms were a nice touch. I started with the lead scoring presentation on Wednesday and saw our friends from PlattForm Advertising/ Ad Venture Interactive out in the audience as well. You’ll see plenty of play- by- plays about the different tracks and sessions so I’m going to highlight what stood out to me at this conference instead of giving you straight up notes for the test that follows.
Keynote: Stewart Butterfield, co-founder Flickr
I saw a tweet from someone asking about the relevance of Stewart Butterfield’s presentation. I’m a bit of an existentialist so I was vibing but to put it simply: the relevance was the link of evolution of technology and usership. Online media is about identity. The better we, the marketers, understand users the better we can be at innovating and capturing users, thus creating offers and products to engage them. I’ll save my social media rants.
These are sessions that jazzed me up. I mean can’t sit still have to scribble still thinking about it later that night while watching Glee pumped up about working in online lead generation sessions. Oh, and data is sexy.
“2010 Privacy Debate: Who and What will Drive Resolution?” aka the Data Privacy Panel- I know right? It sounds sooooo glamorous, but wow, these guys had chemistry and life. They also caught the audience in moments of ignorance. We as marketers need to be much more in touch with how we are perceived with regard to our lust for data. We hold control over our brand. Highlights:
- Best Practices will help the industry
- Image is everything when it comes to Relevance vs Creepy
- Standardized nomenclature and logoing will help with best practices, trust, and getting rid of the “creepy” stigma
- Be aware of the movement by state legislatures as they work to regulate the Internet
- IAB introduced a new white paper–Online Lead Generation: Data Security Best Practices
“Improving Conversion the New Way: One Customer at a Time” Murthy Nukala, CEO/Founder, Adchemy
There was enough Twitter chatter to tell me that I was not the only person enjoying this session. Murthy Nukala introduced the theory of “de-averaging” or different ads/different paths for different users. It’s a pretty simple concept and for those of us who have run full on SEM campaigns, it’s pretty basic. You create relevance for your user to get them to do what you want. The change here was the back-end processes that are used to serve that process. Tactics to use: design from the outside in, not from the inside out. Always put the user at the center of what you’re doing. Basically, cookie cutters are good for sugar cookies, but not online marketing.
Dave Zinman of Yahoo also gave a nice presentation about display advertising and most people picked up the statistic that “16 seconds is the average time a user spends engaged with a rich media ad unit.” He also quizzed us which just fed into my “yippee skippee I’m back in school” fantasy.
These were either flat or offered no value to me (and potentially just irritated me) We’re talking I wanna run up on stage and throw a chicken at you so you’ll cross the road.
“Legendary Lead Generation Campaign” or the Debate that Wasn’t. Now, I’m not arguing the intelligence of the folks on stage, Jere Doyle and Rob Carbonaro (I tweeted this, but was it just me or does Rob Carbonaro sort of resemble Michael J. Fox?) but this was a sorry excuse for a debate. Perhaps my expectation was out of line, but you should always be able to argue the con side even if you don’t agree. A debate should not be drenched in compromise- BORING. Where was the fight? the passion? the reason for the audience to listen to both of you? The panelists were smart and savvy so why were they so blah? Isn’t a debate about presenting two sides of an argument? I would have happily stepped up on stage and taken the con on any of the points. Seriously, ask me. I’ll do it.
“Lead Scoring: Mend the Leaks in Your Lead Pipeline”
I am likely in the minority here, but this presentation irritated me on so many levels. It also inspired me to sit around and think of all sorts of interesting research studies to conduct on lead scoring and conversion. The trouble is, I’d have to find willing participants- my bubble was burst a bit when I expressed my experimental ideas to Darryl. The blase acceptance of lead scoring and the lack of solid data or varied testing bothered me. It also showed me how much opportunity exists in this market. I’m also of the belief similar to Ed Powell, see his comment on the Lead Blog post, that you can create a self fulfilling prophesy. I like to say, you’re going to skew your data. You are folks. The simple act of doing something affects the outcome (think quantum mechanics.) I’ll write more about my ideas on lead scoring and the testing I’d like to do. My stats teacher liked to remind us that statistics lie and liars use statistics. Well, every time I analyze data, I try to see every side of it. I think the folks on the panel are in the cave (yeah, I worked Plato in too.) Again, I might be unpopular with this one. We take a position or decide an outcome, say my top scored leads are going to be the best converting and I’m going to save X dollars and make X more dollars, and we then gather data to support our position. I’m hoping the conference next May in New Orleans that’s devoted to the topic of lead scoring will not just be a love fest.
Put me on the stage folks, and I’ll help drive your debate. Although, maybe Targus doesn’t want a debate? They are trying to sell product after all.
Wanna read more about the experience from other people? Check out these blogs:
Lead Critic Day 1 Financial Recap
Lead Blog Lead Scoring Post