Yesterday, I listened to a Salesforce.com seminar, "Marketing in the Google Era", presented by Kraig Swensrud of Salesforce.com's marketing team. They were good enough to make a recorded version of his presentation available for you to view here (email registration required).
Kraig gave an overview of 7 techniques of effective marketing in the Google era. I agreed with all of what Kraig presented - companies are still coming to grips with how the world of marketing has changed, and I agree all the suggestions provided are good ideas to consider:
- Invest in Web properties
- Invest in search marketing
- Make your message relevant
- Create landing pages for every program
- Measure everything in real time
- Use the Web for PR
- Engage your community.
What I liked about the presentation was Kraig gave a good overview of all these concepts - some of which are pretty complex. He also did a good job of describing blogging and RSS - and some of the best graphics I've seen illustrating those concepts. The presentation was also rich in examples and other online services you could use - in a very short period of time.
8 out of 10 times, Kraig's online concepts will come into play in some form, but the relative level of investment people put into these online initiatives versus other investments will vary widely depending on your business.
While there's little room for improvement, I felt like the presentation was a bit marketing-centric, and online-centric. Kraig was implying companies should invest in search, blogging, online communities. I agree these activities make sense for Salesforce.com - but they may or may not make sense for other depending on your industry, business, budget and resources, and prospective or existing customer interactions. It also didn't help the marketer understand how important it is to link these programs to how your customers actually buy, your competition, and if you have a human salesforce, how to support them more effectively.
For example, someone buying, say, rice has a very different set of needs than someone buying a CRM system, or someone hiring a lawyer. I would recommend starting with the customer - and what they need to be successful throughout their purchase and use of the company's products or services, and what the sales force needs to be successful. The consumer rice buyer may not be going to look for "rice" online - but they might want healthy recipes, or ideas on how to make rice more interesting.
A lawyer needs to show they are knowledgable, experienced, and able to add value in excess of their fees - so speaking or writing a book on their area of specialty may be a more appropriate marketing investment.
A CRM company - especially if they have an online offering - should absolutely do the things Kraig describes. And Salesforce is probably at the forefront of those - albeit with messaging that's too company-centric for my tastes, and at a very high sales and marketing spend relative to R&D.
All things considered, though, my feedback is minor relative to the presentation's strengths. I recommend highly that you check it out!