Virtual Conference; more than just a green way to network!

Not in a million years would I have fathomed receiving digital marketing advice from David Plouffe, President elect Barack Obama’s campaign manager, let alone be able to ask him questions.  Thanks to the incredible Digital Maketing World conference held by Marketing Profs on April 1st, 2009 I can actually say I have. 

A week ago if I was asked to attend a conference where David Plouffe was to be the guest speaker, despite my interest in it, I would have declined thinking it would be out of my budget to travel to the conference, pay for a hotel, and actually pay the fees to attend the varied events and seminars.  Today, my answer would be different. 

Marketing Profs Digital Marketing World virtual conference allowed everyone and anyone with an interest in digital marketing to attend a conference with some of the leaders in the Digital Marketing industry from the comfort of their own home at no cost.  Platform provider InXpo in conglomeration with Marketing Profs created an online conference that was far beyond any I have been to in person.  The conference included everything from an image of a beautiful convention centre where the conference was being held, to an auditorium where the speakers would present, an exhibit hall where companies could hold their booths, a resource center where you could download information provided by vendors and the event schedule, to a lounge where you could mix and mingle with others attending.

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The conference also eliminated the need for vendors and participants to travel to the site.  It eliminated the need for vendors to create elaborate exhibits, print stacks of pamphlets and informational packages, as well as spend money on chotchkies and doodads to give away.  Making it one of the greenest conferences I have attended.

Other benefits to the online aspect included the fact that there was no line up in front of a booth for a chance to have a conversation with a vendor, there was no rush to get a seat at a seminar, or even the awkward conversation about the weather whilst trying to mingle with others around you. 

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When you arrived at each booth a chat window would open where you could see all the conversations going on and join in, or ask for a one on one conversation.  There were several representatives at most booths so there was no waitin in line necessary.  Each booth also had ample information for you to look at with links to their websites, blogs, and so on.  Some vendors even went as far as to provide an opportunity to win prizes like an I-Pod or a book to those stopping by.

The auditorium held a scheduled set of speakers who provided visuals to go along with their live podcast as well as a question and answer session to which you could submit your questions via the live chat window, or via e-mail. 

It was an easy to use, entertaining, intriguing event with so much to offer.  Thankfully all the content and resources from the Marketing Profs Digital Marketing World virtual conference are still available for 90 days for anyone that missed out.

Deepti Dewan Chowdhry

ECO-VERTISING!

More and more corporations are starting to combine their advertising efforts with the trend to go eco-friendly, a relationship known to some as eco-advertising or eco-vertising.  This relationship allows corporations to benefit from advertising about their attitude and interventions in regard to eco-friendly business. 

Despite the message the eco-friendly ads these corporations are sending  many are forgetting that the means through which they are sending them are far from eco-friendly.  Using mass print media such as magazines or newspapers, fliers or billboards all of which require paper, printing, transportation, and numerouse other un-natural and environmentally deterring resources to create.  The big question is, is it the profit margin of this new niche market they are trying to capitalize on or are they really hoping to make a difference? 

Although some corporations unfortunately might be making the choice for the wrong reasons there are many out there that are leading the way in eco-vertising. 

For starters Toyota known today for being one of the leaders in Hybrid cars took their eco-friendly outreach to a whole new level when introducing their 3rd generation Prius at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.  Instead of handing out glossy brochures inside large plastic bags to be carried around the show by as many people as they can get their hands on, they chose to continue to make positive changes by handing out paper cards in the shape of their new car with seeds embedded in them.  When placed in soil and given water and light the seeds in these cards provided beautiful flowers for their audience to remember them by all summer long.  Stepping out of the box and into an eco-friendly mindset Toyota not only lead the way with their eco-friendly car but also stood as one of the eco-vertising leaders at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show!

So how many other ways can a company eco-vertise? 

Curb, a natural media company based in London, UK has answered this question with their unique eco-vertising concepts.  Clean advertising and snow tagging are two out of the many I found interesting in their bag of tricks.

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  • Clean advertising: laser cut stencils are put on surfaces like a pavement and the surface is then cleaned to let the message shine through the dirt and grime.
  • Snow tagging: company logos/messages are branded into the snow for a winter advertising.

Despite the out of the box thinking and unique eco-vertising techniques being developed there are other ways to go green which can start sooner than you think.  One niche that I personally have become a big fan of that is growing exponentially is the use of digital media as a platform for advertising.  It requires nothing but the power of technology that is already on the desktops and palms of your target audience.  Digital media eliminates the need for most (or at least some to start with) print material and provides mass outreach like never before, best of all this method of going green saves you some green at the same time!

Derek Mehraban (CEO, Ingenex Digital Marketing) continues to develop the digital media presence for individuals and businesses so they can eco-vertise to reach their audience.  Mehraban is not only focused on providing an eco-friendly service but like Toyota, he supports this green initiative through other parts of his company.  In Mehraban’s case it is not an eco-friendly pamphlet but a unique eco-friendly internship program that helps interns like myself reduce the carbon footprint on the world.  

Deepti Dewan Chowdhry

David Meerman Scott’s “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” receives rave reviews from Michigan State University graduate students.

David Meerman Scott’s “The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly” is being used as the lead text for Michigan State University’s New Media Drivers License course offered to Communication Arts and Science graduate students.

 

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The New Media Drivers License (sm) is a graduate level course designed to provide its students with the tools and techniques to best use new media and digital communication tools which include: Facebook, Linkedin, Blogging, Podcasting, New Marketing, Digital Public Relations, Google Tools, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) including Google Adwords, and Presentation Zen techniques.

 

David Meerman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly” is the prime text used to provide the groundwork for the New Media Drivers License (sm). “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” gives the students a perspective into new media that is relevant and up to date through a conversational style of writing exclusive from other textbooks they may have used in the past. Scott’s unique ability to provide information without any fluff in an easy to understand, unambiguous way have students raving.
Scott is an “award-winning marketing strategist, best-selling author, conference speaker, and seminar leader” whose words will truly help you get to where you should be in today’s digital world.
With a price tag of under twenty dollars and wide availability through chain bookstores and several online vendors “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” should be at the top of any advertising, public relations, or marketing professional/to be professional’s wish list.
More information on the New Media Drivers License (sm) can be found on the digital bus.

More information on David Meerman Scott and “The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly” can be found on Scott’s website.

Deepti Dewan Chowdhry

 

 

 

 

Google Latitude: useful social utility or stalking device?

As many of you may be aware Google has a very advanced and user friendly application called Google Maps.  Google Maps provides traffic details, satellite views, list views, map views, hybrid views, GPS, driving directions, public transit details, and so on.  Google has now taken this application one step further by adding Google Latitude into the mix.  Google Latitude allows you to locate where your family and friends are as well as show them where you are in real time within Google Maps

The privacy settings have an opt-in-only feature, meaning no one can see anyone else’s location without permission.   Once permission is granted the settings can be adjusted and can vary from your location being automatically detected, manually entered or completely hidden from other people, another way to hide is to sing out of Latitude altogether.  Users can also adjust the level of geographic information they are willing to share from a specific spot on a street to a city location.  These settings can be individual specific. 

Users can also upload a picture and change their status line through this account which will both appear as the icon on the map representing them.  The changes here will also reflect in the users Google Talk account (the instant messenger within G-Mail).  This is a great feature as users will be able to update their pictures or status dependant on where they are allowing them to share their surroundings with their friends and family.  The downside to this is that there are many other ways to send instant pictures to others like simply sending a picture through a text message for starters. 

I personally see this as a great tool for parents checking on their kids, or to keep track of elderly relatives that may live on their own.  It is a great security measure but not something you can solely depend on.  Friends and family can use it as a tool to share their whereabouts with each other in a fun, visual way. 

My only concern with this tool is it’s ability to be used as a stalking device.  Scenarios can range from people in shaky relationships cyber stalking their significant others to make sure they know their every move, all the way to predators looking for their vicitims.  Everyday the news reports new ways predators are using to reach their targets; through chat rooms, facebook groups, virtual gaming like X-Box Live.  These tools are giving them the platform to create relationships and have the ability to con, especially children, into providing information that shouldn’t be given to strangers, I wouldn’t be surprised if their are criminal minds out there already plotting to use this tool to know the exactly where their so called “friends” are located. 

Although there are several competitors out there with similar tools, most in the past have been for specific mobile devices.  Google has made this tool easily accesible to the masses.  Still in its early stages I will be interested in what this tool leads to as a social utility.

Deepti Dewan Chowdhry