Saturday, December 6, 2008

Recap of Internet Marketing Conference in Stockholm

As Internet usage keeps growing, Internet Marketing Conference is defenitely a needed event. When eMetrics Summit is more specialized on web analytics and marketing optimization, IMC is more common and has wider point of view to Internet marketing. If you haven't been in neither one, I suggest first IMC and then eMetrics, although these both have several events in a year in different locations. Finnish marketers have an excellent chance to get involved in when IMC will be held first time in Helsinki on March 2009.

The big question in the panel at IMC Stockholm this year was that how possible worldwide downturn will affect on everyone's business? Companies will invest more to online marketing in the future according to several studies. And it makes sense, customers are already online and they are ready to buy. But beware, don't trust blindly your old-school advertising agency, ask second opinion and latest trends from your digital vendor. You can find these companies in IMC for example.

IMC is one very good opportunity for international networking. I liked a lot the first session in Stockholm: Everyone can be a keynote - where participants had a chance to introduce themselves and tell the reason why they were there. Still, I think there was too few customers and too few questions. This is a place where you can really challenge consultants and vendors, but you have to prepare your work related questions beforehand. There are top speakers and panelists ready to answer and have a chat, so don't hesitate ask and get worth for the money you're paying for the conference.

Especially during the recession you should ask from your vendors how they can help returning the money you're loosing to their bills. When the going gets tough, it's all about ROI (return on investment) and that's why you, a bright marketer should measure every activity in online & offline channels and of course, conversions and final outcomes. By measuring you know which half of the marketing was effective and which one was vasted.

In bigger companies you may need to change mindset of several people first. Marc Saarde said very well: "In order to succeed in measuring, you need to have data driven culture in your organization." I totally agree. It's also very important to have clear business goals in mind before any project you may have, whether it's creating a newsletter or search marketing strategy!

Hot topics this year at IMC Stockholm were (and still are):
And finally, my#1 tip for IMC participants and my dear blog readers:
"With passion in your work you can guarantee personal and company competiviness. Passion drives you network, learn, test and measure new things. With passion you will step up and succeed better than average, especially during the possible downturn."