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Thursday, October 25, 2007

eMarketing Association Conference Wrap Up

I spent the last 2 days at the eMarketing Association's eM7 conference in Atlanta, minutes from our Midtown office.

This was my second eMA conference and I found this one more engaging and energetic than the previous one in San Francisco where I also presented. The attendance was great, a wide range of companies were represented (big brands and not so big) and folks had come from all over the country (not to mention Europe) so I felt honored to be a part of the panel on the first day and as a speaker on day 2.

Some highlights and thoughts (note- I was not able to witness all sessions because of some client/work related items that had to be addressed):

- Bert DuMars of Atlanta based Newell Rubbermaid kicked things off and discussed their ebusiness approach for many of their brands (including Sharpies, Graco but not Post It Notes). I find it always interesting to hear how companies handle their online efforts when they don't directly sell their goods and services.

-Maureen Schumacher, who runs Google's Atlanta office, and Kathy Daly Jennings , also of Google, gave a very insightful talk on how some of their clients are using Google beyond Ad Words to drive targeted traffic. The gracious Google folks also hosted the reception later that evening.

- Bill Nussey, CEO of Silverpop, always has interesting things to say about relationship marketing and he covered some great points on making the online relationship more fruitful for marketers. He also provided 5 actionable items to test out that the attendees furiously took notes on.

-Bill and I represented email marketers on a panel that featured some great digital pros including Atlanta based agency heads, Jeff Hilimire and Joe Schab. As expected, the questions were heavy on social marketing networks and Web 2.0 items. As Bill Nussey mentions on his latest blog post, "Email is the Original Social Networking App." Not that the press picks up on that but I digress.

One poor attendee from a major brand asked how he could get his email numbers up as his boss is intent on raising Click Throughs for their email efforts. Not a bad ambition but one of the things I spoke about during my presentation, Utilizing Metrics to Enhance your Email Budget and Performance, was the ability to place them in the proper context. After all who cares about a great CT rate if your campaign goals were not furthered. I was pleased with my presentation and the crowd asked some great questions. If you care to see a copy of the presentation, please let me know.

The highlight for me on day 2 was the keynote on Coke's MyRewards program from Carol Kruse and Kristine Elliot. I was amazed to hear that they have 124 segments of their newsletter. There were lots of great insights on the challenges and successes they have had in using this program to build and capture data while delivering a meaningful loyalty program.

All in all, a great 2 day event!

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