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Stichting Marketing


About authenticity & why people go to conferences

At least the "Stichting Marketing" is honest and "authentic" about the fact that most marketeers visit the annual marketing conference mainly for the gift bag. So if you go there for the first time this year, and you wonder why the second day there's only 1/3 of the people left ... they are unpacking the giftbag they get on friday.

When we were sponsoring the conference last year there were clear instructions to concentrate all communication on the content and a bit on networking, which gave me hope for the future quality of the conference. But choosing authenticity as a theme apparently is driving the focus of the conference to the "authentic motivation" of many congres-visitors ... the gift bag.

Looks like there is an opportunity here for someone to organize a conference where learning from speakers and colleagues is the focus.



Stichting Marketing Congres Community

A few years ago (in 1999 to be precise) I was at the annual Stichting Marketing congress when I realized that my future was in the then booming world of internet and interactive communication. Now, 7 years later, I'm proud to announce the Marketing Congress Community, a platform for interaction centered around the marketing conference. We just launched it today and I'm looking forward to see whether the mostly 'traditional marketeers' attending the congress will engage in this platform.

It has two main features. First there is room for discussion around a number of statements we took from Fons Van Dyck's new book. After only a few hours there are already 4 comments, so I hope it goes on living. Secondly you can make 'buddies' within the group of attendees which should help everybody network within the community. We even added a nifty flash-tool where you can visualize your network in a 'springraph'.

One more community you may think? Well, this is one of those 'private' communities where not just anyone can participate. Only those registering for the congress can participate ... . Is this against the open (2.0) spirit? No, everybody can read, and comment on their own platforms (blogs).



Second life after the hype (yes, already)

Today I did another presentation about Second Life. It's funny to see how people get really enthusiastic about SL if you present them with all the possibilities. To prevent all these marketing pro's from asking my business card because "I want to do something in Second Life" I included a slide that literally says "Don't believe the hype!", but in vain ... they just keep asking (usually not ordering in the end).

The morning session was fun too, Clo, Christian and I did a completely improvised marketing café. We were literally at the bar answering questions about e-mail marketing, blogs & communities and ... Second Life (again).

And tonight I read this post by Steve Rubel which kind of summarizes my point of view:

So why am I still enthusiastic? The reason is that avatars tap into the human need to fantasize and socialize - most likely not as ourselves. Lots of gamers, for example, spend hours playing games like Tiger Woods 2007 so they can win bling for their virtual golf bags. Yahoo Avatars is another site that appears to be thriving, judging by the custom icons I have seen popping up over on Yahoo Answers.

Second Life is like Geocities was in 1998 - a big idea, but a little ahead of its time. I suspect that within a year or two robust 3D virtual worlds will eventually get far easier to use and run completely in a browser. Then they will become more mainstream.

And now ... leave me alone about Second Life unless you have something really interesting or a huge amount of money to get rid of :).



Confessions of a Jaffe groupy

Thank's Tom De Bruyne for calling me a Jaffy groupy :). I don't really consider myself a die-hard fan but last weekend in Gent at the "Stichting Marketing", Joseph delivered a great keynote speech. And it was not a simple re-hash of previous speeches. Of course a number of theme's come back all the time, but that's only logical. So I gladly accept to be called a Jaffe groupy today.

Here are some random highlights I noted down:

"Embrace the hate, fear the apathy and the indifference."

4 key drivers of what makes new marketing emerge:
- Broadband > In the sense of "always on"
- Wireless > Being mobile (in the toilet, travelling, etc.)
- Search > The ultimate opt-in, search happens on my terms (as a consumer)
- Network > Always connected to likeminded people

"Viral marketing is the lazy marketers' guide to new marketing."

And for the many people who have trouble understanding Joseph's South African accent combined with all the marketing newspeak, here is a small "Jaffe lingo for dummies":
- Second Life:
An online virtual world in which Joseph Jaffe started his agency called Crayon.
- Crayon: "Wascos"(in dutch), what kids use to color drawings.
- Crayola: The N°1 brand in for crayons in the US.
- Top of page: Showing up at the top of page of search results e.g. in Google
- Being above the fold: Same as of page, but high enough to be seen on a screen without having to scroll down. Refers to the fold of a letter you take out of an envelope.
- The funnel of trust: The long term process of winning consumer's trust
- The Tipping Point: Famous book by Malcom Gladwell who later wrote "Blink". The tipping point is the point at which things start spreading like a virus.
- The Wisdom of Crowds: another must-read book by James Surowiecki about how many people together are more intelligent then individuels.
- Web 2.0: Much disputed term for a number of new things happing online, ranging from technical gimmicks (e.g. Ajax) to the web as a catalyst for communities.
- Net Promotor Score: Another book to add to your library: The Ultimate Question. Jaffe explains the idea of net promotor score during his speech.
- Organicaly promoting a brand: Natural word of mouth, not induced by an award-mechanisme.
- Silent salesmen/women: People who organically promote your brand
- A million of my closest strangers: Today on the web people have very easy access to like-minded people, e.g. through a blog you can reach and influence many people without really knowing them.
- Lurker mode: Lurking means you read or listen in on a conversation (e.g. read blogs, listen to podcasts, etc.) without contributing yourself.
- Walk my talk: Not only talk about something but also do it in practice.
- Podshow: One of the leading "new media companies" mainly active in podcasting.
- Adam Curry: MTV VJ in the eighties, internet entrepreneur in the nineties and now considered the 'inventor' of podcasting ("The Podfather"). He's also the man behindshow together with Ron Bloom.
- Ron Bloom: Adam Curry's partner in crime at Podshow.
- Involvement and not interactivity: Take interactivity one step further, foreget about how many times people click, but consider what they are thinking when they click (or don't click).
- Tony Robbins: A well known motivational speaker.
- Comcast: A US Telco operator similar to Telenet in Belgium.
- VOD system: Video On Demand system
- Frappr: Cool website where you can stick yourself on a world map, try it out on this blog's Frappr map in the right column.
- A different ball of wax: Something completely different, similar to "A different ballgame".
- Mashup: A mix of different elements thus creating something new, can be a mashup of music, but also a mashup of internet services (e.g. a mashup of Google Maps and a list of houses for sales). Internet technology is ideally fit for creating online service mashups.

Here's where you can listen to the speech again and read more about the conference:
Joseph Jaffe at Stichting Marketing Keynote speech as a podcast
Stijn Vercamen covered the conference on De Standaard (in Dutch)

Later today I'll be writing up a summary of the conference for Digimedia .

I also had the opportunity to grab a few drinks with Joseph on thursday evening during the party at ONE. Robin Wauters from made some nice pics. And Joseph simply is a cool dude!