I’ll be spending the rest of this week in Chicago at the Annual BMA (Business Marketing Association) Conference.
The theme this year is ‘Engage!” And while I don’t expect anyone to drop on one knee, I do expect we’ll be talking about how to woo … the customer.
I was there last year (link to 4 posts) as part of a panel discussion on blogging. This year, I’ll be testing my blogging chops as part of the Social Media team for the event.
A social media team is an interesting concept, and I’m not sure how common it is. I’ll be with some top B2B SM talent; documenting, commenting, and socializing the event. Based on my experience last year, this type of team raises the buzz, the engagement, and the overall learning at such an event.
My goal going into this, essentially a reporter, is to be a bit of a reality check. Engagement only happens when you aren’t blowing smoke. What is sustainable marketing that engages, and what is just the ‘flavor of the day’? What is stuff that can really be pulled off for the average company?
That, of course, requires me to be an engaged listener. But if the speaker is hitting the topic right, I’ll probably end up sounding like a fan-boy anyway.
I almost didn’t go…
I am busy this year working on building up our ‘vertical’ markets, and keeping up with important shifts in product. So I felt heavy-hearted when I got the mailer for the event and couldn’t see how ‘Engage!’ fit into my focus this year. As bad as it sounds, customer engagement is just way off the radar for me right now. That’s our salespeople’s job, right?
So when I was invited to join the SM team, I reconsidered. Yes, it’s not what I’m working on, but ‘engagement’ is a part of the awareness, if not tactics, that a marketing manager should be mindful of. And of course the blogger in me was excited to have the chance to put my own spin on things!
Engaging the engaged:
If you’d like to follow the event as it happens, you can use www.bmaengage.com with all the bells-and-whistles. Or if you’d just like to see what I’ve got to say, follow me (B2Btw) at Twitter or everyone else via hash-tag #bmaengage. They’re going to be trying to expand the SM coverage into a LinkedIn group, to generate discussions and lock-in those all-important business contacts.
Or just wait till I get back and put together a summary blog-post.