SIPF Keynote Scott Preaches Power of Now

SIPF Keynote Scott Preaches the Power of Now

David Meerman Scott—the best-selling author whose much-anticipated keynote at the SIPF Awards Luncheon at SIPA 2011 is just one week away—will not be shy with his audience. In a recent talk to the Social Media Club in Amsterdam, he suggested that “social media” may not be the best phrase to convince people of its power. Try real-time communications, he said with a slight hesitation given the group’s name. Bosses get that.

Now, of course, this has more than a little to do with his new book, “Real-Time Marketing and PR: How to Instantly Engage Your Market, Connect With Customers, and Create Products That Grow Your Business Now.” But it has even more to do with his philosophy.

“It’s the concept of now,” he says. “Travel around the world talking about social media, and…it’s all about real time, this instant and now. That’s what’s really changed [from past communications practices]. Executives and bosses understand that now.” Facebook, Twitter can sound like a game, but real-time is good.

Scott says one obstacle that companies face is answering the question: What’s the ROI on doing real-time investments? “I have to rein myself in [when I hear that].” He gave the example of salespeople carrying blackberries and asked what the ROI of that is. “Companies give them out because it’s the right thing to do. (FYI: he actually can calculate the ROI of real-time marketing.) “ROI stands for fear. When you hear someone asking for an ROI analysis of social media, it’s code for they’re scared.”

On a personal level, Scott says that he uses his middle name Meerman for search engine marketing purposes. “There are so many David Scotts,” he says. One walked on the moon, another is an ironman triathlon champion, another a congressman, so this way I am known throughout world. So few people take advantage of the opportunity to own a space—own a space on the web. Another space I own is viral marketing. Google that and I come up. What do you own? It can be a phrase or a word. That’s what’s cool – you can own something.”

Scott gives four ideas for companies to succeed in real-time marketing:
1. Appoint someone in your organization who is thinking about today. (He suggests that person be you.) “There are so few people who are in charge of today,” he says.
2. Develop guidelines to enable people to do these communications when the times are right. Real-time opportunities can happen any time, day or night, weekday or weekend, holiday or family celebration, and you have to be prepared. “The challenge becomes—if the guidelines are in place—that enough people can participate to make real-time work.”
3. You need to implement real-time systems and infrastructure. You have real-time news and commentary coming into your system; you have real-time social data such as Twitter and blogs and YouTube videos, real-time website traffic, databases for customers and prospects, email lists, some kind of CRM system. This is the environment of a fairly sophisticated real-time system. (As a one-person company, Scott uses TweetDeck and Google alerts to organize himself.)
4. Develop a real-time mindset. The challenge is to act now before that window of opportunity vanishes. “So few people are marketing this way, because they plan their campaigns weeks, months and even quarters ahead.”

His talk next Tuesday, titled “Real-Time Marketing & PR: How to Instantly Engage Your Market, Connect With Customers and Create Products That Grow Your Business Now,” should not be missed. Come for the lunch, the day or most preferably the entire conference.

“It’s the idea of doing things instantaneously,” he said, “of engaging right now. Most importantly, social media are tools, real-time is the mindset.”

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