Top 10 Marketing Lessons–SugarCON 2011

3 Min Read

SugarCON 2011 has featured an impressive lineup of keynote speakers addressing topics from Social CRM to VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) to Star Wars. (The original 3 films from the 70s and 80s, that is, the good ones.)

The quality and general thought leadership on display continued through the final presentation of the day which only wound down after the hotel workers began breaking down the stage around the speakers.

An Abundance Of Notable Speakers

Paul Greenberg, author of “CRM At The Speed Of Light,” and blogger in chief at The56Group.

– Brian Halligan, founder of HubSpot, a company I’ve known and admired since they started up some 5 years ago

– Laurence “Feel The Force” Buchanan, Cloud Computing expert for CapGemini

Doc Searls, Open Source and Internet impresario, and co-author of the seminal book and website, “Cluetrain”

There were others, of course, but these guys tossed off pithy pearls of wisdom so fast, I could barely keep up scratching away in my notebook.

Some of my favorite quotes:

Doc noting the use of words by marketers like target, acquire, retain… The language of slavery as he called it:

“Why can’t CRM be about Love?”.

Doc again, suggesting that the current era of “social communications” is yet another bubble in our historically frothy and hype-prone technology world:

“Social is so 2010.”

Paul explaining one key impact of the communications revolution:

“The social web encourages joint action on a massive scale.”

A great example is Green Peace’s coordinated campaign to force Nestle to stop using unsustainably harvested palm oil.

Paul on the yet to be reckoned with privacy issues raised by the Zetabyte (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes = 10007 = 1021 = 1billion terabytes) of unstructured information now on the web:

“That dog hasn’t hunted yet.”

Paul on the term Social CRM:

“Who gives a crap what you call it, it’s what you do that matters.”

Brian on techniques like email blasts and cold-calling:

“The traditional marketing playbook is broken.”

Brian, again, on getting companies to come to terms with the loss of control of their brand in a Customer Control world:

“Marketers need to loosen up—they need more bran in their diets.”

I might add, “and less brand.”

Laurence’s presentation was framed by a Star Wars story arc. He also wins the prize for best slides—beautiful photo montages from the movies. His pictures really were worth a thousand words. In talking about how companies need to be nimble in how they use social media to take on competitive giants, he instructed:

“Think like an Ewok!”

From Adam Butler, on the need to stay classy and relevant in your use of Twitter:

“You are What You Tweet. What you say can and will be used against you.”

In a panel discussion with many of those above seated in throne like chairs on the stage, Brian offered a succinct summation of why companies can no longer promise one thing in their brand and actually deliver something else altogether:

“It’s harder to suck today.”

And finally, the undisputed best-in-show quote, again from Brian (who maybe should consider a second career as a stand-up comic):

“Your marketing department should be filled with people who’ve never done marketing.”

So, in order, my top ten list of quotable quotes that actually contain real food for thought for companies embracing social business (which should be every one of you):

Top Ten Notable Quotes from SugarCON 2011

10. The traditional marketing play book is broken.

9. Joint action on a massive scale

8. Online Privacy—that dog hasn’t hunted yet!

7. You are What You Tweet. What you say can and will be used against you.

6. Marketers need to loosen up—they need more bran in their diets

5. Why can’t CRM be about Love?

4. Who gives a crap what you call it, it’s what you do that matters.

3. It’s harder to suck today.

2. Social is so 2010

1. Your marketing department should be filled with people who’ve never done marketing.

Post-It Note Wisdom

If you are in marketing, put these words of wisdom on some stickies and stick them to your monitor where you can see them as you design your next campaign.


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