Two hours with David Meerman Scott

A few weeks ago, David Meerman Scott came to talk to us. Well, over video. But it was the best added-value marketing session I’ve ever attended. I got a lot out of it, and he said it’s cool if I share it with all of you:

First we talked about buyer personas, which I first heard about from Pragmatic Marketing. It makes a lot of sense. The idea is to come up with personas for each of the different types of buyers you have, and then create marketing materials accordingly for each persona, based on what they want to know. It’s key to base these personas on actual buyers, not just how you imagine then to be – aka, you need to do your homework and actually research them.

We also talked about the value of content creation. He said there are 4 different ways of getting attention – you can buy it (by advertising), beg for it (from press), bug people (with selling tactics), and most importantly, you can earn attention. How? By publishing valuable information online. “On the web, you are what you publish.”  So if you’re not creating any valuable content, your online presence is worth…well, you do the math.

Bottom line is, create interesting content, then share it. And to be really successful, you have to remove all barriers to sharing, even just asking for an email address. Not only will fewer people sign up, but they also won’t forward it because they don’t want to risk spamming their friends.

Another concept David touched on was brand journalism. If you don’t have enough bandwidth to create interesting content, you can hire journalists who are experts in your field or market, and have them write interesting content about your brand or your market. Just be authentic and transparent about it – about all your online activities, actually.

He also talked about some of the marketing lessons from The Grateful Dead, like how they were way ahead of their time with caring and sharing – which is basically what social media is. Though I have a sneaking suspicion he co-authored the book chiefly so he could wear tie-dyed shirts for the rest of the year…

And he talked a bit about Real-Time Marketing and PR, like how marketing has changed so that you have to be listening to everything — and responding — in real time. It’s great to have your two-year plan, and an annual marketing campaign plans, but you also now have to be supremely adaptive and able to react to everything happening online, because it’s happening in the moment, and that’s how fast you have to be to react and respond.

So lots of food for thought, and I hope to hear him again.

For more information, check out his website at – true to his message, he’s got several great e-books for free download.

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