Internet Marketing Conference, Vancouver 2009
Although my main goal coming to this marketing conference was a bit more personal, networking to survive after moving to a new city, these conferences are always interesting to learn and share opinions.
Comparing Canada and Europe
Most of the presentations were site optimization oriented and the sites discussed were e-commerces maybe because in Canada internet penetration is really high and online shopping is a big thing. In Europe, specially in the southern countries is not so advanced in this area and we focus more in SEO.
We still like to shop on our way home to prepare a good diner with fresh food.
Second impression is that the tourism business is much more and better online marketed in Europe than Canada, it is a big thing there in the old continent specially in the southern countries, of course.
Regarding similarities something in common is how hard is to sell any kind of online marketing services but I guess this is an worldwide issue. Many attendants asking the pros how they sell their services, how to convince CEOs they need a help to boost selling.
It sounds stupid having to insist offering cure to someone ill but that's the way it works.
Workshops and presentations I attended
First day Google Analytics workshop by VKI Studios (Brian Katz, John Hossack and David Eckman) was a great overview of it. Basic and medium level but a nice opportunity for me to refresh some concepts and learn some tips.
Conferences, second day, started with Avinash and one of his absolutely amazing presentations introducing the subjects to come in his new book Web Analitics 2.0 available this October.
Besides everything he explained about online marketing and analytics he stated a golden rule for companies but a must to apply to any other aspect in life: DON'T SUCK. Period.
Chris O'Neill and Richard Muller from Antartica Digital explained seven real examples of successfully engaging people online delivering meaningful content and value through different channels specially email marketing.
Barbara Coll from WebMama questioned: Search is going real-time, will SEO matter anymore? The conclusion is Yes, it will matter but you have to wide your perspective to use social media as a way to expand your tactics from a pure SEO vision.
Very straight personality and nice person.
I completely agree with her and I'll write about my little experiment in this subject ('web references', 'citations' or 'context') in a next article.
How to evaluate the web analytics maturity model by Stephane Hamel from Immeria was a revealing one, check his blog and you will understand why. Basically he evaluates how good is the analytics culture integrated in a company.
Holly Buchanan explained how to copywrite for the four temperaments, spontaneous, competitive, humanistic and methodical. The idea is simple, your style while writing for any kind of online marketing campaign is something to pay attention or the audience to target won't feel engaged with the message with obvious consequences.
This is something that SEOs don't pay too much attention while working on content optimization because in many cases we don't write just optimize. Something to keep in mind, mental note.
Chris Goward from Wider Funnel explained how to approach the art of site optimization. Very instructive, fantastic tips to take into account while redesigning websites to improve usability and conversions.
This guy knows what he is talking about but if I had to pic one of the things learned it would be: work with hypothesis not tips. It means, no matter how many tips you know to solve a problem, you have to analyze it deeply and build your own approach and method because each case is completely different although they could look similar.
Third day breakout Session 'Search Engine Optimization in a Real-Time world' with Rebecca Kelley (10e20), Gillian Muessig (SEOMoz), Jeff Nelson (Anduro) and Shawn Moore (Think Profits). Seems SEO is quite concerned with social media judging by the questions attendants asked. Again the 'SEO is dead' mantra appeared but I raised hand and said that a so changing discipline can not be dead.
By chance I had lunch side by side with Gillian Muessig, Rand Fishkin's mom, tireless and absolutely adorable talkative señora. Gillian, would you mind to adopt me? :)
I could not get to more of the interesting sessions, networking kept me busy.
Just a final note
Canada, Vancouver in particular, is a highly multicultural country, they are proud and I love it. John Hossak from VKI Studios and chair of IIMA did the presentation speech dressing in his perfect Scottish kilt plus traditional accessories.
It was accepted very naturally what reflects how mature Canadians are as society. I would like Spain to be the same in this aspect, unfortunately we are not. Bravo John!
See you all next IMC Vancouver.