Are you on board?

Are you on boardYesterday, (November 19), I went to my first Wausau Regional Chamber of Commerce meeting in a long time with a new friend and colleague of mine, TJ McManus from The topic enticed me, “Embracing the Digital Marketing Age” It was presented by Gerald Mortensen & Amy Zondlo, Flapjack Creative. The room was packedwith about 60 people.

As I looked around the room, I saw many people I knew and reconnected with some of them. I saw market firm reps, business people, and people who just wanted to network and learn. As the Gerald began his presentation, I could tell from early on that I could easily identify with his content. In many ways, I had been on this course of study for over a year now. I found myself raising my hand a lot as he asked who was familiar with this or that. I use Twitter and Tweetdeck, I know who Tony from Zappos is and I recently ordered some boots from Zappos because I had heard so much about their amazing customer service and work culture both from others and from their videos. To me, Zappos is an example of making online marketing work for you.

Gerald made sense, he talked about interacting with the members (formerly customers) of your brand and contributing while not imposing.

There were points on which I disagreed, like when he said that he thinks blogging is dead and microblogging is the wave of the future. If that were true, you wouldn’t see Chris Brogan, Danny Brown, Jim Connolly, Jason Alba, John Haydon, Susan Murphy, and many others with far more marketing knowledge than I have blogging regularly and getting great traffic.

Online business marketing, as Gerald said in his presentation, is here to stay. How you incorporate it into your marketing plan is your decision but it is easy to say that the ways we communicate are changing and those people who are too fearful of what could happen will miss out on a wonderful opportunity.

As we were walking out, TJ said, “You know, companies who are afraid of using social media for marketing because they are afraid of bad comments about the company are missing the point. The conversation is going on whether or not you are there. Your customers will be talking online. How quickly you respond to them is dependent on whether you have put yourself in a position to be listening. Thinking that if you are not on Facebook or Twitter you are protecting your brand is silly. You just left yourself out of the conversation.” Wise thoughts, TJ!

So, are you on board? Let me know what you think. You know I love comments!


  1. Dan on November 20, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Hi Julie,

    TJ is right on the money! Any company who chooses to not engage their customers using social media is not going to gain the one thing they need, “trust”. What I mean is, word of mouth, particularly social media, is the best advertisement a brand could have, and by not addressing it all, only proves their “character”. If a brand is not trusted, they are dead.


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