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Financial services businesses meet the Internet

I had the pleasure of presenting to the Danish e-Business Society (FDIH) Financial Services conference in Copenhagen today. I did the opening and closing keynote speeches—you can download my slides for “Understanding Online Behavior” and “Understanding Online Strategies,” but I wanted to bring out one point made by fellow speaker Jerry Michalski.


Jerry made the bold statement that the “Information Age is over and the Relationship Age had begun.” It’s the kind of statement that begs to be refuted, because it’s oversimplified and overwrought, but I happen to be a big fan of oversimplified and overwrought.
I think Jerry has a point here. What he is saying is that the kinds of technology that are coming to the forefront are not about knowledge anymore. They are about connecting people with other people. Whether it is blogs (comments and trackbacks), social networks, social bookmarking, or Twitter, connections are all the rage.
I think that marketers need to keep this in mind when plotting their strategies. What connections do you want to make? What relationships do you want to form? Those are the questions that drive how you participate in the Internet conversation. Knowledge might be King, but relationships bring home the bacon. (If you’re vegetarian, you’re on your own for this analogy.)

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in internet marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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