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Internet marketing, Texas style

I just spent the past two days at the Inbound Marketing Summit in Dallas. While I am no expert on social media, I am also not a novice so there was plenty for me to learn. Chris Brogan’s New Marketing Labs puts on the event and they did a great job. The roster of speakers spanned nearly every area of Internet Marketing with a strong emphasis on social media which is no surprise whatsoever considering the source.

What was interesting to me was the range of social media experience that was present for the event. There are wide ranges of experience at any event like this and that’s good. You always want to be around people who know more than you do so growth can occur.
What was both surprising and encouraging all at once were some of the folks and the companies they represented that obviously had little to no knowledge about how Internet marketing works. I realized at this event that I make way too many assumptions about who knows what about Internet marketing. For some of these folks I have to suspect that social media must have looked like a “dark art’ to them since one of the questions asked was “What’s an RSS?”
We are all drinking from a fire hose on social media. It changes often and is rife with opinion based on conjecture that may have some actual facts mixed in along the way.
It does, however, offer hope in a time that it is desperately needed. Here’s what I mean.

  1. With people being totally new to the medium attending it reminds us that there are many people out there that may end up being customers for others now that are online. This could help move the needle a bit on this economic malaise we live in.
  2. There are people that are actually able to say with all seriousness “What recession?” If you check the history books not everyone became dirt poor during the Great Depression. Many built their fortunes at a time when many others suffered. That’s the way it works. The Internet age is no different. For those who are smart enough to find a way to have their best year ever during these times all I can do is tip my hat and wonder what I can do to get there as well.
  3. The Internet offers more opportunity to grow even during tough times. I loved the fact there were people a conference that is put on by arguably the most well known social media “celebrity” in Chris Brogan who had no idea what they were getting into. They did know, however, that they needed to change and grow. All I can do for these folks is tip my cap to them and admire their courage and willingness to start from nothing.
  4. Even with all of the talk of government intervention and takeovers and general meddling with the free market there is an undercurrent of fierce independence in people who embrace the Internet for commercial needs. It’s a pioneering spirit that is sorely needed and one that could provide a light for others to follow so we can get out of this.

So where are you on this continuum of Internet marketing? Are you so experienced that you are too jaded to care about newcomers? Are you wading into the deep end and experimenting more so you can get more from your Internet marketing efforts? Lastly, are you just coming out of the shadows and making the move to get in the game since it is painfully obvious that the old ways are being redefined which in turn redefines how we must do business to survive?
I am rooting for these folks that are saying that they do not want to be left behind. It takes guts to step out into this expanding frontier of the Internet economy. Keep trying everything and remember that NO ONE has this all figured out. That’s why it’s fun!

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