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Pre-Registration for FM's Second CM Summit, This Time, In NYC! (Searchblog Readers Only)

By - March 20, 2008

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Last September my company, FM, hosted the first ever Conversational Marketing Summit in San Francisco. I wrote about it here. The event was a hit – sold out, good buzz, great speakers and attendees. I was proud (and very nervous about hosting our first event).

This year it’s back, and we’re doing it twice. First, in New York, the capital of brand marketing. That will be this June 9-10, as part of New York’s Internet Week (official site). Then we’ll do it again in SF this Fall – more on that event later.

But first, to our June event. If you read my rant on ad networks a few days ago, you know I’ve been thinking a lot about brand marketing, the online world, and conversational media. So it should not come as a surprise what the theme is this year. We’re calling it “New Brand Way”, and in our two days of conversation, we’re hoping to move the needle a bit on some sticky issues in marketing and media.

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We’re selling only 300 or so tickets to this event. We’ve found that keeping the audience intimate makes for a really valuable use of everyone’s time. And those of you who’ve been to events I’ve run know we don’t waste folks’ time.

Readers of Searchblog get a chance to register early, and get a 25% discount. The code to use to get that big discount is JBAT25D. This discount won’t last long. We do events right, we spend real money on production, audio visual, and decent food (we’re doing it at the Ritz Carlton, after all). So get the discount while it’s hot!



Speakers include:

Jeff Berman, EVP – Marketing and Content, MySpace. Curious how MySpace’s plans to make money in social media? Me too!

Eileen Naugton, Director of Media Platforms, Google. Eileen is in charge of Google’s media monetization strategy, including YouTube. Yep, that’s a big job.

Matt Freeman, CEO, Tribal DDB. Matt is a leader in creating new forms of marketing online. See his interview in Ad Age here for more on his kind of thinking.

Michael Hoefflinger, GM – Partner Marketing, Intel. You know Intel Inside? The one with a billion dollars to spend each year? That’s Mike’s program.

Wenda Millard Harris, President, Media, Martha Stewart. Wenda is also Chair of the IAB and used to run Yahoo’s brand advertising sales. She’s got tons to say, as you might imagine.

Rich Silverstein, co-chair, Goodby Silverstein. Yep, he makes great 30 second spots. But his agency is also leading in online innovation. So what does he have to say about the future of our medium?

Mark Kantor, CEO, Graffitti Wall. Want to know how to succeed on Facebook? Talk to Mark.

Jonah Bloom, Editor in Chief, Ad Age….

….and many, many more.

Below are some highlights from my write up of the theme. If it reads like a post on Searchblog, well, you should not be surprised. In fact, what I’m pasting below is pretty much the beginning of my second post on ad networks and brands. But I’ll get to that later, maybe this weekend…

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CM Summit New York

June 9-10, 2008

The Ritz Carlton Battery Park

“New Brand Way”

Close your eyes and imagine leafing through your favorite magazine – Vogue, perhaps. A two-page spread halts your progress – the image of a beautiful, sophisticated woman standing in the doorway of a crumbling Havana doorway, with an elegant brand – “Lancome” – etched in the lower right corner. Or perhaps it’s a spread in Fortune, an arresting montage of imagery featuring a Jaguar automobile, a model you’ve never seen before.

Now, open your eyes, and imagine the same experience online.

Having a hard time?

As marketers, we love scale, and we demand safety and quality. But somewhere along the online way, we’ve forgotten about engagement.

Brand marketers are experts at using traditional media to build demand for their brands – over the past 50 years, we’ve perfected the art of the engaging spread, the irresistible 30-second spot. But when it comes to online, we have yet to find our footing.

Instead, we’ve funded the first ten-plus years of the commercial Internet with direct response dollars, pouring “branded display” budgets into ad networks and CPC vehicles. We’ve tried just about everything, to be sure, and we do buy display units on our favorite sites. Yet we’re often disappointed with the performance they deliver.

To paraphrase Wenda Harris Millard, Chair of the IAB, we must not trade our brands like pork bellies. Brands are not commodities, so why are we judging our online marketing by the standards of direct response? Is it, perhaps, because we can? Or, perhaps, is it because we don’t know how to measure that magic that occurs between a consumer’s ears when they first see the image of a beautiful woman standing in a crumbling doorway?

To keep building our brands, we have to go where the audience has gone. And every month, more than 600 million people visit conversational media sites – foreign lands when it comes to brand marketing. Or ….are they?

At the second Conversational Marketing Summit, our first in the brand capital of New York City, we’ll tackle this conundrum head on. What kind of marketing works in social media? Which of the lessons learned from marketing in traditional media apply when the audience joins the conversation? Why will we pay an $80 CPM to reach women, 18-34, in Vogue, but just $3 to reach the same audience online? What do we make of the promised new platforms from Google, AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo? Are CPC networks simply harvesting the hard won brand value we’ve built offline? How does one create engagement and build brands in the context of conversational media? What are the online analogs to the executions we so love in magazines and television, and how do we execute them? Who’s already doing it right, and how?

It’s time to reclaim our brands online, and to declare marketers a full and fair participant in the burgeoning conversation that is the online media world. In short, it’s a New Brand Way online, and it starts at the CM Summit, New York. Join us!

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I hope to see you guys there. And if you have input, thoughts, ideas for making this program better, please let me know. Thanks!

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Web 2 Expo Early Reg Discount

By - March 16, 2008

Web 2 Expo

Hey gang, if you plan on being at the Web 2 Expo in SF next month, best sign up asap. My partners reminded me over the weekend that the early registration discount expires at the end of the week. Head here to get the discount. The Expo is a big event, last year there were around 10,000 folks and tons of exhibitors. I interviewed Eric Schmidt onstage, and this year I’m going to be doing the same with Marc Andreessen. Should be fun! More on keynotes and schedules….

Starting Up? Hit the LaunchPad!

By - February 21, 2008

Web2Expo

The SF Web 2 Expo is coming up in April, and the LaunchPad is once again happening. If you’re part of an interesting startup, you should consider applying for the LaunchPad. This year they are doing it as we did it at the Summit last year – VCs are judging the whole shebang. Check it out here.

The MySpace Platform

By - February 05, 2008

Facebook, watch out, the big guys are in the house…having MySpace launch a platform means real competition, and that is good for folks who were worried about Facebook changing the game on them once revenue became a reality.

The Yahoo Platform

By - October 16, 2007

Don’t count Yahoo out. They have tons of engaged users/readers/audience members, and a Valley ethos. From a report on their generally well recieved earnings, which came out today:

“Our goal is to create a motivated community of developers all building uniquely compelling applications that reach hundreds of millions of Yahoo users by plugging into the most popular properties or services,” Yang told analysts. Sounds familiar? Yahoo hopes to use its own big brand to create an ecosystem, a term tech companies love to use meaning a whole world unto itself, like Facebook.

I knew this whole Web as platform thing wasn’t a fad…

Help Me With Questions for The Web Bowl

By - October 01, 2007

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At Web 2 this year we plan to have a bit of fun, not that the conference isn’t fun. But we thought we’d put a number of well known web veterans up on stage after dinner and see how much they know about our industry. This format is familiar to any of you who’ve been to D in the past or have seen early versions of the Computer History Bowl, which has been around in various incarnations for a very long time. The twist is that we’re focusing just on web history, which, until recently, was something of a oxymoron. Now that the web is more than a decade old, however, we figured it was about time we had some fun with it.

We’ll be grilling folks like Martin Nisenholtz, who has been in this industry for as long at the New York Times has had a .com (actually, longer), Steve Case, who started AOL, Jay Adelson, CEO of Digg, and Scott Kurnit, founder of About.com.

But I need your help. We’ve set up a form where you can suggest questions we should ask them. Don’t worry if you don’t know the answer, we’ll figure it out. But if you do, so much the better. Stuff like “What was on the cover of the first Industry Standard” or “How much revenue did The Globe have when it went public?”. If we use your question, I’ll thank you from stage.

It should be a fun time, and we’ll make sure to get it up on the web as soon as we can, so no matter if you can make the conference or not, you can check it out!

Last Few Days to Submit to the Web 2 Launchpad

By - September 28, 2007

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The submissions deadline is Oct. 1 for the Launchpad, for those of you who need a gentle reminder. We’ve got a great group of applicants already, but the deadline is very strict, as we have to have time for the final judging process.

A reminder on the new approach this year:



At this year’s Web 2.0 Summit, we are evolving Launch Pad a bit. While it’s great to be chosen to launch your new company at a conference like Web 2.0 Summit, the reality of the market is that the majority of successful Web 2.0 companies do more than just launch products. They also often pass the test of VC scrutiny— that’s how the market determines who wins and loses in the world of startups. To that end, this year there is no fee for companies involved, instead, the VCs are sponsoring the program.

The New Approach

This VC Edition of Launch Pad has several adjustments to the typical judging process:

* The judging panel will be comprised of six venture capitalists who will review Launch Pad companies as if considering them for funding.

* Judges will select up to eight finalists, that will be given ten minutes each, to pitch themselves on stage, in front of the entire Web 2.0 Summit audience and the VC judging panel.

* Each company will be provided feedback on its presentation in real time, by both the VC judges and the audience.

* The VCs may, at any time, offer these applicants non-binding term sheets for financing.

Entrants no longer need to launch their company or major product/service to qualify. Instead, those that apply will be reviewed by our panel of venture capitalists. If they make the first cut, they will pitch their company in front of the Web 2.0 Summit audience – the top executives, financiers, press, and analysts in the Internet industry. The audience will also have the opportunity to vote, along with the VC panel.

CM Summit Videos

By - September 23, 2007

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If you’re interested in that conference FM hosted earlier this month, the first batch of videos are up. Some are quite long, and take a while to load in flash, but once they do, they play smoothly. My favorites:

The Opening (yeah, it’s me, but I frame what I mean by all this, if that interests you.)

Scott Cook (very thoughtful)

Steve Hayden sets up the day

More will be up as time permits, so check back if you’re interested.

Thinking Out Loud: Rupert Murdoch and Chris DeWolfe

By - September 18, 2007

MurdochChris Dewolfe

Continuing my series on folks I’ll be interviewing at Web 2 this year, next up is Rupert Murdoch and Chris DeWolfe, who will be our dinner guests on the first night. As previously noted (thanks for all your input), we start the day with Mark Zuckerberg, and it has a certain balance to end day one with Murdoch and DeWolfe, whose MySpace ruled the social networking roost uncontested until Facebook’s rapid acension. Regardless, the purchase of MySpace still ranks as one of the smartest moves ever made by an “old media” company.

Now, MySpace is still much bigger than Facebook, but as many are quick to point out, Facebook is growing much faster (more here). Clearly one topic of conversation will be how MySpace will respond to its new competitor – will it open up to the extent Facebook has, for example? It’s already well down the path of making money – in fact, it recently introduced a new self service ad platform based on six months of research into leveraging personal profile information.

This brings MySpace squarely into the same privacy conversation as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, and the rest of the ad-driven world. So we’ll clearly address that issue, and tons of other MySpace related questions – the future of the service, thoughts on being part of the Newscorp empire, those interesting contract conversations, its relationship with Google.

But with Murdoch in the room, there is a lot more to discuss.

As Time put it, Murdoch is one of the last true individual media tycoons, running an empire that stretches around the world with nearly every flavor of packaged goods media you might imagine, not to mention FIM, the arm that owns MySpace and various other interactive businesses like IGN and Scout. He’s also very controversial, eliciting alarmist articles like this one at a rate of at least one or two a day. In fact, if we were to compare Murdoch to anyone, it might be Bill Gates at the height of his power in the mid 1990s. At least, that’s a fair comparison in terms of Murdoch’s reputation in the mainstream media world – it compares to Gates’ reputation in the mainstream IT world ten years ago. I wonder how he feels about that? And how does Chris feel about working for him?

Then there’s the impending launch of the Fox Business News Channel. The battle for Dow Jones, the case for making its properties free, among other issues. Murdoch and DeWolfe’s view on the China problem/opportunity. The question of who might run the company when he is gone, and what he wants his legacy to be.

Murdoch is not without a sense of humor and a clear sense of what many think of him. Great quotes from the Time article: “When you’re a catalyst for change, you make enemies — and I’m proud of the ones I’ve got.” And this one, on changes he might make at the WSJ: “When the Journal gets its Page 3 girls,” (Murdoch) jokes late one night, “we’ll make sure they have M.B.A.s.”

I’d love to play the word association game with both of them – asking for a one word or one phrase response to a number of topics and/or companies – Google, Facebook, net neutrality, Microsoft, Comcast…

In fact, the more I think about this interview, the more I realize I need your help. We’ll have plenty of time to talk – dinner interviews are longer than the mainstage plenaries, but there are so many possible angles to take, your input will help me focus.

So what do you guys want to hear about from DeWolfe and Murdoch?