I am a community guy, I love getting involved with User Groups, talking to people about technology outside of my job, and generally just being part of the larger community. I find myself writing more and more posts focused on that and less on specific tech, although I am working on a series of posts on designing my home lab, I just keep getting sidetracked by the rest of my life.
I have the opportunity to work with a number of “old school” marketing people. In fairness, they are doing their job, and I respect them a great deal. I just think their understanding of Return On Investment, ROI, is a little flawed. I read too many books by Seth Godin and others on viral marketing. It isn’t my fault, John Troyer got me hooked when he was running social media at VMware.
ROI from a marketing perspective used to be pretty easy to calculate, the cost of an event divided by the number of quality leads generated from an event which they were able to convert to sales. A very old school marketing process in my opinion. As I have looked at influence marketing, and observed some of the people I respect, I believe I am investing a piece of myself in the people and businesses I talk to.
While I am not world renown, I do have some influence in my own little corner of the world. Most of what I talk about is where I think the industry is going. I am no genius, but I think if we look at trends and pay attention, it is pretty straight forward. I am also fortunate to work with some really smart people in my day job so I have access to some exceptional thought leaders. I continue to work on building a reputation, and part of that is to shield friends and customers from marketing or sales people calling them to follow up on a conference.
The real ROI comes from building relationships and trust. Building up our friends and customers careers, and helping them be successful. Making it right every time, and going above and beyond to provide great service, not simply trying to measure how many sales we made from a conference or an event.