ExactTarget Connections: Customer Communication Happens Anywhere

The ExactTarget Connections conference turned out to be a phenomenal learning experience. It was a powerhouse of people as 6,000 digital marketers converged in Indianapolis to meet, to learn, and inspire each other to create “more effective consumer interactions.”

The conference featured three powerful keynote addresses – Condoleezza Rice, Jim Collins, and Walter Isaacson. Good information, inspiration, and a focus on being practical. Remember this quote from the late Sam Walton – “There is only one boss – the customer – and he can fire everyone.”

Jim Collins is the author of best sellers like Good to Great, and Built to Last. He spoke about, “What makes great companies tick?” Three key things – first, it is about humility to serve the customer. Second, it is about a ferocious commitment to succeed. Third, you should create a company culture that can continue without you. His best statement on leadership, “Managers do things right, leaders pick the right things to do.”

Walter Isaacson is an author and historian. One of his recent biographies was about Steve Jobs. His presentation can be best summarized in this quote, “It is not about being smart. Smart people are a dime a dozen. What matters is being imaginative, being creative. Harness the creativity with a sense of discipline and passion.” Make a commitment from the heart and follow it 100 percent. 

Condoleezza Rice closed with an impressive presentation fueled by her lessons in politics, history, and service. Here are her six tips:

  1. Lead from a sense of optimism and a perspective that you will come through tough times. 
  2. Never ask others to do something you yourself would not do (integrity). 
  3. Have truth tellers around you. 
  4. You can’t do it all yourself. Find other good leaders to help you get the job done.
  5. Understand the essence of what you are trying to do as a leader. 
  6. Make the impossible seem inevitable. 

ClickZ met up with some of the attendees at the conference and captured some of the best practices. We will share some of these digital best practices over the next three weeks so you too can apply these to your marketing campaigns. Here is a summary of digital lessons learned:

  1. Brands should practice digital listening. 
  2. Have one customer view or as few views of the customer as possible in order to maintain digital sanity. 
  3. Optimize each customer’s journey. 
  4. Strive towards relevance – one-to-one is as good as it will get. 
  5. Get small and get focused with mobile. 
  6. Want multi-channel success? Create connected user experiences
  7. Want social success – focus on help, not on the hype. 

“Email is far from dead – brands need to leverage digital and traditional channels to listen to their customers to serve them better. Your customer is mobile – you can communicate with them anytime, anywhere. Make every communication matter.”

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