Reflections on the Aartrijk Brand Camp 2010

As was mentioned in a previous post, ABC2010 was indeed an idea vortex.  10 things I learned or had reinforced:

  1. A new and improved Comment moderation tool for this Blog
  2. How an Agency is using FourSquare
  3. A lot about branding and the value of a brand
  4. That Social was a strong theme running through-out the Camp
  5. That a smaller and less structured meeting worked well with this group and drives a lot of value
  6. Insurance professionals of all shapes and sizes, backgrounds, etc. can work together quickly to achieve an objective (my team won the competition!)
  7. Power-strips at tables, free use of tech, WiFi and Twitter hashtags all improve the meeting experience
  8. Agencies and Companies are open to and need massive help with Web sites and Social Tech
  9. The job of Webmaster, and to some extent, CIO, is waning
  10. When making important, strategic purchases, a very high percentage (80-90%) of buyers run various searches for the brand or person they are doing business with

While Social Media Marketing is growing extremely fast, and to some extent at the expense of traditional advertising, the concept of Channel of Choice seems to be the recurring theme.  And these Channels of Choice cannot be type-cast by gender, race, age, location or really any demographic.  Thus, in order to maximize marketing potential, all channels must be used.  To not use any one, say Facebook, is to cut off a certain percentage of the market.  Common sense… but needs to be said.

Content Curation is a tangible solution for our business, especially since we have so many restrictions on what we can say.  We also don’t seem to want to talk about insurance per se all the time.  So the question then becomes, “What do we talk about inside these Social Media’s and Networks?” Content Curation – a fancy term for pointing to other people’s content and Commenting, Aggregating, Rating, Fact-checking, Sharing and so forth.  Do-able.  But remember, when you link to content, your have to make sure it is valid content.  I believe (perhaps legal-eagle readers could elaborate in the Comments under this post) that under the “entanglement theory”, posts you link to would be considered part of your content and thus fall under compliance and legal jurisdiction. The other thing is personal stuff.  Indeed, contrary to conventional wisdom, customers and prospects DO care about the personal side of the people they do business with – it IS appropriate to talk about your trips, your hobbies, and your community, to mention a few.

Where you there?  What were your thoughts of ABC2010?  Any big take-aways you’d like to share?

What’s next?  Aartrijk is crowdsourcing the location, date, and theme of ABC2011.  Join the conversation.  There’s room for more voices.  Music video due out in December.

Pictures here.