Articles Comments

» SES Conference Coverage » SES San Jose ’09 Conference Coverage – Day #1

SES San Jose ’09 Conference Coverage – Day #1

Opening Keynote Address: Clay Shirky, Author, Here Comes Everybody

Live Summary:
Well, all attendees are gathered together in a very large auditorium looking room with strobe lights and interesting music which reminds me of an 80's High School Dance. Mike Grehan, looking dapper in his business suit, introduces Clay Shirky. Clay talks about his book. He talks about how Group action just got easier because there is a change in user behavior. 

Discusses how Facebook has influenced a business practice that company HSBC has been criticized for. Facebook created a grass-root effect where people got together and fought back against HSBC's business practices. HSBC changed their practices because the people created enough bad PR initiated through Social Media. It is this phenomena that has changed the way businesses and news is displayed to the public.

He also states that we are living in the middle of the largest expansion of contact and control with the average person in the media. Conversational groups are changing and influencing the world. Internet is first medium to support group conversation (broadcast). It's the first big change. Organization without organizations. He also discusses how the internet technology has become a different level of Symmetry and National mode of carriage. Not when shiny new tool launches, but when people start using is and harnesses it for a beneficial use. Shiny and new tools are wasting assets. It's what people want to do with the tools over time. Tools only change when it comes with motivation for expanded use. Motivation is key. Talks about Josh Groban's audience and how they got together and created a charity on Grogan's name. They migrated from a little manual process to an online solution to help streamline the donation process. 


Session #1:
Always be Testing: Marketing Optimization in Challenging Times

Session Speakers/Panelists:
Pauline Ores, Bryan Eisenberg

Live Summary:
Bryan starts off the session with the slide "The reason why history repeats itself is because they didn't pay attention to it the first time" He mentions that in the 1990's no one cared about testing. Now, it's a different story. He mentions the company with 100 million dollars in investment. They failed because of the culture of testing. He mentions Continuous Improvement Process: TQM, Six Sigma, Kaizen. (Plan, Improve, Measure) All marketing needs improvement. People are always afraid to say they need improvement.

  • Planning: Is how to get target audience to website.
  • Measure: Can't do it until you identify what is a success.
  • Improve: Most challenging. Many funnels need improvement.
  • Prioritization: "Learn more" switched to "help me choose". Little test made millions.
    • Assign a testing budget
    • Resources
    • Culture: Hardest barrier to test. (he provides an old screen shot of old Amazon Webpage)

Aligning Customers & Business Objectives: He talks about the evolving call to action buttons. Budget failures are the cause of good testing. Driving Traffic vs. Acquisition. You have to balance the budget.
A company needs the following resources:

  • Marketing Decisions
  • Creative resources
  • Technical
  • Continuous Process (Persuasion Architecture)
    • Who are we persuading?
    • What action WE want them to take?
    • What action do THEY want to take?
  • Blue Print for Testing
    • Different Profile Types
      • Competitive
      • Spontaneous
      • Methodical
      • Humanistic

He shows an old OfficeMax video commercial "save the pennies" campaign. The web can quickly and easily test and make a quick difference. Plus, searching is still evolving and our attention span is evolving. Customers are like a beagle with a strong ability to identify different scents. Shows examples of Bad Landing Pages by Omniture and CoreMetrics where the messaging is WRONG. Also provides an example of a good landing page. Mentions repetition is a good example of "good scent". Persuasion is a process not an event.

Live Analysis:

This session provides in insightful time line on how the times have changed in Internet Marketing. Some of Bryan's points were obvious if you are familiar with the industry, but a good refresher course. He then went on about his company Future Now, Inc. and identifying different types of profiles of how people shop or navigate a website. He talks about their big name clients such as Overstock and Amazon and Dell. An interesting discussion on the idea of creating different scents to continuously engage the visitor.  The presentation kinda ended sporadically and then migrated to the audience Q&A.


Session #2:
The View From the CMO's Office

Session Speakers/Panelists:
Bill Hunt, Gina Poole, Liz Miller, Kevin M. Ryan

Live Summary: 

Gina Poole starts off the session. The biggest transformation of online marketing is going on right now. CMOs success is about traditional tactics. Changing the mindset. She talks about IBMs shift to Marketing 2.0 and how people are now interacting. Role based marketing. Start small, fail fast and get it right and help automate. PUSH vs. Pull. Marketers love funnels (reach and attract, Engage and Nurture, Convert to leads) She mentions do not throw out the baby with the bath water.

In the next speech, Kevin Ryan talks about the day in the life of a CMO at Web Visible. He talks about Web Visible. Diverse partner base. SMS, Social, Search and other emerging platforms. He then goes into pictures of him and celebrities (Arianna Huffington, Kevin Smith, etc..) His presentation is very humorous and discusses the roles of a CMO (PR, CEO, MKTG, etc..)


  • Do your homework
  • Pay Attention
  • Positive Change
  • Outline constructive solutions
  • be mindful of multiple constituencies


  • Cut & Paste your life
  • Spam, Spam, Spam, etc….
  • Assume you know everything
  • Assume I need you
  • Assume…. ANYTHING

In the next presentation, Liz Miller talks about the View of the CMO's office:

  • Avg tenure is today's CMO is 23.2 months.
  • 50% of today's CMOs were brought in to fix an existing bad marketing plan
  • Today's mix spans more functions, tasks and areas of business responsibility than ever before.
  • Chief Customer Experience Officer – The entire thing!
  • Moment a customer to the returning customer, that is the role of a CMO.
  • Change resistant culture. Silo and fragmented Data.

Live Analysis:

This is an interesting session. There is a lot of humor in the Kevin Ryan presentation where he used funny imaging to go back to the basic outlining of a CMO's job. I was honestly a little confused as to the direction of the session as it was more about personal experiences and trying to get a laugh out of the audience. All presentations talked about how the CMO is always to blame for much of the problems. I felt like it was session about about feeling sorry for the typical CMO and how bad they have it.

Liz Miller had the best presentation about a CMO's life. They do not have full control of everything, but they are responsible. The session overall is a little "RANTY" but provides a decent insight of a typical CMO. The ultimate critic of this session would have to be a group of CMOs who can either relate or differentiate.

Filed under: SES Conference Coverage · Tags: ,

Comments are closed.