I had the honor of attending MBO 2011 on Tuesday, October 11. For those of you unfamiliar with MBO (Masters of Business Online), it’s Indianapolis’ largest one-day marketing conference. Filled with a variety of seasoned speakers who share their knowledge and direction about social media, mobile apps and SEO, MBO was much more than I expected.
Having worked as a Program Director prior to joining Slingshot SEO, I had the opportunity to attend and participate in a number of workshops and conferences, and I can honestly say none of them compare to my experience at MBO. Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin, but I will do my best to paint the illustration of the lasting images that were imprinted in my brain.
A Breakdown of the Day
The day began with the usual conference breakfast and “meet and greet.” But after breakfast, there was nothing typical about this conference. Keynote speaker Todd Henry, author of the Accidental Creative, equipped us with the resources to get F.R.E.S.H. with our creativity. He framed creativity in a box that makes it equal to problem solving … a box that makes sense and somehow causes you to be more strategic about being creative. Explaining new ideas and reinventing old ones, Todd rustled my poetic self and motivated me to FOCUS, build RELATIONSHIPS, manage my ENERGY, be purposeful about STIMULI, and better manage my HOURS. So how does this strategy become accidental, as his book title suggests? Well that’s something we will all have to find out when we read the book.
After Todd’s presentation, we were released for breakout sessions. My favorite was 40 Tools/40 Slides for Social Media—which actually wound up being 50 tools. Doug Karr’s 50 tools were a bit overwhelming, but only because there were so many I didn’t even know existed. I get tickled just thinking back at myself trying to jot down as many tools as I could, but I just couldn’t keep up. And it wasn’t that Karr, a new media marketing specialist, was going too fast. It’s just that he had an abundance of resources to offer. Literally everything he said was useful, even his reference to Madagascar. Some of the tools I managed to jot down are eyetrackshop.com which tracks a user’s eye movements when they visit a site and tynt.com which allows you to see how many times people copy your content.
Another great session was Face Value with Patrick Gibbons of Walker, a customer strategy consulting firm. The session brought out my competitive spirit, and although I didn’t win The Customer Game I learned some great insights to share with our clients. The card game involved groups of six. Each group was a marketplace and each player was a business. The cards were our customers, and we were allowed to steal and get rid of customers based on five unknown values listed on the five cards we were dealt. As the game progressed, the five values were revealed to us one at a time, so many of our decisions were based on hunches—similar to how we sometimes make business decisions. Wondering what those values were? They were all factors you can track through tools like Salesforce: revenue, repurchase, service contact, profitability and loyalty.
Bringing it Home
At the end of the day, just before the panel, there were two workshops to choose from, and naturally I chose the workshop around content: Content Marketing presented by Silver Square. The workshop was two hours long, but it in no way resembled your average two-hour workshop experience. Centered around creating and using personas, the workshop was upbeat and interactive. We were encouraged to share our ideas with the group as we worked step by step to develop personas for our customers or clients. The goal in developing the personas was to create an image of our target audience to give us a better idea of how to serve them. I was excited to listen to the various personas because this is something we have begun to incorporate here at Slingshot.
My experiences from MBO 2011 go far beyond words. I wish I could capture everything I learned and share it here, but that is nearly impossible. Not to worry though: MBO is an annual event, so you can get your share of the knowledge soon enough. Hope to see you there next year!