"It's a social movement," said Mike Lundgren, partner and director of creative technology at digital marketing firm VML, of the Internet now and how brands use it. "When we publish now, we publish with the expectation that people will talk back."
"We have to stop thinking about how to get people back to our dot-com," he added, saying that reaching customers where they are—Twitter, Facebook, and others—is the way to engage.
SyFy went out with that thought when the recently-rebranded network introduced an iPhone app for Comic-Con 2009. The app, which was based around photosharing, "definitely surpassed our expectations," said Matthew Chiavelli, VP of broadband and mobile for SyFy. Attendees at the event posted pictures, commented, and shared all through an iPhone app created for the occasion.
"We're used to a very active fan base and a very active community," Chiavelli said. "We wanted to make this a way for fans to communicate with each other."
Brian Morrissey, digital editor for AdWeek, was also on hand, commenting on social media marketing myths, discussing how social media is not always free, how to sell products with social media while still listening, and that the 30-second TV spot and one-off campaigns are not dead.
"Marketers are going to end up buying their way into these transactions," Morrissey said, mentioning a campaign from Kmart where they gave bloggers gift cards to shop at the store. While it may not seem authentic to some, he said, transparency is key, not necessarily authenticity.
You can follow the day's speakers and comments on Twitter: #gravsum.