.com, .org, .net, now .bank?

After very full day of sessions, panels and keynotes I’m exhausted (including Blog World‘s first track dedicated to mobile). The sessions were packed with great information, and I met some great people as well. Here are some of the highlights:

Prepared for Mobile? QR Codes, SMS and Apps

Why I chose this session: My hopes for this session from Tim Hayden were to get some up-to-date insight as to what works and what is just a shiny new object.

What I got out of this session: Tim brought up a great point that mobile and social are very different, yet the two are becoming more connected. The audience was given a great overview of the mobile landscape. For the most part, it’s a “glance-and-go” mentality for the average mobile user. We look at Facebook or Twitter for five seconds and put it back down. In addition, Tim reminded the audience that SMS is still the #1 activity of mobile users. QR codes were also discussed, with emphasis on the need for codes to land on mobile-friendly websites or landing pages.

Breaking the Bell Curve: Standing Out in the Sea of Same

Why I chose this session: I’ve always loved brands (and creating logos for them) as well as the importance of being different. Its important for both brands and individuals to stand out—and not blend in among the average.

What I got out of this session: Let me start by saying that Tamsen McMahon delivered a seamless, inspiring and interactive discussion on how people and brands can differentiate themselves. By ignoring the normal, finding your “inner outlier” and adding dimension you can stand out while staying true to your niche. A few tips from Tamsen include:

  • Be reliably present, especially when others are not.
  • Be a chameleon: adapt, but keep form.
  • Be thorough, because every interaction counts.
  • Be you, because you can’t be anyone else.
  • Always be aware there is someone else on the other side of the conversation.
  • Social and technology are layers over human behavior.

Big Brands on Small Screens

Why I chose this session: I was interested to hear from big brands on how they connect to customers and drive awareness on mobile devices. Panel participants included Barbara Williams, Grace Clack, Jason Madhosingh (congrats on the new gig!) and Mike Ricci.

What I got out of this session: Mobile is the only channel that is with consumers 24 hours a day, and 86% of mobile internet users are watching TV while using their devices. One person on the panel was able to map spikes in mobile searches to the times when their commercials aired. Mobile is truly relevant throughout the purchase funnel from gathering information to the purchase to the support. Some of the highlights included:

  • The panel does not see mobile replacing traditional advertising, but suggest the two work best when used together. Mike Ricci stated that mobile is the ultimate way to activate traditional mediums.
  • Smart audience segmentation allows marketers to use mobile channels in more intelligent ways
  • Grace Clack stated that out of home + mobile = possibilities.
  • Mobile provides a lot of context for the user, especially at the point of sale.

Keynote: Social Media Game Changers

I was really excited for the keynote from the day I signed up for Blog World. Gary Vaynerchuk, H.P. Mallory and Jeffrey Hazylett told many great stories related to being an author and marketing themselves. The subject was not quite what I was expecting, but still wonderful to hear (plus, I picked up another copy of Gary’s new book). I particularly liked H.P. Mallory’s story on how she self-published her books and look forward to learning more about her.

Stay tuned for a recap of day 2!

Nathan King

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