Brain Break

Have you ever had a day where pretty much every minute of the day you were learning something new, hearing new terms, discovering new ways of doing things…so that by the end of the day, you actually had to give your brain a break, but you feel so rejuvenated?

That’s what happened to me when I attended the eMarketing Learning Center’s Digital Marketing Mixer at the Ambassador on March 26th. The day was awesome, rejuvenating and most fulfilling. My goal was to find the right eMarketing mix for The Erie Community Foundation, where I am the marketing and public relations director. Due to the struggling economy, my marketing budget has been cut by 25%. Basically, I need to do more with less, and the Digital Marketing Mixer gave me the answers I need.

Our morning began with a series of vendors sharing their skills and expert insight with the audience. I learned new lingo like: pod lounge, pod catcher, podcast blaster, Purl’s, juice and happy fish.

Then, the mixing began. It was like speed dating with vendors. The vendors sat at different tables throughout the room. You could pick and choose which vendors you wanted to meet, pick their brains, share your eMarketing troubles, and ask questions. Good conversations took place. Just like speed dating, we were on a time limit because after 15 minutes, we moved to our next favorite vendor. I thought that was uniquely fun, and I picked up great information and business contacts.

The highlight of the day was the lunch presentation by Dana Van Dan Heuvel of the Marketing Savant Group. He explained the digital intimacy of staying close to your customer, the power of social media and the importance of search engine optimization. I now fully understand how eMarketing offers me measurable and traceable results, which are important for me to share with our board of trustees. Dana explained how I can follow present and potential donors of The Erie Community Foundation from the reach to acquisition to conversion to retention.

In summary, I think eMarketing still comes back to the basics of figuring out who we are and who we are trying to reach to determine our strategy, but eMarketing is cost-effective. I know that 92% of the population uses the web to do research and make purchases. We need to be where are donors are on the web. We have to be relentless to keep pace, but it’s exciting. These are exciting times to be in marketing. The main message from the Digital Marketing Mixer is: we can’t move forward without risk. I hope the eMarketing Learning Center hosts another mixer sometime soon. My brain is all rested up and ready to learn more!

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