So I attended the Microsoft QPB (Quarterly Partner Briefing) at the MS office in the city on Wednesday for SMS&P (Small, Mid market Solutions and Partners). MS like the government has acronyms for everything. Before I went we sat through a brief overview of their most commonly used ones by one of the guys in my office, I kid you not. It was very interesting from my perspective because it wasn't a technical conference. It was almost solely devoted to sales and meeting other MS partners and networking with a few technical aspects thrown in here and there.
There were blocks of sessions that we each attended during the day, three in total. Since I had never been to one of these before I decided to attend two sales and marketing sessions. The first session was on the use of metaphors in advertising which was OK, but nothing too great. I consider myself a well rounded person when it comes to education so nothing that was said was too surprising.
The second session though I found to be outstanding. It was given by one of the keynotes at the conference; Larry Bailin who is the CEO of Single Throw Internet Marketing. He started off by telling everyone how he wasn't a "tech" guy which was driven home during his presentation when practically all the techniques he pointed out could have been applied to advertising for any type of company. There were no secrets or "magic bullets" here, most of the items he touched on were just common sense. Target your customer, "a specific message for a specific customer" was how one of the other people in the class put it. Make things easy for your customer; it sounds so simple! It's amazing how many examples there are out there where this is not the case though. The best one that stuck in my head which I see everywhere is that when filling out a form with my contact information on it, why do we have to put our city, state and zip code? The zip code determines the former so nothing more than that should be necessary. Simple, one less thing to fill out on a form. There were other examples as well, but that was the one that stuck out the most.
As an added note I saw the movie "Babel" later in the day (nominated for a best picture btw) and I thought it was really bad. I was generous and gave it 2/5 stars on netflix because it made some good points about language and different cultures and how they can be tied together by seemingly unconnected events. Due to the fact that there was practically no plot, non-existent character development, Brad Pitt being on screen for only like 20 minutes of a 140 minute movie and it's slow pacing and length, I whole heartily do NOT recommend this movie.