A couple of weeks ago I got the opportunity to meet two of marketing’s big-hitters – Joe Polish and Dean Jackson from the I LOVE Marketing website and podcast fame. Actually, that doesn’t really do them justice – they are far more celebrated than that, but it is what most people perhaps associate with them. The truth is that they are behind the successes of many businesses, without being recognized for it.
I’m primarily a PR ‘guy’, but when you work in any of the marketing communications disciplines there is a fair amount of overlap. Particularly when you work with small businesses where the internal functions are less defined and things move quickly from relationship building to trying to get people to take action – and where publicity is still often the primary goal. So, the chance to hear Joe and Dean talk in person about their take on marketing best practice was something I’ll remember for a long time.
With the focus on digital and social marketing you would, perhaps, expect the evening to have focused on either of these topics. You’d be wrong. In fact, I don’t think that social platforms were mentioned at all during the 2 hour Meetup. Joe says that he’d still default to direct marketing given the chance and Dean talks about marketing and PR leaders as friends [not to be confused with the fast friends of the social media age] that he has either worked with, or continues to work alongside.
I had the privilege to present my take on PR, marketing and publicity to the assembled group – so, no pressure with Joe and Dean in the room. I also heard their detailed advice to some of the challenges facing the entrepreneurs in the room. There was none of the generic, echo-chamber, “this is how I did it, so this is what you should do” advice that is so prevalent online these days. It was refreshing. I’ve become accustomed to hearing so-called experts talking in general terms about best practice where there is no context other than the “expert” so it was refreshing to hear advice that was specific to the person asking the question and their business. The examples and advice given was also specific enough for non-marketers to implement.
If you’ve not been to the I LOVE Marketing Toronto Meetup then I’d wholeheartedly recommend it. I’m not promising that Dean and Joe will be there every time, but you never know! They have ties to the city, so it is possible they may be there again soon.
I hope so.