SMASH Conference Prep Dinner

Last night I went to yet another great dinner hosted by Dave McClure at the hip Clift Hotel in SF. It was a precursor to a conference series on social marketing called SMASH Summit. If you follow Dave, you’ll know that he is big on the fact that marketing and design in startups are key elements for success, and that most startups don’t do either well.
SMASH is an acronym standing for Social Media And internet Strategies and Hack-tics. A bit forced, but the concept is pretty cool.
Speakers included Matt Cohler of Benchmark, Rashmi Sinha CEO of Slideshare, Stew Langille from, and Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter Group. It was a great round up of information presented, showing the various ways folks are using social media marketing.
Last night’s dinner was actually a preparatory step to a one-day conference series Dave is going to put on both in SF and in NYC. After dinner, the tables had a discussion on what they have done in social media marketing and the goal was to generate some possible topics for discussion at the SMASH summits. As official notetaker, I wrote down some ideas and listed them below, so that you will get a possible taste for what you may see at the SMASH summits:
Marketers that work for sites that are democratic – how do you tell what succeeds or fails with the crowd?
How to gain trust for novice social networkers for social marketing?
How do you manage novices facing more technically savvy social media users? Ex. forum users ragging on novice posters for not knowing a tech solution.
How to use our customer base who are more technically savvy to support call center people?
How do you use cross channel communication?
How do you connect developers with passionate customers?
What’s better than focus groups? What do you use instead?
How do you overcome corporate/executive fear of talking to your customers?
How do you track/prove ROI of social media? Ex. We only have anecdotal evidence of more sales via positive social media response.
What metrics of social marketing are important?
Panel idea: Bigger companies’ overall experiences with implementing social marketing/media (success/fail stories, case studies, techniques, etc.)
Panel idea: Experiences with integration of old school organizations with new social media (more specific than previous: talk about organizational difficulties and how to solve, how to win over the old regime, how to deal with people protecting their turf, etc)
Where does social media belong in the organization?
I’m looking forward to checking out the first SMASH summit for great discussion on these topics and more!