I had the chance to speak to 150 folks belonging to the World Trade Center (yes, it’s an organization) yesterday in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on the subject of marketing your business globally. I’ve appeared there twice before and am always struck by the mix of local businesses (large and small) and foreign embassies promoting trade with their countries. You can download my slides on Internet Marketing Trends, but I wanted to talk a bit about what I heard there and what I told the audience.
Yesterday, I enjoyed a return engagement at the Online Marketing Update at the University of Virginia’s Darden School for Business in Charlottesville. (You can download my slides that describe how Web marketing is still marketing.) Just as with my first appearance in October, I was struck by the great mix of attendees, ranging from well-known speakers to marketing professors to real business practitioners and MBA students. They promised the students that they’d learn as much from their colleagues as from the speakers, and I did, too.
I always like to remind people that they will be far less frustrated with technology if they just remind themselves of a simple truth, “Computers don’t work.” I myself was painfully reminded of this when my blog was unceremoniously knocked off the air the last two days by a problem I still don’t understand. But it helps us to remember that technology, while something we all depend on, is amazingly fragile. It’s best to think ahead about our technology dependencies, so that we are not overly dependent on one outage becoming a crisis.
My son Dwight entered a room with mirrors on each opposing wall, fascinated by the sight of an unending set of his own reflections. And he did what nine-year-olds tend to do: he started making motions in the mirror and watching “all the Dwights” copy him. But then, with a twinkle in his eye, he straightened himself up, and in a commanding voice intoned, “Simon says ‘Put your hands on your head,’” while making the motion himself. He nodded approvingly at the other Dwights, and then, while making a new motion, commanded, “Put your hands in the air.” Without missing a beat, he pointed at the other Dwights and yelled, “You’re all out!”