Like all these events, the sponsors have been fabulous, going well beyond what normally they might do for a regular 15-person event. Why? Because their “reach” has expanded well beyond those 15 people. Each person involved with this event has been promoting it. Everyone who follows us on Twitter and Facebook has been exposed to this event and the sponsor’s products. I’m guessing that’s more than 100,000 people. The impact the sponsors have had on the success of event is so important that I’m reserving a blog post for them, coming up next.
I mention this because I think it is a real game-changer for how companies interact with their current and future customers. It used to be that vendors only wanted to sponsor events with many warm bodies in attendance because other than the printed brochure, that was pretty much the entire marketing reach for sponsors. These days, though, the reach can be much further. For instance, this blog post is going to be read by more people than just those of you who would normally visit our website. This post will be automatically posted to my own Facebook and Twitter feeds. And I’m willing to bet that a number of my followers and social networking friends are going to share it with their followers and friends. They will be re-tweeting it, sharing it on Facebook, and commenting on it on LinkedIn.
Forward thinking organizations, such as the sponsors of SQLCruise, get that. The power of social networking isn’t just the re-connecting with your high school friends, but in connecting with people who know people you know. Remember my post about job hunting? The same principle applies here, too.
Our tweeting about the event even managed to get to Dave Webb, Editor of ComputerWorld Canada, who wrote about the event as Sea, Sun, and SQL.
It works the same way locally, with in-person events. In fact, it is easier to have long, in-depth conversations with real life events. However, that doesn’t scale well when you want to reach hundreds of thousands of people. So organizations need to leverage both types of marketing – the traditional meet-and-greet events such as your local DAMA or IRMAC meeting and the events that are much more shared and promoted online. Sponsors for online events can often get more focused marketing, hitting more of their primary market via the communication that happens from follower to follower.
Why am I telling you, Dear Architect, about sponsorship and social networking? Because you can apply the same principles to your own internal marketing of your deliverables and services.
Does your company have a portal? An internal blog? Are you and your colleagues in your group making use of them? Or are you just relying on quarterly status meetings within the IT group to get the word out for what you are doing? How many people in your company:
- Know what a Data Architect does?
- Know what deliverables a Data Architect delivers?
- Know what you do, what your struggles are, and understand how they have an important role to play when it comes to getting data right?
What about your project teams? Do they have a wiki, a blog that you could be contributing to?
It’s time to think about your “reach”. The more people who know who you are, what you do, and why you just might be the only people in IT who are compensated to worry about data quality, data availability and information success, the better.
But just telling people about it via a description of your job title on the corporate portal might not be enough. You need to interact with others in your company and your team members. That means embracing the social networking, internally and externally, to grow your network of contacts. And in doing so, you will learn about their struggles, their deliverables, and their needs.