Earlier today, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel at the American Marketing Association's marketing educators' conference.  The panel was entitled, "The Impact of Emerging Technologies on Relationship Marketing: An Analysis of Consumer vs. Business Markets".  The other panelists were all from the academic side of the equation:

  • Wesley J. Johnston, Georgia State University
  • Connie Porter, University of Notre Dame
  • Aberdeen Leila Borders, University of New Orleans
  • Harriette Bettis-Outland, University of West Florida
In my 20 minutes, I discussed how social software -- mostly focused on blogs, but some mentions of virtual communities and other tools -- has impacted marketing.  Most of my talk, naturally, was related to IBM and specifically Lotus Notes, but I wanted to talk somewhat more broadly about what has been learned from social software in our industry.  I've posted my slides, if you are interested, here.  I borrowed a few slides from colleague Carol Jones, so thanks to Carol for the assist.

The other presentations were quite interesting to me.  Professor Johnston talked about customer relationship management and challenges for the discipline (not the products) in the future.  Professor Porter's presentation covered social media, including blogs and virtual communities, which she has studied quite extensively.  What I found particularly interesting was that Professor Porter cited the Forbes article "Attack of the Blogs!" several times, especially around the risks of blogging and virtual communities.  Sickos, anyone?  I hope to get another opportunity to speak with her about her studies, she seems to be tracking exactly the kinds of models that we're all right in the middle of.

The last presentation, abbreviated, was from Professors Borders and Bettis-Outland.  Very interesting how I ended up on the panel in the first place -- Harriette asked a contact in IBM for a suggestion, who came to me.  It turns out that she worked at Lotus from 1990 to 1995 (I started in '94).  Small world.  Thanks for the invite, Professor Bettis-Outland!  Great session!

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