Friday, September 29, 2006

Instant Missionary

Yesterday morning, before the AMA Houston Tech SIG seminar, I was e-mailing my client about an upcoming project. She replied instantly, “I’m still in Colombia, at Monserrate, 10330 ft above sea level and gasping.”

I keyed in my message on the computer. She texted her reply from her Blackberry.

No road warrior will think this unusual these days. I didn’t think much about it myself – until about an hour-and-a-half later. One of the Tech SIG’s speakers, David Pulaski, opened up some new windows for me. Pulaski is the CEO of IMEinstein, a corporate name that’s just been adopted (and one of the more interesting brand identities I’ve noticed lately).

Part of his message yesterday morning is that companies should be using instant messaging – IM – far more than they already are.

He suggested that IM represents the next organized level of relationship marketing. Past marketing efforts represent Push: marketers and advertiser push their products, services and brands to their customers and prospect via traditional (and even non-traditional) methods. The present is represented by Search. Prospects search for vendors on the Internet.

The future, for Pulaski, is going to be composed of Presence-Based Communities in the form of desktop and mobile communications…not just to keep in touch, but to market and sell products and services by harnessing the mega-trend of the world’s largest instant messaging mechanisms. That means much more active and managed use of Yahoo!, AOL, MSN, Google Talk and other services to provide presence-based networking.

He urged us as marketers to find ways to add value to our prospects, in a way that includes us in his or her “community.” Well, I use this blog as a way to engage my community. But what if I’m in Colombia, 10,000 ft above sea level? I need more information. I need more toys.

The Tech SIG wanted to help us explore new technologies that present “marketers with unprecedented capabilities to reach their target audience in real-time, with messages tailored for that person and that moment. Instant messaging, cell phones, blogs and interactive websites enable us to engage our prospects in direct, person-to-person communications.”

Other speakers included Vui Le, President and CEO of Vuico, Inc.; and Jim Cahill and Deborah Franke of Emerson Process Management. All of them made dynamic presentations: Le about cellphone texting marketing opportunities and Cahill and Franke about corporate blogs. (You’ve read about Jim’s work with
www.EmersonProcessXperts in previous posts.)

Pulaski tied IM into the real-world demands of corporate organizations – the management, the control, the measurement. You can access his Top Reasons to Use IM in the Enterprise here.

I’d like to get Pulaski to speak for himself about corporate use of IM, so watch this space. “Instant Messenger” is already an AOL trademark. He’s really more like an Instant Missionary.

Thanks to Geoff Webb at and Roberto Brunel at for a great seminar. Graphic from Microsoft’s “10 tips for safer instant messaging,” here.


Jim Cahill said...

Hi Richard,

Deb and I had a great time sharing our experiences with RSS and Blogs yesterday! Thank you so much for hooking us up with Geoff's Tech SIG.

If anyone of your readers are interested in viewing the presentation, shoot me an email at:

Take it easy,


Kathy Mackey said...

It was awesome and you missed an incredible question and answer. The cell phone person gave us some jaw dropping comments.

I am definitely addicted to the latest technology.

Geoff Webb said...

Thanks for your kind words. Of course, the speakers deserve all the credit, and rightly so: they were all excellent.