For the past few years, nearly every corner of the marketing world has spent countless hours and resources trying to figure out how to best use social and digital media to help brands achieve their business and communications goals. Many of these conversations revolve around self-proclaimed “social media experts,” and almost all of them focus on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and the other popular apps that are part of the World Wide Web.
You know the type. People who can keep a straight face while saying things like “You have to amplify breakthrough conversations with an engaging consumer viral!” In other words, most of this dialogue consists of marketers talking to other marketers about how to market, and most of it is total, utter crap.
The Internet isn’t just a collection of tools and channels, or a place where demographics go to have “relationships” with brands and marketing–it’s a living, breathing ecosystem, with infinite depth and diversity, in which millions of individual Web users find deep fulfillment and purpose by congregating around ideas and passion points. And within this ecosystem, every single thing a brand does leaves a footprint. That’s why we convened Ketchum’s first social media conference, Respect the Internet, planting a flag in the ground to demonstrate that we as an agency have an unrivaled understanding of the Internet’s unique cultural spectrum. At the heart of the conference was following question:
“How can we ensure that marketing on the Internet leaves a more interesting and valuable cultural footprint?”
To help us answer this question, we brought together geniuses from Buzzfeed, Reddit, Breadpig, BoingBoing, ROFLCon, VICE, Gawker Media, MIT, Harvard and various marketing disciplines to have an enlightened debate. More than 250 people came to the event in person, and more than 2,200 live-streamed it on the Web.
Here are some juicy bits of video from throughout the day: