PubCon Live: Kickoff Keynote with Leo Laporte

Nov 8, 2011 - 11:55 am 1 by

click for full sizeBelow is live coverage of the Kickoff Keynote with Leo Laporte from the PubCon 2011 conference.

Disclaimer: The coverage is brought to you in real time, using a custom live blogging tool. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments for inclusion into the live coverage. During the live event, live notes will auto-scroll with newest entries at top. After the session is complete the archive version will have the oldest entries at the top. We ask you to please excuse any typos, as these are live notes.

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Barry Schwartz: 8:59:40 am
Brett Tabke starts off.
Barry Schwartz: 9:02:08 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:02:37 am
Leo just waiting to get up to the stage
Barry Schwartz: 9:04:13 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:04:51 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:05:04 am
He is now introducing Leo... The slide below shows some of his history.
Barry Schwartz: 9:06:11 am
More on Leo at
Barry Schwartz: 9:07:24 am
Okay, here we go...
Barry Schwartz: 9:07:38 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:08:18 am
He asks... What do you tell your parents you do for a living?
Barry Schwartz: 9:08:26 am
Leo said his mom tells people he is in computers...
Barry Schwartz: 9:08:41 am
You cannot describe what you do to most people. You may not have any ideas.
Barry Schwartz: 9:08:54 am
He doesn't know if search engine marketing makes sense anymore.
Barry Schwartz: 9:09:02 am
People do not like marketers.
Barry Schwartz: 9:09:26 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:10:06 am
We are all marketers. Brushing my hair in the morning is marketing.
Barry Schwartz: 9:10:18 am
The trick is to market without letting anyone know you are marketing.
Barry Schwartz: 9:10:23 am
He did that with Twit
Barry Schwartz: 9:11:03 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:11:07 am
Lots of people here, that is just one row
Barry Schwartz: 9:11:22 am
Back in the day, ads were, here is how it works and this is where you buy it.
Barry Schwartz: 9:11:41 am
Edward Bernays felt democracy won't work and people needed to be lead.
Barry Schwartz: 9:12:11 am
He basically coined the term PR, he tricked people to think they way you want. Marketing was tricking people...
Barry Schwartz: 9:12:31 am
He programmed people through the unconscious mind...
Barry Schwartz: 9:13:09 am
He wrote letters to 5,000 doctors saying, isn't it the case that a solid breakfast is good for you. And 4 out of 5 said yes. So he put out a campaign that 4 out of 5 docs said bacon is good for breakfast.
Barry Schwartz: 9:13:46 am
He came up with the marketing campaign of "torches of freedom", see
Barry Schwartz: 9:14:02 am
Marketing ever since had that basis of tricking people into doing something they don't want to do.
Barry Schwartz: 9:14:10 am
It turns out, we are all marketers
Barry Schwartz: 9:14:19 am
How do you do it without turning people off or tricking them?
Barry Schwartz: 9:14:32 am
In the internet era, there is no better time to do it.
Barry Schwartz: 9:15:43 am
So how does he do this at Twit?
Barry Schwartz: 9:16:35 am
He worked at TechTV and the issue was, they were aimed at a niche and they didnt have enough viewers. So they expanded and they had no niche. So they sold the channel and lost $300 Million.
Barry Schwartz: 9:17:15 am
Discovery was suppose to be education, now it is hoarders. So all these cable channels have this problem. They are in a niche but they need to expand out of the niche.
Barry Schwartz: 9:17:42 am
After TechTV failed, he was wandering around, not much to do. But he learned lessons, when you serve a niche, you can do well if you know the niche well.
Barry Schwartz: 9:17:52 am
They built an amazing community.
Barry Schwartz: 9:18:24 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:18:38 am
So when TechTV alienated that community, he learned from that.
Barry Schwartz: 9:19:21 am
Advertisers do not want a smart audience, they want a stupid audience they can trick.
Barry Schwartz: 9:19:49 am
You cannot do programming for intelligent people b/c the ads won't work cause they are too smart.
Barry Schwartz: 9:20:03 am
We need to think of a new way of advertising to non morons
Barry Schwartz: 9:20:27 am
So he went after the smart audience and did it very cheaply, first just audio and then grew very rapidly
Barry Schwartz: 9:21:08 am
If you can keep the costs down, you can make it into a real business.
Barry Schwartz: 9:21:25 am
They then added video, then went live video. They expanded so it made it as easy for people to watch.
Barry Schwartz: 9:22:03 am
They supported this with ads - and they told their advertisers that you cannot trick them. You need to come to them as a member of the community. Teach them about the product and tell them how to buy it. Offer trials, etc. It works for smart people.
Barry Schwartz: 9:22:20 am
They went in 2005 and went to 2007 with basically no revenue (only 10k per month)
Barry Schwartz: 9:22:42 am
$300,000 per year to $4-5 million a year in ad revenue this year
Barry Schwartz: 9:22:54 am
Leo said they need to trick the advertisers to buy the ads
Barry Schwartz: 9:23:01 am
But they keep coming back.
Barry Schwartz: 9:23:35 am
They created a viable business by reaching a dedicated niche audience. They do niche broadcasting. It changed the business of broadcasting.
Barry Schwartz: 9:23:54 am
Instead of building an audience of passive listeners, they have active communities.
Barry Schwartz: 9:24:25 am
This is how Twit does their marketing. The audience markets for them.
Barry Schwartz: 9:24:38 am
Via social media, twitter, facebook, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 9:25:10 am
The other lesson he learned was transmedia (or cross platform) story telling. Like George Lucas on Starwars.
Barry Schwartz: 9:25:28 am
giving users a many point of entry way to your audience.
Barry Schwartz: 9:26:14 am
They give people many ways to participate in the content, from downloading audio, video, live video, etc
Barry Schwartz: 9:27:24 am
They have a chat, a wiki, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 9:28:10 am
Leo said, I don't need to figure out which platform is more important, the audience picks.
Barry Schwartz: 9:28:53 am
He said, I don't even know if search engines will be around in 5 months from now. "I really don't know," he said. (really???)
Barry Schwartz: 9:29:06 am
And he doesn't care because his audience will pick for them.
Barry Schwartz: 9:29:52 am
Donations are still there, they buy into the show. He doesn't need that money b/c they have ad dollars. They invest in the show.
Barry Schwartz: 9:31:34 am
They built a brand new studio, it was estimated to cost 350k but ended up costing over 3X the amount. So they sold bricks to the audience with their names on it to the audience.
Barry Schwartz: 9:32:24 am
They are now doing strolling real time text of the news, not just audio and video.
Barry Schwartz: 9:33:53 am
This comes from the fact that they are very specific and very narrow.
Barry Schwartz: 9:34:15 am
It is not about growing the audience but growing the participation of the audience.
Barry Schwartz: 9:34:58 am
A single engaged viewer is worth 10 or 100 X as a losly engaged user
Barry Schwartz: 9:35:20 am
Leo added they aren't hitting every viewer that is interested
Barry Schwartz: 9:35:32 am
They have to reach out more by making new shows and adding new hosts.
Barry Schwartz: 9:35:59 am
You get bigger by eating other things around you.
Barry Schwartz: 9:36:04 am
It works well.
Barry Schwartz: 9:36:29 am
Twit doesn't have a marketing budget, they dont have an inhouse SEO or social media person. But every person they hire is active in social networks.
Barry Schwartz: 9:37:14 am
Strategy is to create great content that people are engaged in, and give them ways to engage and then encourage them,
Barry Schwartz: 9:37:54 am
It is also important to reduce the cost of what they are doing.
Barry Schwartz: 9:38:32 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:38:44 am
They can do so much more for so much less these days.
Barry Schwartz: 9:39:48 am
They cut the costs by about 2,000 percent through digital technology.
Barry Schwartz: 9:40:41 am
They need less people and have cheaper hardware.
Barry Schwartz: 9:41:32 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:41:49 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:42:58 am
That is the story of Twit. The lesson is the best kind of marketing is to get your users to do it for you.
Barry Schwartz: 9:43:18 am
That is all, he is now doing Q&A...

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