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John Wall and I did the second beta test episode of Marketing Over Coffee this morning at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Natick. Today’s topic was Bum Rush the Charts, and I thought I’d blog a little about the marketing efforts going on behind the scenes, plus some thoughts so far.

First, a huge thank you to everyone who’s participating. That’s awesome. That said, I’ve found so far that audio promos in podcasts are great for building awareness, but you need at least a month’s time ahead of a word of mouth campaign, because podcasting by nature is time-shifted. It’s a lousy medium for getting a message out in force in a small window of time.

Behind the scenes, Bum Rush the Charts has had the help of a bunch of different tools. We’ve issued two press releases, one through Black Lab and one through the Student Loan Network. We’ve also been using several distribution email lists. Despite the fact that email is pre Web-1.0, it’s still a major player, at least for this campaign; the bulletins we’ve published via email to folks have had very good open rates.

We’ve leveraged Feedburner not only for feed management, but also for site statistics. As we’ve seen in the past, Digg and Reddit bring in a lot of traffic, but the quality of traffic is relatively low – few people sign up for the email notices or subscribe to the RSS feed out of the thousands who stop by.

MySpace has been a major player in the campaign, at least for touching base with bloggers and podcasters. Every time I log into the BRTC profile, there’s betweeen 20 and 50 people requesting friendship, leaving comments, etc.

Most importantly, we’ve gotten a LOT of buy-in from fellow new media professionals, and even buy-in from more traditional media outlets, which is pretty incredible. The CBC, BBC, San Jose Mercury News, and even Billboard Magazine have picked up BRTC from various sources and leads, and have been promoting it as well. The real power of this campaign is that it’s brought together people from all the different groups in podcasting and new media.

Time will tell whether we can convert buzz into buy, conversation into conversion. I sincerely hope we can. Hopefully this time next week I’ll be writing more about how Bum Rush the Charts was a successful campaign and that we’re sending a bunch of kids to college for free.

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