Internet Marketing

Why did Comdex fail?


I’d argue Comdex failed because the conference organizers did not have an ongoing conversation with their attendees.

In contrast to Comdex, Jupiter Media’s Search engine Strategies conference is successful. Why? Well the Search Engine Strategies conference is linked with one of the leading web sites about search engines:’s has a large subscriber base attracted by the sites in-depth content on all things related to search engines. This customer base of subscribers provides a platform to promote the Search Engine Strategies conference. And the Search Engine Strategies conference gives Jupiter Media the ability to cross promote’s subscription service.

Comdex had no portal packed with useful content, and no ongoing conversations with their attendees. Search Engine Strategies is successful because Jupiter uses to start and continue conversations with customers.

The art of conversation marketing is a two way street. A company has to allow their customers to interact and exchange dialogue with them to build a really successful relationship.

Until recently even had some gaps in the website’s ability to initiate ongoing conversations with their customers. The reason? did not have a forum – there was, just to belabor the point, no conversation. Competing search engine marketing websites ran successful forums that let visitors ask questions and receive posted answers.

Now that has started a forum, the conversation between Jupiter and its customers will become stronger. If Comdex had built an ongoing conversation with their customers, it might have still run this year.

CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at

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