Marketing is constantly evolving, and it’s never been more important for brands, and the executives that lead them, to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the new technologies, channels and strategies that define success. It’s for this reason that we launched the Marketing Mix Podcast, to create a community that brings together the most influential CMOs of today to discuss and explore the strategies of tomorrow.
In order to help your brand successfully navigate this ever-changing landscape, we’re taking a look back at some of the major themes discussed on the Marketing Mix Podcast in 2018. Jeff Ragovin, industry expert and veteran, interviews some of the world’s leading c-level executives to discuss the challenges and opportunities of modern marketing. Their advice spans everything from content creation to AI and public relationships. Taken together, their insights can help solidify strategies that drive brand awareness, engagement and ultimately, sales.
The experts have spoken. Here’s what they have to say.
Leverage Influencers To Reach New Audiences & Generate Authentic Content
In a world where every brand is fighting for consumers’ attention, influencer marketing -- both macro and micro -- is a strategy that is continuing to gain momentum and investment amongst brand marketers. Influencers are a great way to create a buzz around event activations and more and more so, the content they create is being re-used beyond the influencer’s social channels.
Hannah Robbins, CMO at Maple Hill, highlighted the importance of tapping into the power of micro-influencers to consistently deliver compelling, authentic, and relevant content that the brand re-uses across paid, social, email, ecommerce and even packaging. According to Hannah, “our research showed that over 60% of people’s decisions are made from a referral from friends and family. Our ability to connect with consumers at scale is absolutely paramount to what we’re doing.” Candace Nelson, CEO at Sprinkles Cupcakes & Pizzana has always focused on incorporating an influencer marketing approach into their overall marketing strategy because it helps build trust with consumers, Candace explains “User-generated content is critical to our overall strategy. It’s all about trust these days and in particular, millennials are skeptical about advertisers and rightfully so.”
On the flip side, marketers like Charisse Ford Hughes, CMO at PANDORA (Americas), explained how working with larger scale celebrity influencers has helped her team reap huge traffic and lead generation rewards through event-based marketing.
With unprecedented opportunities to connect, communicate, and access information, your brand needs to be laser-focused on creating quality content that will resonate with target audiences. Whether that means partnering with celebrities or inspiring your consumers to collaborate, influencers will empower your brand to lead the conversation -- not just be a part of it.
Another brilliant bit of wisdom: make audio part of your marketing agenda in 2019. When discussing her predictions for the future of content consumption, Jennifer Kavanaugh, SVP of Media & Marketing at the NFL Eagles explained her theory of “earfluence.”
In Jennifer’s own words, “I predict we’ll soon start to see more people spending time listening instead of watching, either because it’s more convenient or the medium just resonates more.” With millions of Americans already tuning into podcasts, the most talented marketers are finding innovative ways to incorporate audio into their strategies.
Embrace New Technology
Technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace and knowing that will stick and what is just a fad is key to investing resources in the right areas. Eric Toda, Director of Marketing at Hill City shares his perspective on the importance of artificial intelligence in consumer-brand relationships. The brand uses personalized messenger bots to communicate with consumers in real-time and create an army of “Wear Testers” who effectively act as an extension of the Hill City marketing team. Eric explains “We have leveraged artificial intelligence layers on both Twitter direct message and Facebook Messenger to create a personalized chatbot experience. You can talk to Hill City and it will talk to you right back and walk you through how to become a wear tester. Doing this allows us to be personalized at a scale that you've never seen before. I want you to be able to have a specifically tailored Hill City experience 24/7 and 365 days a year, and you can do that with text and messenger in a really rich way. Do I think it's perfect yet? No, but it is reshaping the relationship between brands and consumers.”
Jeff Glueck, CEO at Foursquare dives into strategies around taking personalization to the next level through contextual targeting. Jeff explains “an example to make contextual awareness easy to understand is if you are at Yankee Stadium and its about to downpour in 6 minutes you need to know now to get to cover, but if you're in your office a 2pm and you usually leave at 6pm then it doesn't matter so much if it rains in 6 minutes, so context is really important.”
Combine Online and Offline Tactics
Over the years, online search and digital marketing has reduced the need for traditional marketing channels. But that doesn’t mean they should be ignored entirely. The most successful marketers have one foot in the past and another in the present. For instance, Dan Kashman, CMO at Plated, says his team is experimenting with direct mail as a way of cutting through the digital noise to deliver more unique, personalized communications with new and existing consumers. Dan is not alone in his contention that we will see a resurgence of traditional marketing channels.
Marisa Thalberg, CMO at Taco Bell, believes that offline advertising mediums are both necessary and effective in today’s digital-first world. The thinking behind her global strategy is very much rooted in a combination of online and offline tactics. Case in point, Taco Bell remains heavily invested in TV. As Marisa says, “Even though you read that nobody is watching it anymore, paradoxically, the demand for television is higher than ever and marketers still rely on television to have the best chances of delivering brand messages to as many people as possible and you just can’t scale digital the same way yet.”
These are just a few of the countless learnings from the Marketing Mix Podcast. This podcast is more than a series of conversations; rather, it’s answering the universal charge to use communication to understand the great changes ahead of us. To listen to these full episodes (and many more!) check out the Marketing Mix Podcast on our website or iTunes today.