Key Takeaways from Brand Innovators Marketing Week
Blis was a proud sponsor of Brand Innovators Brand Marketing Week in Atlanta. It was our first visit major sponsorship presence in Atlanta, and between the event itself, which was held at the Porsche Experience Center (and hosted by Porsche), and the marketers who attended, we were impressed and exhilarated.
The event was attended by marketers from some of the world’s best-known brands and leading players in the ad tech space, so there was a ton of great information exchanged over the two days. We’ll do our best to distill some of the highlights in this post.
Experiences – Connecting with the consumer is important and can be achieved in several ways.
Matt Corey, CMO of the PGA Tour Superstore was a keynote speaker on the second day. In his presentation, Matt showed attendees how his brand connects with consumers and keeps them coming back to the store. The strategy is centered around in-store experiences, like golf lessons and simulators, ongoing experiences like leagues and kids’ camps, and activities like building custom golf clubs. These tangible and differentiated engagements with the brand build real relationships, and keep customers interested, excited and involved.
Irma Shrivastava, SVP, Strategic Marketing and Alliances of the American Cancer Society, explained how her organization’s new ad campaign built greater awareness by putting patients front and center. The strong, emotional, yet uplifting messages explain exactly how American Cancer Society helps cancer patients. The ads educated consumers and help them see where their support is going, creating a deeper relationship that matters more to the consumer.
Keitha Blackburn, Exhibitions Manager from Porsche, went beyond the importance of events in her presentation, explaining how the people representing your brand are a key part of the image you present. These individuals are telling your brand story and have to portray the brand in its best light, adding to the consumer experience. To demonstrate this idea, Brand Innovators attendees had the opportunity to ride in a Porsche on the test track at Porsche HQ. (This job definitely has its perks!)
Authenticity was a theme throughout the Summit. It’s always tempting to jump on the bandwagon and follow the trends, or do what all other brands are doing. There’s a danger in that, though: brands get lost when they try to be everything to everyone. That’s not the key to success, by any stretch. As Laura Reese, Senior Director, Media/Digital/PR, from Church’s Chicken explained, brands need to define who they are and be willing to stand for what they believe in. The “Church’s Loves Atlanta” video shows just that. It’s a real, honest, homage to the city Church’s calls home, and it resonates. As the YouTube description states, “Atlanta has risen from the ashes time and time again and remains a beacon in the Southeast because of its unique culture, innovation, and commerce. With our newest film, we celebrate the fearless strivers who make Atlanta what it is today and what it will be in the years to come.”
Jo Ann Herald, CMO of Honey Baked Ham, explained how her company and brand continue to evolve, updating their image with a new logo, while continuing to honor their roots. Consumers prefer to buy from brands they trust and that share their values. However, if you represent certain values, your brand must be behind them fully. If, as a brand, you don’t follow through or represent those values honestly and fully, consumers will know – and they will leave.
At Blis, we believe that where you go defines who you are and targeting based on visits is a better way to reach your audience than relying on search. Location marketing is more than just geo-fencing. It’s building target audiences based on hard data – facts – rather than aspirations.
In our presentation at the summit, we busted the myths of location data. These include:
- Location doesn’t matter
- You can’t distinguish between consumers that visited a store and those that passed nearby
- Location is just about proximity targeting
- Sales data is more valuable than location data
In fact, location provides incredibly valuable data and insights that can have a measurable, dramatic impact on marketing campaigns – and the business’s bottom line. View our presentation or contact us for more information on dispelling location data myths.
Erin Everhart, Senior Manager, Media & Mobile, The Home Depot, taught us the meaning of nomophobia: the fear of being without your cell phone. She relayed the stat that 91percent of consumers feel their phone is actually an extension of their brain. That’s because we Google everything on our phones to get the information we seek! Brands should consider carefully the consumer’s relationship with their smartphone, and be smart about when they engage, really thinking about the right time to serve a mobile ad. For example, an effective time might be during commercial breaks, since many people use their phones while watching TV, or when someone is eating alone in a restaurant.
Home Depot has been a pioneer in mobile, and put augmented reality to incredible use during their holiday campaigns. Their AR app allowed consumers to see what a particular Christmas tree would look like in their own home – truly some breakthrough advertising!
Overall, the Brand Innovators event was both educational and inspiring. There were so many incredible examples of the creativity and innovation that’s happening in brand advertising today, delivered by actual client-side marketers who were able to tell their stories from a “been there, done that” perspective. We’re excited to be part of it – and just as excited to continue making waves in Atlanta!