Inclusive Marketing, Micro Communities in the Mix at BI Seattle

Marketing inclusively. Crafting content for a “slow burn.” Building micro communities to tap into audience passions. These were a few of the topics on display as leading marketers from some big brands convened inside Seattle’s Four Seasons for a Brand Innovators marketing summit. On the minds of many: how to attract young consumers and make them loyal customers for the long term.

Marketing inclusively. Crafting content for a “slow burn.” Building micro communities to tap into audience passions. These were a few of the topics on display as leading marketers from some big brands convened inside Seattle’s Four Seasons for a Brand Innovators marketing summit. On the minds of many: how to attract young consumers and make them loyal customers for the long term.

Panel on Driving Growth with Digital Transformation (L-R): Lena Cohen, Senior Manager, T-Mobile for Business, T-Mobile; Robert Dietrich, Vice President, Global eCommerce, Pacific Market International; Lori Gatto, Vice President of Marketing, TomboyX; Jillian Scott, Senior Marketing Manager, Acquisition & Retention, Le Tote; and Eugene Kilberg, Brand and Agency Partnerships, Taboola

Expedia and HTC: Content as a Slow Burn
In a fireside chat, Expedia Group VP-Head of Content, Retail Nathan Lump

Talked about the importance of being patient enough to let content do its job, even when conversion metrics are looming. “Content can be a slow burn,” he said, “which is challenging when you’re focused on performance marketing. It takes a healthy mix of patience and experimentation to really see results.”

Nathan Lump, VP, Head of Content, Retail, Expedia Group

Justin Stone, Director-Global Social Media at HTC & HTC VIVE, echoed Lump’s point about patience and made the case for themed content series. “Our low hanging fruit at HTC is our day-to-day content, our foundational marketing initiatives. Or it’s offer messages, episodic on a quarterly basis. We’ll take three or four pieces of content that have a central theme and turn those on once a month. That keeps the story going.”

Justin Stone, Director, Global Social Media, HTC & HTC VIVE with Jason Adelman, VP, Strategy & Partnership Development, Brand Innovators Labs

Inclusive Microsoft & Amazon Auto Finding its Voice
Two marketers from MicrosoftAnika Kaulius, Director of Acquisition Marketing-Commercial Products and Tracey Craft, Group Marketing Manager, Brand Content Studio, Cloud + Enterprise–told the crowd how their brand uses principles of accessibility to drive more inclusive marketing. Craft urged brands to focus on qualitative testing with a diverse audience in order to get human feedback. “Accessibility should not,” she said, “be seen as an initiative or a checklist but rather as something that’s authentically and regularly integrated into the regular brand voice.”

Anika Kaulius, Director, Acquisition Marketing – Commercial Products, Microsoft and Tracey Craft , Group Marketing Manager, Brand Content Studio, Cloud + Enterprise, Microsoft

“Building inclusive behavior, diversity and acceptability into your marketing plan doesn’t have to be expensive,” said Kaulius, adding that brand positioning is important when approaching this. “Accessibility & inclusivity are part of Microsoft’s DNA so those values filter into our paid space. If we’re ‘pushing’ these values, our goal is to make sure it resonates well.”

Andrew Ashton, Consumer Marketing Lead for Alexa Auto at Amazon, told the audience how he’s helping to bring voice to new places. “Of course a big part of it is vehicles but we’re also putting Alexa Auto in motorcycle helmets and bicycles. My job is figuring out how to make that easy for people, teaching customers how to get value out of Alexa.”

Windstar Cruises and Premier Lacrosse League on Amplification
Marketing leaders from three brands sat for a panel focused on ways to amplify content, be it earned media or paid social. Victor Hernandez, Director of Digital Marketing, CRM & Social Media for Windstar Cruises said his team partners with PR on a frequent basis. “Our latest article went to Bloomberg and got hundreds of millions of impressions within a two-week time period. That was a tactical thing where we went to them and said, ‘Hey, we’re stretching our ship and we’ll give you this content if you’re willing to write an article on us.’ It worked.”

Panel on Amplification (L-R): Josh Marshall, Head of Partnerships, West & SW, Minute Media; Victor Hernandez, Director of Digital Marketing, CRM & Social Media, Windstar Cruises; Tyler Young, Senior Marketing Manager, Global Social Media, Brooks Running; Divya Goel, Head of Marketing, Premier Lacrosse League

Divya Goel, Head of Marketing for the Premier Lacrosse League, said that, when it comes to doing paid social, her brand is taking a cautious approach. “My budget is so strapped,” she said, “it forces me to see which platforms have the most measurable returns. Once I can see those and prove them out, then I can go get the extra budget to test platforms that are not as measurable.”


Divya Goel, Head of Marketing, Premier Lacrosse League

T-Mobile Brand Social Lead Ryan Rimsnider shared some great stories about how his company is using micro communities to build brand. When brands authentically connect to groups unified by passion points, Rimsnider said, good things happen. T-Mobile built micro communities around simple things like a love of fall (“Fall Year Round”) and worked with partners “so people could get their free Taco Bell or their 10 cents off gas or their $4 movie ticket.”

Ryan Rimsnider, Brand Social, T-Mobile (r) with Josh Marshall, Head of Partnerships, West & SW, Minute Media

“First, it’s a retention tool,” Rimsnider went on. “And now, because people look forward to it every Tuesday, it becomes an interest driver, an acquisition driver in the form of word of mouth. Then it’s ‘Share a photo of your prize.’ It creates this micro-community. They know they’re going to get something every Tuesday and they’re going to talk about it.”

Interested in our events?

RELATED STORIES

Brand Innovators Introduces On-Demand Livecast Library Via YouTube

Read More

Innovator Interviews: Riot Games’ Dan Sutton

Read More