Live From MozCon 2015: Dana DiTomaso

DISCLAIMER: This post is written as a live blog from Mozcon.  There may be typos and grammar to make my high school English teachers weep.  Please excuse those … it’s a fast=paced conference with back-to-back sessions and no time for proofing or even proper writing.

Dana DiTomaso from KickPoint.ca takes the stage to talk about making your message match reality.  It’s an interesting subject to discuss – the separation on marketing message vs the deliverable.

She talks about a client she worked with.  Her efforts in PPC worked well to increase conversions however and issue with deliverables resulted in a client writing tons of bad reviews about them.  Their failure to address the issue saw a drop in conversions and an increase in searches for “brand sucks”.  Internally the company passed the buck with marketing failing to address the issue as it was a deliverables issue.  That company a lot of money in the months following where it would have cost a couple thousand dollars to address.

Next she’s talking about WestJet and the success fo their Christmas marketing campaigns as well as the “agressive friendliness” of western Canadians.  Talking about the campaign wherein they opted for a viral campaign where they purchased gifts for all their travelers.  An amazing ad.  She then discusses the cheesy “dad jokes” and the telling of a sexist joke.  This threw off a lot of travelers and broke with the consistency of what everyone has come to expect.  A big takeaway – people like consistency.  Be consistent in marketing and delivery and in the message sent.

A great slogan she used: good marketing feels right.  I’ll be remembering that.  According to Dana – this is why we need brand strategy and with the speed of the Internet – this is why digital marketers should lead that strategy.

She now moved on to action items and building your own strategy.  Her tips:

– Start with core values and brainstorm
– Insure it’s consistent (if you ask 100 people … will there be a consistent answer?)
– Think about why past strategies didn’t work
– Get the C-Level on board. A tale of warning – when the C-Level controls the messaging the C-Level is the only person that the outside world wants to work with.  To build a brand voice and not be he brand, owners need to allow others in the company to be a presence and reinforce the brand and not the individual.
– Write a brand is/is-not list.  Need 2 is, 2 is not, 2 will be.  Not 4, 2.  If you’re an outside agency, do not influence the decision.  Let the people who work at the company focus on what they are and work to help build hat brand identity.
– Define the voice and tone.  You now have your message – it’s time to define how it’s presented.
– Get HR on board.  HR can help insure that people that come in will ally with the brand starategy.  Perhaps avoid sexist jokes being told on planes.
– Build the statement.
– Keep it simple.  This is something thta would be conveyed in 15 seconds.

Next we’re chatting implementation:

– McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” is one of the most successful and long-running strategies.  It is going very well internationally but poorly in North America for a variety of reasons.  Globally however it is working well because they hired brand strategist in each reason to translate the strategy and verbiage to work with each audience.
– Differentiate your voice.  Copying what you’ve heard will dilute the voice and may only reinforce a competitors branding.
– Make sure that your social strategy and voice with customers is specific and matches what the experience will be in the store.
– Customer loyalty is important.  Cell phone providers giving deals to new customers but not people who’ve been with them for years is a horrible idea.  Personal note by Dave: the same thing ticks me off about TD Bank promotions.
– WestJet is taking a crash-course in brand management with multiple bomb-scares over the past few weeks.  They are staying on helping every client wile dealing with a major set of issues.
– You are a coach.  You are not in place to police the brand, you are there to help teach people how to represent it properly.

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