Last Tuesday, AgencySparks put another successful marketers breakfast in the books. Because AgencySparks is all about making connections between agency-side marketers and client-side marketers, Valentine’s Day represents the perfect opportunity for both sides to undergo some serious “couple’s therapy.”
The relationship between marketing agencies and their clients has always been notoriously disconnected. Marketers are known as masters of mass communication, yet ironically, many are amateurs when it comes to communicating with one another. So for this Valentine's event, AgencySparks aimed to address some of the common issues marketers face on both sides of the industry.
Prior to AgencySparks’ Valentine’s-themed Couple’s Therapy breakfast, we sent out a survey to all attendees, asking each of them to describe a marketing problem for which they needed some “therapy”. This helped set the framework for the actual Couple’s Therapy session, which we (appropriately) held on the morning of Valentine’s Day, from 8:00-9:30 AM in the private room at Empire State South.
As a result of this pre-event survey, there were a few questions for which marketers needed the most “therapy”:
- How do you build an influencer program where you are not just throwing money at people?
- What are the best practices for social, video, and email for a specific audience?
- How do you go about delivering content before, during, and after events?
- How can marketers measure the success of a given marketing initiative?
The event began as a low-key networking session, where attendees enjoyed a delicious breakfast and hot coffee, courtesy of Empire State South. The actual couple’s therapy began around 8:30 AM. Although the pre-event survey provided structure for the conversation, much of the insights came organically from the attendees.
How do you build an influencer program where you are not just throwing money at people?
Advice from Danica Kombol - CEO of Everywhere Agency - Social Media & Influencer Marketing:
- Do NOT throw money at just anyone. Instead, find a person that has a natural affinity for your brand.
- It’s not all about the number of followers. It’s about seeking out those who already appreciate your brand.
- She also added that influencer marketing is a new form of public relations and is a great way to get out your brand story.
What are the best practices for social, video, and email for a specific audience?
Advice from Jolean Olson - Scenic Road - Video Marketing Agency:
- For video especially, it’s important to determine the audience first, and to speak to that audience in a relevant and authentic voice.
- Understanding the channel/platform that the content will be promoted on will inform you on how long it should be/what the tone should be.
- Timelines continue to get shorter and shorter - if you’re worried about getting your message across in such a short amount of time, consider switching platforms (for example from YouTube to Instagram or Facebook).
How do you go about delivering content before, during, and after events?
Advice from Moira Vetter - CEO of Modo Modo Agency - Creative Strategy Agency:
- Stop thinking about before, during, and after events. Instead, go back to the broader strategies of your customer base and find continuity.
- Think about event marketing as a means to move a prospect down a path. At the front end, you’re reaching people and trying to pull them into the path. Once you pull them in, you segment your audience during the event, and then continue to segment them after the event.
Advice from Maureen Brown - Group Account Director of PM3 - Multicultural Agency
- Make sure your brand’s setup at an event matches the overall culture of the event. As a sponsor, you’re invading the space of event attendees, so it’s good to attract people by blending in.
Advice from Danica Kombol - CEO of Everywhere Agency - Social Media and Influencer Marketing Agency:
- Build excitement by leveraging social media to show behind-the-scenes footage of all of the events that lead up to the actual event. Facebook Live is a great platform for this.
Advice from Nico du Plessis - CMO of Parkmobile:
- Think about customer journey leading up to the event. Ask yourself: What consumer problem are we trying to solve? And how are we going to solve it with our event?
Advice from Mark Pettit - CEO of Creaxion - PR and Cause Marketing Agency:
- Attack a problem that your audience faces by becoming “the face in the space” or a subject matter expert
How can marketers measure the success of a given marketing initiative?
Advice from Jason Prance - Swarm Agency (SEO/PPC/Analytics):
- Give insights as well as numbers.
- Provide a real-time dashboard.
- Determine the cadence and format of reporting with the stakeholders involved.
Advice from Colleen Romero - Director of Digital Marketing for SiteOne:
- Create an “analytics regimen” that suits the parties involved. As an example, for high-level executives, monthly dashboards with a few key performance indicators (KPIs) can properly inform while building trust and preventing micromanagement.
- Find data scientists who are critical thinkers and tell the truth to the core. It’s better to get the unvarnished truth first and then figure out how to communicate it to stakeholders.
Advice from Steve Denker - Director of Marketing - Turner Classic Movies and FilmStruck
- Benchmarks are so important to include. History provides context.
Advice from Moira Vetter - CEO of Modo Modo Agency - Creative Strategy Agency
- Charts can be beautiful and complex, but if no one knows what they mean… they’re useless.
- Percentage shifts aren’t as important as the hard numbers.
- Pull points into your reports, but leave space for the insights.
- If you don’t consistently report on the same metrics, you eliminate any possibility of a trendline emerging.
- Track things that are going on in the market around you.
Advice from Mark Pettit - Creaxion Agency - PR and Cause Marketing Agency:
- Trying to create a data report without knowing your percentage of market share is like going to a football game and not knowing the score. You need to know where you are, where your competitors are, and then where you need to go.
Advice from Jeff Perkins - CMO - QASymphony:
- At the end of the day, reporting is nothing but internal content marketing - so you should approach it like you would approach content marketing. Test the messaging and gauge the reaction you get from stakeholders, then adjust your messaging accordingly.
So many great insights from this breakfast! A special thanks to everyone who came out for our Agency-Client Couple’s Therapy, as well as a big thank you to Empire State South for hosting.