New Marketing Summit: Brand and Reputation

by Kate Brodock on 14 October 2008

Posted in: Conferences & Events

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[Check out Anya's wrap up of Session Two - World Wide Rave: Creating triggers that get millions of people to spread your ideas and share your stories]

Session Three: Brand and Reputation

Panelists: Adam Broitman, Director of Strategy and Ringleader of Crayon; Bobbie Carlton, Director of Marketing of Beacon Street Girls; Stacy DeBroff, Founder and CEO of Mom Central

Chris: Comments on the conversational aspect of a blog?  What do you do when people say bad things?

Adam: Use those negatives to your advantage, accept it and work with it.  Address it when it happens.

Chris: Bobbie, what’s your experience rolling out technology for both tweens and other demographics?

Bobbie: Several different sites, and just try to get tweens to be quiet!  We have to be aware of the parents as well, you don’t want them to veto it.  The success stories in teenage marketing today are things like webkins or Club Penguin, you have to talk to the kids on a level that they understand and has the “cool factor”, but you get the trust of the parents.

Chris: Stacy, how do you advise brands to get into the waters of moms and children?

Stacy: Understand what’s happening in terms of trends, and speak that language.  You can’t isolate your kids from a “world” (internet) that you don’t know.  How do we raise awareness with kids?  Who are you listening to and responding to?  Brands are used to talking down, and they can’t do that any more.  Talk about things on customers’ levels.

Chris: Adam, Tyson brands themselves as the number one source of protein in the world.  What do you recommend to them?

Adam: Point them to some of the brands using new media now (Richard at Dell, Comcastcares, etc).  Then point them at the brands doing a terrible job (British Airways and brands not following people back on Twitter).  Social media is a commitment, not a campaign.  Commit to providing value.

Chris: Bobbie, with regards to brands, tweens may be the hardest demographic to cater to.  What do you advise people who want to get into that demographic?

Bobbie: Beacon Street Girls is mission driven, a mom who wanted to do something positive for tweens.  Tweens want to be on a lot of social networks, but they can’t yet legally.  Facebook isn’t appropriate yet.  We provide them a nice corralled, safe area for them.  Parent’s provide the wallet, and kids provide the enthusiasm, and they stick around.  Add features that are inline with your brand and keep the experience rich.

Chris: Stacy, Mom Central focuses on blogger outreach.  What’s your advice to people who want to do this?  And what would you suggest to bloggers to respect brands?

Stacy: There’s a favoring of metatags, linking, etc.  Bloggers, by nature, are speaking out of passion in an authentic voice and speaking to an audience that care what you’re writing about.  If you have something to say, you can build a platform off of that.  Bloggers speak their mind.  A lot of brands think they’re in a minefield, what if someone says something bad?  Bloggers don’t like to be uninformed solicitation, they get annoyed.  Brands are trying to attract bloggers to talk about them and the bloggers are intrigued.  Engagement with bloggers is not about driving traffic, but using them to help set the story about your brand, the story will live forever on these search engines.  They are a vehicle for brand awareness.

Chris: Adam, about storytelling, what do you advise people in this regard?

Adam: It isn’t necessarily about the specific tools, it’s still about strategy (shocker, we said that a while ago!).  Here’s a new channel that we can do a lot of the same things on.  In the modern storytelling world, you have to take a distributed web strategy, you can’t expect people to find you.  You need to be where they are.  Barack Obama is everywhere!  Your distributed web strategy should consist of probably 5-10 outposts.

Chris: Bobbie, how do you reach the tweens?

Bobbie: BSG is the real world for tweens.  We get the most traffic going to places where teenage girls go.  Once they got to our rich world, they stayed.  They start with a casual game, and reach us and we offer a very enhanced experience that they stick with.  We use other mediums minimally.

Chris: Stacy, where have you found the most success and the least success in connecting to Moms?

Stacy: Brands are talking in places that aren’t populated by people they want to target.  You have to talk to influencers and not just moms (experts in the field, websites, bloggers).  Think about where the influencers are hanging out.  Where do you park yourself and what do you do about it?  How are you reaching people and what are you trying to do?  The great thing about Twitter is the connectivity: someone connects to you and you get interested in who they are or what they’re about.  Find the natural places that moms populate, it’s hard to artificially create that.  What tools do they use?

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