SBD/March 23, 2012/Events and Attractions

Marketers, Brand Managers Face Challenge Of Navigating Multiplatfom

In the world of evolving markets and media, marketers to bankers to carmakers to hoteliers are navigating myriad platforms to get the message out. Panelists discussed the best approach to multiplatform during a Thursday session at the IMG World Congress of Sports hosted by SBJ/SBD in Dana Point, Calif. Hyundai Motor America VP/Marketing Steven Shannon said the most dauting challenge “is the explosion in media channels and distribution channels. In the car business, TV is still important, print is hanging in there, but the explosion in social and digital and optimizing all of those and trying to measure all of those is probably the biggest overall challenge that we face.” Hilton Worldwide Senior VP/Global Customer Marketing Jeff Diskin said, “Part of the challenge of running a marketing organization is getting everybody to actually be on point, to be focused across the vision you set out as to how you’re going to reach your target segments of customers and not be distracted by a hundred different ways that you can reach out to them. But at the same time, also being a listening post and finding the new points of innovation that you should be part of.” Another challenge that the marketers face, Diskin said, is that customers are more engaged and more in charge. “We’re used to an environment where you could direct the conversation,” he said. “You could indicate what was important. You could control it. We have to embrace the horror that the customer is in charge.”

FINANCIAL CALCULATORS: The financial world has had its own challenges in the last few years, and Citi and Capital One are addressing those concerns in their marketing efforts. Citi Chief Brand Officer Dermot Boden said, “One of the challenges I face in an industry that’s been fairly beaten up, perhaps more than many others, is how do I convince the organization to invest behind our brand, to invest in a way that’s building the brand and not just sort of coldly selling product but building an emotional connection.” Capital One Senior VP/Brand Marketing Marc Mentry said, “The whole thing with consumers is that they shifted to trusting each other instead of trusting us as marketers. How do we harness that? It’s a big, big challenge for us. If you look at any survey, you’ll see that they will trust a stranger to tell them about a brand rather than real facts that we’re putting out there for them. It’s a tough challenge.”

QUICK HITS: 
Boden, on Citi sponsoring the USOC: “We’ve done a lot of research to understand how we can bring this to life in the U.S. I think it’s important that we don’t artificially insinuate ourselves into the conversation. We haven’t earned that right. Other brands have. It is ultimately about establishing ourselves back as a brand that people can trust.”

Diskin: “I like the Olympics sponsorship and it’s my favorite for activation because it’s not singular. As a marketer, you have different objectives, but mostly you’re looking for engagement, and the Olympics works with what our values are.”
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