Archive for the ‘Marketing’ tag

3 Key Learnings from Digital Summit Atlanta 2015

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Digital Summit Atlanta, a gathering of some of the most forward thinkers in digital marketing, took place this week and I was proud to make it my 3rd time in attendance. Each year I have been able to discover new topics and discuss the next trends in digital marketing.

Overall, each year has followed its own theme as digital marketing as a whole evolves so quickly. In 2013, trends in how social media was changing for brands was explored in a lot of sessions. Last year it shifted to a major focus on content marketing and SEO. Now, at #DSUM15, the next stage in UX (User Experience) design seemed to be the key focus.

And with that, here are three key takeaways from the conference as it can relate to what we do in the experiential space…

1. Humanizing UX

Many of the sessions at Digital Summit really focused on UX as we were challenged to think of what was next in the field. For example, how do we run UX more lean and understand better, powered with ‘big data’, how to humanize someone’s digital experience. When we map out the consumer journey – remember that each user is an actual person with problems and needs.

When you look at bring a consumer through a brand experience for experiential this line of thinking makes a lot of sense, right? It is our expertise to bring brands to life in a way that they can interact with consumers as people and not anonymous IP addresses. However many activation designs we see in the field could do a better job from at the ideation stage to keep in mind that once launched, these are people with their own objectives who will walk through our ideas.

So when thinking through your consumer experience idea, map it out. Literally draw out each stage of the activation UX and use this tool to identify where the gaps are or more importantly, where it can be more streamlined.

2. Millennials are mobile-first…and are starting to earn a lot of money

When you hear the word “millennials” – how old of a person pops in your mind? Probably an early-20-something with new student debt maybe? Well consider that millennials are were born starting in 1980 and now are entering their mid-30s. Sure there is probably a healthy amount of debt still lingering – but this generation is now entering over a $Trillion in buying power and loves to spend.

So with all of this data we now have on the ‘Connected Generation’ – what have we learned about marketing to them? It’s a long answer but here are two quick tips from @annieg from StumbleUpon.

First, “6 is the new 60” – as in the 6” phone is more important than the 60” TV. Now that doesn’t mean the generation is consumer less video – in fact it’s more than ever. But reportedly 33% do not watch any broadcast TV.

Second, it seems obvious that millennials are connected to their mobile devices, sure, but how many experiences are being built mobile-first? When we consider social, if you stop to think why they are so effective with the connected generation it’s not just because they are social – but because the most popular experiences are mobile-first. Snapchat, Instagram, Vine…some of the most powerful platforms for the younger Millennials have excelled by being native to the 6” screen. So consider mobile-first experiences to connect and make an engagement that this group wants to use. After all, it is why the younger Millennials are now being known as Social Natives.

3. The Entrepreneur Wants to Solve a Problem

I heard a great line this year and it came during a keynote speaker Chris Brogan, whose content I highly recommend. To summarize:

Stop chasing innovation, which aims to just do something.

Be an entrepreneur, which aims to solve someone’s problem.

While this is absolutely a trap in creating the latest in digital experiences, it is also a trap in experiential marketing. Brands and agencies alike all want to innovate and create and truly great new things are activated in our space every year. But when coming up the ideas for the experience on the front end, don’t just try to chase an innovation for the sake of doing it. Instead, identify an audience’s problem and solve it. That is where the entrepreneurship mindset excels and where experiential marketing can truly make an in-person impact on someone.

If you are ever free in May, I highly recommend Digital Summit. This is only a small snipet of content from the 2-day conference. I still have to go through pages upon pages of notes but in the meantime, enjoy the learnings and feel free to find me @BradMEpstein if you want to go through my timeline where I shared some more real-time leanrings!

Bonus! PowerPoint is where data goes to die!

If you work with data (you should!) treat it as a living, breathing source. PowerPoint it becomes static and if 2015 taught me anything – is that static is kryptonite for the modern marketer. So learn new tools that keep you agile and keep your brand’s marketing velocity as fast as possible.

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DICK’S Sporting Goods Taps MKTG INC as Agency-of-Record

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DICK’S Sporting Goods, the largest U.S.-based sporting goods retailer with more than 600 locations has chosen MKTG INC as its Event, Community and Experiential Agency-of-Record. We are tasked with providing strategy, planning, account management, as well as sponsorship activation of the 2015 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, line-of-business expansion development and ongoing integration and positioning of community marketing managers.

“We have been working with MKTG for well over a year on several projects and have been so impressed with how, from strategy through to execution, they consistently over-deliver,” said Mark Rooks, DICK’S Sporting Goods Vice President of Sports and Community Marketing. “This is a really exciting time at DICK’S as we roll out several sponsorships and consumer and business-facing programs that MKTG will help us bring to market. We could not be more thrilled with our selection.”

“We are so proud of our great success and influence within the retail, sports, entertainment and community-building space over the years and have truly enjoyed working with DICK’S in helping them think differently about their sponsorship and engagement executions,” said Charlie Horsey, CEO, MKTG INC. “DICK’S Sporting Goods is loved by people of all ages, which makes developing strategies, to engage consumers and the DICK’S community so exciting by leveraging both digital tools and live activations that resonate.”

The account will lead by Kevin Collins, GM of MKTG’s Chicago office and the core team will include members form across the agency’s US footprint.

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Guest Q&A: Stephanie Rudnick

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rudnick bw headshot

For this month’s Guest Column, we sat down with Stephanie Rudnick, MKTG INC’s new SVP, Marketing Communications. An almost 20-year industry veteran, Stephanie shares her thoughts and expertise on the world of PR and experiential marketing, MKTG and the best advice she’s ever received.

What will your role be here at MKTG INC?
I’ll be developing and managing all aspects of the company’s communication strategy and practice, including media and industry relations, external communications and brand management.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Carpe diem” –  Live each day as if it were your last. It’s something I’ve lived by since learning about it in elementary school from my favorite English teacher.

How did you get into PR?
When I decided on my major, it was WAY before PR was as widely understood as it is today. I spent a lot of time working with non-profits in high school in Chicago and loved when the media would come to our events and publicize our causes. When I learned that I could study journalism with a PR focus, it just felt right. I went to college at USC in Los Angeles because I wanted to study in a major city where my teachers were working professionals in my field, but also because the location would offer me access to a wide array of internships. I was lucky enough to have internships every semester – from beauty to music to technology to entertainment and celebrity publicity – which helped expose me to how different PR can be depending on the client. Since then, I’ve done pretty much every kind of PR across a ton of verticals, both agency and in-house. Now that I’m older, one of my favorite things is to mentor young people who are interested learning how to navigate the business and continue to help them along throughout their careers.

What publications or websites do you find most relevant to your career?
It’s part of my job to read, read, read and do my best to stay on top of what’s going on in our industry and in general. So, I start my day with a scan of Twitter, which helps me get a handle quickly on the news of the day. Then, first thing at work, I go old-school and get my hands dirty tearing through the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.  I also read the hard copy of the Sports Business Journal and the SBJ’s three daily e-newsletters, as well as MediaPost, EM, Adweek and AdAge. The list goes on and on.

What are some of your favorite work experiences?
I’m so grateful that my job has afforded me so many amazing experiences. I’ve been able to travel around the globe, working, and experiencing working in other cultures. One of the craziest experiences was in Beijing, when just hours before a press conference I was organizing, a friend tipped me off that if I wanted the media to actually publish/broadcast something, I had to give them a gift and CASH. For real. That was fun to have to explain to finance why the company owed me thousands of CNYs in cash and for T-shirts from the hotel gift shop! I also have to share that one of my all-time favorite nights at work was in 2012 at the NFL Draft when my client, Andrew Luck, was drafted first. It was so crazy and exciting and anxiety-inducing being backstage with Andrew and his family and all of the other draftees and their families, waiting for “the call” from the teams. Not sure that will ever happen again, unless my son decides that’s the route he wants to take…urgh.

Who have been your favorite clients?
That’s a hard one but I would say that working with the totally courageous and amazing NBA center Jason Collins was a highlight of my career.

What are your favorite apps?
Amazon, Uber, Starbucks, SportsCenter, Swarm, American Airlines,, Fitbit, WeatherBug, WhatsApp, FlightTracker, OpenTable, Seamless, Timehop and Tile.

What are three things you can’t travel without?
Earplugs, a flat-iron and my Philips Sonicare toothbrush

When not at the office, where are we most likely to find you? (Not that we’ll be looking, of course.)
At home in Battery Park or running around downtown Manhattan with my husband Duncan, and kids Charlie (2 1/2) and Matilda (5 months). And probably reading.

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What’s in Your Wallet, Deb?

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Have you looked at your business card recently? If not you should. MKTG INC’s cards are known for their unique perspective and purpose (the latter being expressly to embarrass their bearer, natch). This column takes a look at the business cards of our coworkers and hears the stories behind them. Here’s the story behind the business card of Deb Friar, SVP, Business Development in MKTG INC’s Cincinnati office.

You won’t meet many people who love both technology AND being a beachcomber, but Deb is not known as a person who typically takes the traditional route.
From retail management (Target) to brand marketing (Pepsi) to technology marketing services biz dev (Catalina) and from Minnesota (the tundra) to Florida (the beach!) – my path has been anything but traditional.

That trait is especially clear in how she helps her clients see beyond traditional marketing to adopt bolder, community-driven programming.
Clients take the safe route by doing what they’ve done before. It’s the role of biz dev to remove the risk associated with trying something new. It takes patience and perseverance to build trust with prospective clients. I’m fortunate to work with the best and brightest in the world of marketing!

Just don’t ever try to bury her in the sand.
I’m like other biz dev folks – we rise to the challenge!

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#Rule40: How Olympic Sponsorship Rules Failed, And What It Means For Marketing

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3000938-poster-942-how-olympic-sponsorship-rules-failed-and-what-it-means-marketingPhoto Credit: Flickr user Charles McCain

The Olympics are over, but the aftermath of Rule #40 rolls on. Check out Charlie Horsey’s take on the subject in his latest piece for Fast Company here.

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Gary DeJesus Shares His Expert Perspective On Online Communities

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DeJesusPhoto Credit: Ryan Beickert

Gary DeJesus, MKTG INC’s Senior VP of Corporate Development, advises how to make your online communities more effective in Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s blog, All Things WOM.

Exactly how do you do it? Click here to get his advice, tips, and more!

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

July 6th, 2012 at 5:54 pm

MKTG INC’s Intern Max Krauss Shares Experience in AgencySpy

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MAKE THE RULESPhoto Credit: Rob Lotzko

On June 23, MKTG INC’s own summer intern, Max Krauss, attended NIKE’s “Celebration of Sport” at Pier 46 in NYC for the 40th Anniversary of Title IX.  AgencySpy picked up on this and featured Max as their very first blogger for their new column titled “A Day in the Life of a Summer Intern.”  Be sure to read all about his experience and find out the lessons learned when going behind-the-scenes of an event here.

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

July 6th, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Pop Ups That Really Pop

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PopUp2Photo Credit: Ric Edwards

Can you imagine sitting in chair that looks like a spinning top? How about being surrounded by 30 male models dressed in designer suits while getting a complimentary shoe shine? Thanks to the Herman Miller Pop Up Shop in SoHo and the MR PORTER Pop Up Shop in Meatpacking, I was able to experience both.

The Herman Miller Pop Up Shop, which is open until July 1, features luxuriously detailed furniture vignettes throughout the 6,000 square-foot space.  Located at 68 Wooster Street (between Spring and Broome), the shop tells stories of the past and present while inspiring professional designers, consumers, and commercial users.

Through furnishings for the home, office and exterior spaces, the Herman Miller collection reintroduces familiar classics and forgotten masterpieces to a new generation of design lovers. As Design Director George Nelson envisioned in 1952, Herman Miller’s collection should be “the continuing creation of a permanent collection designed to meet fully the requirement for modern living.” If you want to experience the timelessness of the collection first hand, I suggest getting out there this weekend and seeing it for yourself!

After getting dizzy in Herman Miller’s iconic Magis Spun chair, I headed over to the MR PORTER Pop Up Shop at 72 Gansevoort Street, which brought the online menswear destination to life in partnership with USA network’s show, Suits. The store, titled “Suits & Style,” closed on June 17 and had the feel of a masculine, metropolitan lounge.

MR PORTER brought their online experience to the store with large interactive touch-screen monitors that allowed you to play around and create your own looks–what’s the harm in virtually trying on $2,000 cufflinks? Just in case you were in the mood to splurge, your order could be processed right there in the store for delivery. If that wasn’t enough to spark your interest, there was personal grooming services provided by Aesop (and a free java bar!).

It’s safe to say that no matter who you are, the MR PORTER Pop Up Shop would have ‘suited’ you.

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

June 28th, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Charlie Horsey Gives His Expert Opinion on Gen-Yers in Fast Company

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inline-you-are-not-special-graduatesPhoto Credit: Flickr user Max Elman

If you think you’re special, think again! In today’s Fast Company, MKTG INC’s President & CEO Charlie Horsey gives his expert opinion on how Gen-Yers can (and should) improve in the “real world.”  He suggests delivering your authentic best to the workplace and truly enjoying the ride along the way.  After all, we know a phony when we see one…

Be sure to read the full article here and discover how enriching your life will ultimately make you a better employee.

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

June 27th, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Build Your Brand By Not Talking About It… huh?

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londol-olympics-coca-colaPhoto Credit:

We sometimes talk about brands as though their brand equity can be bought and sold. Recently WPP valued Apple at $183 billion where as Omnicom Interbrand valued the company at $33 billion. McDonalds placed second in one and first in the other. Let’s agree on one thing – these reports do nothing for how a consumer perceives a brand or have the brand does overall in building a strong following.

In a recent Fast Company article by Brian Millar, a strategy director at Sense Worldwide, he gave brands some unusual advice. When building your brand, stop talking about your brand!

For example, when was the last time Apple did a pure brand ad? 15 years ago? Instead the company positions the products as the heroes.

On the flip side, Coca-Cola, after years of focusing on brand building, the company lost touch with what consumers were actually drinking. The company has refocused their effort on design and increased their value.

Millar dares brands to stop talking about themselves for a month. Is this silent treatment a good idea? Check out the full article here.

I encourage you to check out the full article here. We sometimes talk about brands as though their value can be bought and sold. Recently WPP valued Apple at $183 billion where Omnicom Interbrand valued the company at $33 billion. If anything constructive comes out of these reports, one thing is that these valuations mean nothing to how well the brand is perceived by consumers.
An interesting Fast Company article by Brian Millar, a strategy director at Sense Worldwide, gave brands some good advice. When building your brand, stop talking about your brand!
For example, when was the last time Apple did a pure brand ad? 15 years ago? The company began positioning products as the heroes.
Or look at Coca-Cola, after years of focusing on brand building, the company lost touch with what consumers were actually drinking. The company has refocused that effort and increased their value.
I encourage you to check out the full article here.
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Written by Admin

June 19th, 2012 at 7:00 pm