The calendar’s turn to December marks a quintessential time for many marketers to reflect back on the year that was, while keeping sight of the strategies they’ve already set for the forthcoming year. Since ‘tis the season of giving, AListDaily asked executives to give their insight into what they found to be the most important lessons, learnings and realizations each had in marketing over the course of 2017.
“That’s a very big question—I’ve learned a lot at Asics. This is the first time I’ve worked in this industry, so I’ve learned a lot about industry marketing. I’ve learned how much consumer behavior and consumption patterns are changing and dictating how nimble we need to be with marketing. Gone are the days of us talking at consumers—we need to adjust and modernize as we go. A lot of what I’m learning is how we test and learn in the digital space and try to make that strong connection back to sales, either from an in-store or e-commerce perspective.
“Secondly, [we’re learning] how we’re defining sponsorships and partnerships, making sure that we’re looking outside of what the traditional model looks like for most footwear and apparel companies, and focusing more on planning from a consumer perspective and where their passion points lie.”
—Sarah Bishop, vice president of marketing for Asics
“I’m not sure I had any great revelation in 2017. Rather, it reinforced my belief that—particularly with innovative technology—you cannot fall in love with the shiny new object. You must keep focused on the end goal rather than the technology itself and to the extent that it can help you realize that goal, it can be a powerful vehicle for delivering accelerated results.
“It’s vital that marketers share the goals and objectives of any significant investment in technology up front and across the enterprise so that there is support and alignment, or at least minimally an understanding of ‘why.’ Otherwise, marketers run the risk that business partners—for example sales—will see technology investments merely as play toys for marketers yearning to go to Cannes and collect trophies that might not add a drop of value to the shareholders.”
—Lee Applbaum, Patrón’s global chief marketing officer
“The promise of digital was not really fulfilled with all of the ad fraud in programmatic, and putting content against things that shouldn’t be there from a brand standpoint. [Brand safety concerns], efficiency and efficacy of digital marketing were major themes for marketers.”
—Nathan Tan, associate director of brand partnerships and experiences for Cadillac
“In my industry, it’s more obvious to me than ever that consumers are ready for a change. Traditional retail is declining; e-commerce is booming. Female-led businesses are at the forefront. Natural brands are overtaking conventional. People want to support businesses that match their values and shopping habits, and we’re seeing that born out in a dramatically evolving competitive landscape.”
—Michael Cammarata, co-founder & CEO of Schmidt’s Naturals
“Consumers want to be entertained. I think more brands are understanding that the new consumer is looking for experiences—not just products—and taking products and making them experiences then communicating that experience is where you win in the new market.”
—Joe Alexander, CEO and founder of Nest Bedding
“The power of product positioning. We’ve [been trying to] pioneer the modern stroopwafel category in the United States. So, making sure we position our brand and product in a way that is easily approachable, easily understood and connects with American culture is crucial to really establish a fast-growing company.”
—Rip Pruisken, co-founder of Rip Van Wafels
“Consumers today are willing to buy whatever and whenever, and you need to grab them by meeting them where they are.”
—Stefanie Reichert, Sennheiser’s director of American trade marketing
“For me, it was looking at social media and figuring out best strategies for platforms other than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. We all understand that social is important, and it’s there. But what about Spotify? I saw that some brands still haven’t figured out how use Spotify to market their brand. I think that there’s something there to reach millennials specifically—especially for our brand—which starting next year our Giulia and Stelvio will have Apple Car Play and Android Auto. I’m definitely keeping my eye on to see how we can use the platform to our advantage.”
—Katie Inderelst, head of Alfa Romeo marketing and communications