Today I’m pleased to introduce a regular SmartBlog feature called If You Can Get to Just 1. Each month we will select from scores of upcoming social media events and will feature the one we feel will be most beneficial to SmartBrief on Social Media e-newsletter readers.
This month’s featured event, IAB Social Media Marketplace, takes place Monday, May 18 in New York. It brings together brand marketers, ad agencies and publishers to discuss which social media channels work and how success is measured. I recently reached out to one of the key presenters, Sarah Hofstetter, vice president of emerging media and client strategy at 360i, to get a preview of her keynote conversation with Marc Fonzetti, Internet specialist for Reckitt Benckiser.
Merritt: Of all your clients, why did you choose Reckitt as the brand to feature at the upcoming IAB Marketplace?
SARAH: Oftentimes marketers hear about broader social marketing success stories (Burger King, Dove) and are frightened by the daunting task and run away, given the immense challenges of internal education, buy-in, etc. So for IAB Social Media Marketplace, we thought marketers would prefer to hear from a large multi-brand CPG marketer that is on the cusp of diving into social media for the first time, today.
How are you working with Reckitt to change minds internally about marketing via social media?
Education is key. Marc Fonzetti, Internet Specialist at Reckitt (and co-keynoter at IAB), sees the amazing opportunities for all of Reckitt’s brands to benefit from social marketing and its ability to spark advocacy, drive loyalty and amplify messaging. Whether it’s reaching teens with Clearasil, young men with Frank’s Hot Sauce, boomers with Mucinex or moms with Airwick, Marc understands the need to customize experiences based on how each of these groups behave online. But socializing that internally and getting buy-in was much harder. At the IAB Social Media Marketplace, Marc will speak to some history on marketing initiatives, the impetus to start evaluating social marketing, how a company as established and reputable as Reckitt educated their teams internally across each brand and their marketing teams, got buy-in, and are now ultimately incorporating social marketing into their programs.
Are companies new to social media behind the curve at this point?
Not at all. In fact, with the rapid growth of user-generated content and social media, many brands were so eager to jump into the marketplace that they took a “bright shiny object” approach, were dazzled by buzzwords and didn’t think about how their programs tied into their overall marketing objectives, and made some pretty ugly and public mistakes. Now is a fantastic opportunity for brands to not only learn from those mistakes but take a disciplined, smart approach to social marketing, understanding how to motivate and engage audiences in their environments, resulting in advocacy, preference, sharing and loyalty.