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ad:tech Chicago Keynote: Building Brands in a Digital Age

Posted on Aug 7th, 2007
Written by TopRank Marketing
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    Note from Editor: TopRank Account Manager, Jolina Pettice recently attended the ad:tech conference in Chicago. Along with her formidable knowledge gathering and networking duties, Jolina is sharing notes and observations on a few of the sessions. Enjoy!

    The second keynote speech at ad tech Chicago included a panel of leading marketing folks discussing how to build great brands in the digital age.

    The panelists, including those below, shared their insight on building brands such as, Ponitac Sunfire, McDonalds and its recent collaboration with Shrek and the like:
    Marc Landsberg, President, Arc Worldwide
    Suzie Reider, Head of Advertising Sales,
    Tor Myhren, Executive Creative Director, Executive VP, Leo Burnett Detroit
    Robert Leverone, VP, Television, Dow Jones

    An overarching theme of ad:tech this week was how to engage prospects and consumer in conversation with company and/or client brands.

    Boyd Peterson, Senior VP, Consumer Research, Yankee Group Research who moderated the panel brought up a good point about consumers and their desire (or lack thereof) to communicate with brands. His point was that he doesn’t get up in the morning and think ‘man, I wish I could talk to my friend Coke today’.

    This point spurred conversation among the panel that highlighted consumers’ tendency to talk to their friends and families about brands, but not necessarily talk to the brand itself.

    As an example, Nike has created an online lounge where runners can talk, collaborate and share information about running and they do this by leveraging tools such as blogs and RSS feeds provided by Nike. This sets up a great scenario where consumers are talking to one another about running but Nike’s brand is kept top of mind because they are providing the tools to make it all possible.

    In terms of marketing and brand building with social media, social networks like MySpace and Facebook have provided an excellent platform for the creation of tools and widgets that allow brand enthusiasts to mashup, repurpose and spread topics of interest without direct interaction with the brand itself.

    A key lesson here is that engaging customers directly with brands will continue to give way to empowering customers to spread brand messages within their own networks by providing content and tools to enable conversations.