What does integrated marketing mean for San Antonio’s biggest brands?
Takeaways from our 1/31/19 #IntegratedInsights expert panel on integrated marketing.
A powerhouse panel of San Antonio marketing pros addressed UTSA students about all things integrated, from cutting through the clutter on social media and pivoting to meet the needs of your audience to getting back up after failure and finding your mentor.
Our panelists included Stephanie Guerra, Founder of Puro Pinche; Sandra Garcia, VP of Marketing for The DoSeum; Becky Kimbro, VP of Strategic Brand Engagement for Spurs Sports & Entertainment; and Connie Gonzalez, Director of Public Relations for Brooks and the discussion was moderated by Trish DeBerry, President and CEO of The DeBerry Group.
Takeaway #1: Integrated marketing is efficient.
For social media influencer and pioneer Stephanie Guerra, her business quite literally wouldn’t exist without integrated marketing. When she started her website in 2009 to address the deficit in local San Antonio culture in mainstream media, social media was still new, but she found a way to turn her brand into a business, serving as an advertising medium for local businesses who may not be able to afford traditional media.
At non-profit The DoSeum, non-traditional venues for advertising are much more attainable. Plus, Sandra Garcia and her team benefit from the targetability and purposefulness of digital marketing, something that you can’t always achieve with traditional routes.
The dynamic nature of non-traditional channels is appealing to Gonzalez and her team at Brooks since things are happening so quickly there.
“The beauty of digital content is you’re not sending out ads that are going to be stuck out there for six months or a year. You’re able to quickly huddle up and switch gears if you need to,” said Gonzalez.
Takeaway #2: Integrated understands and maximizes the shift of power between brand and consumer.
Becky Kimbro and her team at Spurs Sports & Entertainment have seen a profound role reversal in who actually has a hand in brand reputation. Fans have an incredible amount of input and influence on teams; more than ever before.
“Successful branding used to be what the brands told the audience that they were about, and now successful branding is about what your fans tell their friends,” said Becky.
Connie Gonzalez and her team at Brooks have also seen a shift. While their objective is to bring businesses to the development on San Antonio’s South Side, they have come to understand that the key is creating a community that businesses want to be part of. That means letting consumers tell the story of a new and growing Brooks in their own words.
“Our (consumer) audience has tapped into the Brooks brand, and now they’re promoting our hashtag and all the new, fun stuff that’s happening,” said Gonzalez. “We’ll post something and quickly the audience will start commenting and before our brand can answer a question, someone else has already answered the question for me.”
A shift in recent years from traditional campaigns to to an integrated campaign approach has allowed Brooks to give the reins to consumers and advocates, essentially selling the Brooks lifestyle themselves.
Takeaway #3: Thoughtful is better.
With the ease and low-cost of non-traditional advertising, whether on social media or through display ads across the web, it can be easy to crank out a ton of content without purpose, but our panel experts advocate a thoughtful approach.
While marketing the San Antonio Spurs, Kimbro’s team relies on the stories that come out of every game and every play, while always making sure that content operates within guardrails they have coined S.E.T.O.F.F. criteria: Story, Emotional, Team, Organic, Forward (-looking), Fans. This prioritizes telling a story about something versus just facts
“If we can pull out a story from a game that’s impactful, then we will,” said Kimbro. “We want to create a visceral reaction. Even when we are working with partners and
we’re working with branded content, we don’t want it to feel like a thirty-second ad for our partner. We want to create something that’s organic and authentic to our brand.”
With Puro Pinche, Stephanie always goes back to her brand and makes sure to show real San Antonians doing things that are true to our city. That’s how she “keeps things puro,” or authentic. This has meant showing more real, personal moments featuring herself on her channels, and not just the events, food or products she is experiencing.
“I try to be purposeful and let people share my experience,” said Guerra.
Takeaway #4: Learn from failure.
“Obviously all of you women are extremely successful,” asked a UTSA student in the audience. “But can you give advice on how to deal with failure?”
The consensus among all four panelists and our moderator: embrace it.
“You can’t be scared of failure. So what if you fail? There are great things that happen after you fail because there are so many lessons that you carry forward,” said DeBerry.
When you’re able to rise above the fear of failure and remind yourself that life is too short to live with regrets, the rewards are endless. Actually practicing this in the day-to-day can be difficult, of course, but it helps to have the right mindset.
“Anytime you start anything, always keep in mind that you’re going to learn something, either because it went as expected or because it didn’t. And sometimes that’s even better,” said Garcia.
Gonzalez’s advice is to learn from others’ failures and don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is where the benefit of having a mentor comes in, according to the panelists. If there’s someone whose career you admire, reach out to them. It’s a safe bet that they’d be more than willing to give you the guidance you’re looking for.
Stay tuned for more information on upcoming #IntegratedInsights events throughout 2019.