Jolina Pettice

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

Jolina Pettice     adtech, Online Marketing

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.

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  1. Allowing consumers to interact with the brand is the first step in the process of having the consumer truly own the brand (consumer as brand manager). Which for some reason many companies fear. Instead of fearing it and on top of building the brand, companies can take advantage of the wealth of knowledge in the insights produced by these conversations. This will allow them to KNOW WHAT TO CONTROL rather than fearing having NO CONTROL

  2. Would any one be willing to please share the current attendees list of contacts from OMMA (East and West), Ad:Tech (NYC, S.F and Chicago), Brand Summit, and Affiliate Summit? And or any other important Online/Interactive Conference!

    Mike DeVolder
    [email protected]


  1. […] Building A Brand For People To Take Advantage Another thing about branding is that people might just take it for granted and they would come in to use the tools as though the tools belong to them!  Take a look of this blog talking about building brands in a digital age.  I think the perfect example comes with the famous blogs all around us… Where they can boast about their huge readership and subscription, these readers are actually taking advantage of what the bloggers have to offer and to use it like their own!  People like John Chow and Darren Rowse don’t seem to be unfamiliar to you where you see people participating, reading where the people in figures are counted with more zeros at the back than any other blogs! With over thousands of readers and comments altogether in just a single blog itself! […]