In her role as Media Director, Digital Innovation Specialist at Women’s Marketing, Elissa Brown is responsible for integrating cutting-edge technologies and best-in-class digital partners into effective media strategies. She’s a dynamic force of nature at the agency, whether reporting back from SXSW or working personally with clients to consistently ensure their goals are met. To find out what else a Digital Innovation Specialist does, we let Elissa tell us, in her own words.
Women’s Marketing: Tell us about your role as Digital Innovation Specialist.
Elissa Brown: In addition to leading my team’s strategic planning, I research industry trends and first-to-market opportunities that would make sense for new and existing clients. My goal is to uncover the most exciting innovations in digital, educate our clients, and create best-in-class experiences for them. I also educate the internal Women’s Marketing team on industry trends and new digital partners, technologies, and channels, such as virtual and augmented reality, on the horizon.
Women’s Marketing: Mobile is becoming increasingly important for brands. What new technologies are you excited about?
Elissa Brown: When you look at mobile consumption, it’s blowing desktop away. Recently, I read that users are spending 88% of their time on smartphones in apps instead of browsers. I am finding that beauty brands either want to integrate into existing apps or develop their own to create an immersive experience for the consumer where they can test, try, and, ultimately, purchase products. Social apps will continue to be an essential place for brands to create relationships with consumers. Also, mobile location targeting is going to be critical for brands to drive consumers in store. We constantly meet with vendors to assess their offerings and continue to test and learn with partners. As time goes on, I see the targeting tactics continuously evolving, creating tangible results for brands using mobile to drive sales at brick-and-mortar stores.
Women’s Marketing: Do you see these new innovations as being important for brands to increase awareness, sales, or both?
Elissa Brown: I think it’s definitely both. It’s about the whole experience for the consumer and their journey from awareness and consideration, to trial, to becoming loyal to the brand. When speaking with our current and potential partners, I always stress the importance of thinking about the consumer and interacting with her in an engaging, informative way that provides value and ultimately drives conversion. If we do that, the consumer will recognize it as authentic and valuable and continue to support the brand. Of course, we want to have fun with consumers along the way and continue to be open to testing and learning.
Women’s Marketing: Beyond traditional ads, what are some other interesting advertising strategies for brands?
Elissa Brown: It’s all about developing the right strategy for the client. For those open to taking risks, virtual and augmented reality are technologies that I’m really excited to test this year with beauty clients. Ulta and Refinery29 are doing a really great job in this space and discovering that if they provide a really fun, interactive experience for consumers, it will go a long way.
We also want to make sure that when both sales and awareness are the client’s objectives, we have the right mix and media allocation down the funnel that will make brands succeed. Taking this “brandsactional” approach to our strategy on, and offline, and making sure that all aspects of the plan work synergistically is something that we are focused on this year. The most successful brands are those that look at all channels as a whole and let their teams become an extension of the brand. Teamwork makes the dream work!
Women’s Marketing: How does your team decide which options to recommend to your clients?
Elissa Brown: We take care to nurture each client and set expectations both at the beginning and throughout the planning process. We want to assure them that we have their best interests in mind as we develop plans and make their budget work as hard as possible. This may mean that we have to make tough decisions on which tactics we can move forward with, so we need to always challenge our partners to bring us the best-of-the-best, with strong analytics to back up the tactics we select—Big Data is here, and we are hungry to lean and optimize from those insights in real time.
Women’s Marketing: When developing media plans how do you ensure a seamless experience for consumers both cross-platform and cross-device?
Elissa Brown: That is a testament to our integrated teams. We have outstanding talent at Women’s Marketing and when we collaborate internally and with our clients, we see brands grow and thrive. During the kickoff stage, we develop an understanding of the creative, work with creative teams to ensure that the paid media will complement the creative, and that our partners create a seamless experience for the consumer. This is something that is critical and should always be changing in real time. Serving the right message at the right time to a consumer cross-device and cross-platforms takes a holistic, strategic approach. Then, we use the latest technology to target the right consumer to ensure we’re delivering a relevant consumer experience that gets noticed.
Keeping up with the rapidly developing changes in media can be a full-time job for marketers. Let Women's Marketing help your brand to navigate the latest innovations and present opportunities that make the most sense for your brand. Contact us today to get started.