Reactors are Microsoft's developer and startup community tech hubs open to everyone. Located in eight international locations, the state-of-the-art spaces are designed to inspire, educate, influence, and build relationships, and are home to an array of tech-centric events such as meetups, community events, hacks, partner meetings, charity events, and product launches.
CONTENT THAT BUILDS COMMUNITY
For Microsoft, I developed and led the social media and digital content strategy for the Reactor social media platforms, blog, and website. In this role, I established and grew the Reactor’s social presence and built brand equity to drive Reactor goals through content of value, active community development, event activation, and targeted influencer engagement.
With a tech-savvy, highly-educated, and therefore skeptical and ad-averse audience as a target, it can be difficult to grab their attention, much less hold it. But the challenge wasn’t just to get eyes on the content, but to develop engaged and invested advocates creating an authentic community of supporters and users for the Reactors.
Seeing 542% annual growth in social followers is an achievement, but garnering the highest engagement score of any account in the Microsoft social ecosystem in a fiscal year was the true success. With an average of 1 in 4 followers interacting with each piece of published content, this showed that our content was not only reaching our intended audience, but resonating at levels that even we found surprising.
As the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization, The Humane Society of the United States relies heavily on DRTV to generate donations. Research suggested the best spots use emotional lifts (think: highs & lows) which is why we used actors personally invested in the cause like Theo Rossi, Edie Falco, Bellamy Young and Kaley Cuoco to tell their personal stories and highlight recent successes as well as ongoing animal abuse problems. We were able to reduce donor acquisition costs and increase net revenue through the most effective TV spots in the organization's history.
THEO ROSSI – TV SCRIPT
Do you see it? Can you hear it? Animal abuse takes place all around us. Yet it goes unnoticed because the animals can’t speak up. They can’t tell us their stories.
Dogs, cats and other animals suffering from a deplorable lack of basic care. Victims of violence and neglect. Chained up. Trapped in filthy cages left to starve. But they’re out there, just out of sight. Horrific conditions beyond words.
My girl Sasha spent two years in a tiny crate in unbearable conditions before we rescued her. It’s hard to imagine what kind of person could do that. But it’s happening. Hidden in our own communities.
But The Humane Society of the United States is also out there. Rescuing these animals, getting them medical care and working with partners to find them homes where they can live the life they deserve.
But the rescues and raids aren’t the start of these happy endings. You are. Stopping cruelty starts with you. When you join The Humane Society of the United States, you become a hero for animals and help stop this senseless abuse.
No matter what you can give, it will make a difference. I promise. But please do something. Animals will continue to suffer without you. Because of people like you we can save and rescue animals.
Become a Humane Hero. Join the nation’s most effective animal protection organization. You can make a real difference in the lives of these animals. Together, we can do this. We can end the suffering. Call or go online right now. Donate today. Join the fight. Be a hero.
Flavor Face Off: 2016 DMA Echo Award Winner - Best Use of Social Media
Sparkling Ice’s loyal base continues to be the starting point for much of the marketing activity for the brand. The fans LOVE to share their favorite flavors, share where they find new ones, and their obsession over the product in general. And more importantly, they love to recognized by the brand when they do. So we asked, “Could that loyalty be harnessed, through social media, using the prospect of ‘fame-preciation’, to move the needle on sales?
Yes, it can. Social can move cases.
The Flavor Face Off program idea was simple: Reward the fans for what they already do so well,and unleash all that love to build trial and awareness, organically. The incentive? Getting your face on the bottle for the ultimate bragging rights and entire years’ worth of Sparkling Ice. By giving them the chance to be the face of their favorite flavor, we would galvanize the Sparkling Ice fan base to compete against each other to see who was truly the biggest fan.
All that customers had to do was show off their love for Sparkling Ice. That’s it. Every time they posted, registrants earned points towards the ultimate prize.
Flavor Face Off harnessed our consumer’s love of self-expression through social media. By targeting our biggest fans and followers, we were able to activate them as content creators throughout the campaign as our most authentic source of pictures and videos with the Sparkling Ice product as a native part of the contest.
The campaign was a success because of the strong value exchange provided between the brand and the consumer – which focused on celebrating and re-distributing the best content from Sparkling Ice fans - combined with awareness-driving paid media and in-store activations to broaden the overall campaign reach.
Javelin's Analytics team reviewed several data related to Sparkling Ice Flavor Face Off promotion during Summer 2015 and quantified the impact of social media activity on sales.
The data included content posted on owned media properties of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SparklinIce.com and Flavorfaceoff.com, as well as user-generated content related to a sweepstakes promoting the contest. Additionally, the analysis added data activity from registrations at SparklingIce.com and overall sales volume.
Every visit to the website generated:
· over $15.00 in sales
· a positive and strong correlation (53%) between website visits and registration
· a 60% correlation between a user generated posts and SparklinIce sales
Overall the campaign generated:
· 83% of participants connected at least one social account
· 442,182 pieces of user generated content
· Traffic to SparklingICE.com 500% higher during the campaign
SIGNIFICANCE OF CAMPAIGN
By using social media to increase buy rate, measurably impacting Sparkling Ice sales volume by combining a love for the brand with our target audience’s love for self-expression – we were able to not only positively impact brand perception and generate some great posts, but move product.
Social media is no longer an addendum to marketing efforts – but rather the starting point. The targeting capabilities of Facebook and other social platforms are unparalleled and well documented – but using a social media campaign to drive bottom line sales is soon to be an expected metric.
The success of Flavor Face Off has brought a welcome shift in marketing dollars from traditional advertising to digital and social for Sparkling ICE. Flavor Face Off is now the new benchmark for the brand when looking to leverage digital marketing and media to impact case volume while driving invaluable customer engagement.
Hyatt’s Global Promotion focused on the possibilities, not the points. This award-winning loyalty program showcased the infinite possibilities that make every Hyatt stay special. The program has become a primary driver of Hyatt stays and member engagement, as well as a key top-of-funnel source for new Hyatt Gold Passport members. Our omnichannel strategy met the customer throughout their journey with relevant touchpoints as memorable as their stays.
Hyatt Gold Passport Welcome Video Script:
Dive into a world of possibilities.
With Hyatt Gold Passport, one great stay leads to another.
Explore all the ways you can earn and redeem points.
From each perfect night’s sleep, to indulging dining experience and rejuvenating spa visit,
The more you stay, the more rewards you’ll enjoy.
And with more locations than ever before,
Now your points can take you further.
A morning surf in Sydney transforms into an unforgettable celebration in Singapore.
Your meeting in Chicago takes you on a tour of Tokyo.
A rendezvous in Rio becomes a culinary odyssey in New York.
Exploring Milan makes a new friend in Maui.
No matter where you’re headed, your journey starts here.
Brought Juicy Couture founders and fashion icons, Pam & Gela's rebellious California style to the world by developing the brand's DGAF attitude and Coachella-chic look and feel, including creating the treatment for a short film and massive digital billboard takeover in the middle of Times Square.
Developed a new, comprehensive set of brand guidelines for the Sparkling Ice portfolio of beverages to maintain authenticity and build brand equity, reinforcing and increasing the relevance of the brand to its consumers, providing more consistency, quality and speed to market. The better the consistency, the stronger connection that consumers would draw from all they see and hear, creating more inherent value in the Sparkling Ice Brand.
Provided creative direction from concept and copywriting to presentation for a multi-touch direct mail, email and landing page campaign for AT&T U-verse. In addition we also provided ongoing strategic direction to clients via client optimization presentations and data-driven creative insights.
One of the highlights was the creation of a new customer welcome magalog designed to increase customer satisfaction and boost retention rates which became the top performing piece.
Sparkling Ice Summer Campaign 2016
The Challenge: Showcase Sparkling Ice's array of flavors to increase trial among new and existing consumers. And don't be afraid to get a little frisky.
Target Profile: Trendsetters and Variety Seekers
The Big Idea: DRINK AROUND
ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO ENJOY IT ALL
Let’s be honest; it’s fun to drink around. Your possibilities are infinite in the Sparkling ICE sea of real fruit flavors. Open up and drink it all in. Love the one you’re with and the one tomorrow. Go ahead and experiment. We won’t tell the others…unless you’re into that.
BUILDING AFFINITY THROUGH SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT
In the crowded beverage category, Sparkling Ice wanted to drive social engagement in the hopes of increasing sales.
"Win With KD"
Sports fans are always looking for unique ways to get closer to their favorite players. By helping Sparkling Ice leverage the emotional tie many have for NBA star, Kevin Durant, we were able to build affinity for the brand as well as drive sales. Every week when KD played, fans could score autographed prizes and Sparkling Ice products through social engagement. Utilizing exclusive content and interactive gaming, we tapped into KD’s devoted fanbase to increase trial and bring Sparkling Ice to new audiences.
"Flavor Face Off" - 2016 DMA Echo Award Winner - Best Use of Social Media
We focused on giving world-of-mouth a megaphone by creating a program that gave Sparkling Ice fanatics the ultimate bragging right—their faces plastered all over Sparkling Ice bottles and cans. Using a proprietary millennial study and gleaning insights around self-expression as our starting point, we created Sparkling Ice's most successful social campaign to date. We also proved social and real-time CRM not only increases engagement, but it moves product.
Having a strategic branding consultant on the roster alongside interior designers and architects may not be common practice, but Jason Dallas Design, an interdisciplinary design firm, takes that modifier seriously and saw the need for its clients.
Primary work has included client brand development and copywriting for design proposals, letters of intent, industry publications, the firm's website, and sister company, Supplied Design.
Most notable among the client projects was a brand refresh with Business Air. What started as a typical brand assessment for the redesign of a number of the charter airline's terminals, expanded into a full-scale rebrand of the airline itself, from its collateral all the way to the logo on the planes themselves. This project really took-off and soared to new heights. (My sincere apologies for that last sentence).
Collaborated on Creative Retail Packaging (CRP)'s brand update and crafted copy for their new website. CRP is an end-to-end branding and design packaging firm that works with some of the world's biggest businesses, as well as boutique brands looking for a competitive edge. Brand writing for branding specialists is akin to performing in front of a jury of experts, but instead of finding the task intimidating, working alongside such a creative and passionate team was incredibly rewarding and stimulating.
Over 1.6 billion people around the world lack proper access to electricity and, during three days at the 2015 SXSW Conference, we partnered with LuminAID to help them. Through the Give Light, Get Light program, we designed an engaging, interactive experience, including a socially activated vending machine, that proves doing good feels good.
A partnership with DreamWorks Trolls was a colorful opportunity to raise awareness of Sparkling Ice and to drive traffic and generate conversion. The campaign included packaging, out-of-home, print, digital, a rewards program and a newly Trollified sparklingice.com.
DreamWorks applauded the work, stating that this was the first time in all of their promotional partnerships that they didn't need to request any changes to the creative. We nailed it on the first round. Futhermore, their Marketing Director and Brand VP used our creative in their presentations to the other partners on the film as an example of how to get it right.
At Tractor Supply Co. I led social media strategy and content marketing for this Fortune 500 retailer with nearly 2,000 stores nationwide. I pioneered the company’s social media program, led a social solutions team, and made social a primary strategic objective for a 75 year old company who had previously not seen its value.
As stores were expanding in suburban markets, I focused social content on emerging markets in pet categories and trend-driven clothing, developing strategic creative campaigns with brands such as Carhartt and Purina. As a result, I grew our audience by over 200,000 followers in a single year resulting in a 623% increase, placing TSC among the top 2% of Facebook brands in 2013 by growth.
At CommerceHub I managed content marketing at this newly public company that enables top retailers and brands to radically expand online product assortment and drive omnichannel demand.
Developing and advancing the articulation of the brand through creative assets and messaging, I served as editor and writer for B2B customer-facing content such as white papers, blogs, social media, and industry publications.
SAMPLE BLOG POST
Own Your Brand by Selling Direct on Marketplaces
Brands know that marketplaces represent the future of digital commerce. Amazon alone is expected to handle half of all ecommerce by 2021, and this year’s Prime Day sales jumped 60 percent from 2016.
Given Amazon’s success and the growth of other marketplaces like Jet and Walmart, brands without a marketplace strategy risk missing significant revenue opportunities. While retailers remain the most consistent source of revenue for brands, a supplemental marketplace approach is crucial for maximizing digital revenue in an omnichannel retail world.
Although most brands already have products available for sale on major marketplaces, many allow third-party sellers to handle marketplace sales rather than owning the process themselves. Trustworthy third-party sellers can help brands drive sales on marketplaces, but the dangers of this approach often outweigh the potential benefits.
Leaving the fate of your brand’s marketplace sales in the hands of third-party sellers is risky. If you don’t have control over your products on the marketplace, unreliable sellers can destroy your brand reputation, spread incorrect product information, or misprice your products.
Nike is one of the first major brands to focus on this strategy. The company announced earlier this month that they plan to sell direct on Amazon to eliminate counterfeiting and incorrect product information. Nike also wants direct access to Amazon’s loyal customer base, which experts estimate could result in $300-500 million in additional annual revenue to Nike.
By selling direct on marketplaces, you can regain control over these crucial components of your brand’s marketplace sales:
Product Information: When you allow third parties to sell your brand on marketplaces, you give up control over how your products are presented, creating the potential for inaccurate or sub-par product details and images. By selling direct, you can ensure accurate, complete and consistent information from site to site, which eliminates confusion and frustration among consumers.
Brand Reputation: Unhappy customers will blame your brand rather than the third-party seller that sold your product on a marketplace. Avoid taking heat for third-party seller mishaps by owning the relationship with customers. This way you can eliminate potential problem areas such as counterfeits, false information or shipping delays.
Pricing: Incorrect pricing is one of the biggest risks involved with third-party sellers on marketplaces. Third-party sellers often underprice products, which can lead to an incorrect perception of the value of your products. Even worse, this means a missed opportunity for you to optimize the price and make a higher profit. Pricing is particularly important on Amazon, where winning the Buy Box can make or break your sales on the site.
Complete ownership of the marketplace process is no easy feat for brands — otherwise they would already do it. Without the right strategy and tools, it can be difficult to maximize revenue on these sites as each marketplace has different rules, regulations and pricing systems.
That’s why brands need a system that houses information for the products sold across all marketplaces and offers the algorithms necessary to optimize pricing. A central hub that integrates with current inventory data and mitigates the risk of inconsistencies, frustrated customers and lost revenue opportunities.
The right marketplace strategy can also make a big difference for brands struggling in a world of declining retail sales. Greater brand visibility on marketplaces boosts sales across other channels. One study found that more than half of consumers begin their product searches on Amazon before moving on to other sites.
In the ever-evolving ecommerce world, one certainty has emerged: marketplaces are here to stay. Brands facing pressure to maximize digital revenue will be smart to own their marketplace sales rather than leaving their fate in the hands of third-party sellers. And as competition across marketplaces grows, there’s no time to lose.
Over the past few years, I've written various articles covering history, travel, music, culture and the arts. As a contributor to American Spirit Magazine, I researched and created pieces such as "From Spain to Historic Pensacola: A Culinary Expedition" chronicling the evolution of foodways in Florida for their 500th anniversary exhibition dinner at the James Beard House in NYC.
Helped pioneer an international development organization working to empower HIV-affected communities to reduce the long-term social, economic and health burdens associated with HIV/AIDS and lack of access to safe water in Africa. I was responsible for the organization’s voice in our communications and brand creative.
Through visual and written storytelling, we took people on a journey – a journey to see life in Africa without leaving home – one that compelled them to learn more and be a part of something bigger than themselves, one that made something tangible out of what could be overwhelming and celebrated what was possible.