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Unprepared Ep 67 - Marketing In Times Of Uncertainty with Laurel Mintz

Timestamp

  • [00:00] - Sponsor: Rewind
  • [00:53] - Intro
  • [01:23] - Brands that Elevate My Brand worked with
  • [01:43] - What does Elevate My Brand do?
  • [02:44] - The outlook for brands
  • [04:58] -  Motivating clients to start
  • [06:04] - Getting your plan in place
  • [07:25] - Contingency for campaigns
  • [09:10] - Campaign samples
  • [10:44] - Webinar and free marketing guide
  • [12:03] - Parting words

Resources

Key Points

  • Elevate My Brand is a full-service agency for 12 years and worked with over 250 brands like Verizon, Facebook, and Paw Patrol. 
  • Elevate My Brand wants to holistically develop, execute, and measure the success of their creatives.
  • Everything they do is digital-first. They are developing scopes, creative, and timelines secondarily if things are able to open back up again.
  • They are trying to come up with campaign ideas and concepts that can be executed in more than one category.
  • Brands are excited and ready to get back out into the world, yet they are also hesitant to be the first ones to do that. They could either receive a huge earned media if things go well. But if they have a campaign that’s poorly executed, it can backfire on their brand. 
  • You can't really plan that far ahead and you can only push the clients to a certain extent. At the end of the day, the agency is still in client services. 
  • A short timeframe has its advantage including pivoting quickly, coming up with hyper-creative ideas and executing them.
  • This results in a quick turnaround and decision-making process for the clients and the agency. With bigger firms, it typically takes a long time to get things done. 
  • If you are not a baby startup, you should have an idea of the timeline that it takes to execute a campaign. 
  • The agency’s job to manage expectations and those timelines within some sort of framework or dashboard that everyone is accountable to.

     

    Transcript

    Chase Clymer  

    Hi everybody, my name is Chase Clymer, and welcome back to another episode of Unprepared一an Honest Ecommerce bonus episode where we hear expert advice in 15 minutes or less. 

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    Chase Clymer  

    Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of Unprepared and in true unprepared fashion, this is tape number two or three.

    The original of this, I ruined myself. So apologies to everyone that this took a little longer to get out. But today, welcoming back technically to the show, Laurel Mintz. She is joining us from Elevate My Brand.

    And let's just talk about that. Some of the...you've got a very, very awesome collection of amazing brands that you've worked with historically. You got a few that you might want to share real quick for the audience?

    Laurel Mintz  

    Yeah, we've been doing this for over 12 years and 250 brands, which I can't even believe. It's wild. But yeah, brands like Verizon, Facebook, Paw Patrol, for those of you who have kids. And yeah, we've worked with some of the most prestigious brands in the world. We're super lucky.

    Chase Clymer  

    Awesome. And what is it that you do for those brands?

    Laurel Mintz  

    Well, we are a full-service agency. So we like to come in and really holistically take on digital and experiential marketing. 

    But for the bigger brands, I would say typically we come in and we come in under one vertical, right? So for example, for Facebook, we come in under the global experiential events team, and we do projects, you know, for them. 

    The smaller or middle-market brands we work with as well. We typically come in and are more agency of record there. So we can holistically develop and execute and measure the success of our creative. 

    Chase Clymer  

    Awesome, awesome. And so today, we are going to talk about marketing in times of uncertainty. The world looks like it's in a lot better place these days. And well I guess in America, the world is in a weird place all over. It's different everywhere. 

    But coming out of the pandemic, I hope. Knock on wood. A lot of people are getting vaccinated here. You know, how does that translate to what you're doing as far as client services, for your clients right now? How's the outlook look for everybody?

    Laurel Mintz  

    Yeah, I consider this to be a very transitional period. That's kind of how we're taking this perspective because we don't really know what's gonna happen. We're very hopeful. Like you said, but vaccine and herd immunity, we're nowhere close to that. I don't know if you watch. 

    Oh, gosh, what's, who's the Brit John? What's his last name? Totally blanking. He does this really great. Babe, what's the show with John? Not John Stewart. John Oliver. Thank you. John Oliver. 

    Chase Clymer  

    Oh, yeah.

    Laurel Mintz  

    So great. But what he was saying last night when we were watching him was like, we are not close to herd immunity. So we need to get everyone vaccinated and this is a plug for that for sure. 

    But with that in mind, we have a hybrid model on the experiential side, because what we're seeing, as you know, we're getting bigger RFPs in brands that are excited and ready to get back out into the world. But they are very hesitant to be the first ones to do that. They're like, we want to be the first because the amount of earned media that we could receive if we're the first and we do it really well, could be huge. 

    But in the same vein, if they do it poorly and something bad happens, then the media on that would be you know, could be devastating to a brand. So we are in this transitional period. We're seeing these big RFPs come in for experiential, we're hopeful for the future. But we're not, you know, we're not rushing to get out anytime soon. 

    And we're seeing that the big brands are like, "We're ready. We're not ready. We're ready. We're not ready." 

    They're very hesitant, I think. They think they're more aggressive than we, you know, really are actually seeing them execute like, "we want to be cool and want to be new and the first" and we're like no, you don't really. (Laughs)

    Chase Clymer  

    It's funny, this is very similar to the conversation we had last time. But now this time, it's what's coming to mind for me, is what happens every year when we approach Black Friday, about 90 days out is when everyone's like, "Oh crap, I need to do XYZ on my website". And it's not just me, it's every agency I know in the Ecommerce space. It's just a massive influx of inquiries. 

    And we get to you know, cherry-pick what we want to do, and then we're full, we're done. We can't take on any more work. Are you trying to plant seeds now in your clients’ minds to try to get ahead of that be like, "Look, it's when this starts happening, it's going to go off the rails and you need to get started now." 

    Is that that you're or are those conversations happening?

    Laurel Mintz  

    Yeah, I mean, we certainly are starting to plan and prepare for that for sure. But I'm not seeing this happen until q3 q4 earliest. And even then it's a question mark. So I think it's part of what's great about what's happening, right. And I think we did talk about this in the last conversation that you can't really plan that far ahead. 

    And so for us as agencies, that's pretty great. Because we can pivot really quickly, we can come up with really hyper-creative ideas, and execute in a short timeframe, which I personally love because it means that there's a quick turnaround in decision-making processes, right? 

    With a larger agency, larger projects, that typically takes a really long period of time, you know, these bigger firms move like molasses and don't get a lot of shit done, unfortunately. 

    So this has kind of truncated that timeline, which I think is actually better from a creative perspective. Are we trying to push them? You can only push so hard. At the end of the day, we're still in client services, as you well know. (Laughs)

    Chase Clymer  

    Yeah. But you can still get a plan in place. And you know, you don't know when it's going to happen. But at least know having the groundwork done the strategy out of the way, knowing what you're going to come to the table with when it does. When the writing's on the wall. It's like alright, it is time to execute. Let's now move with that plan. 

    I think I guess what I was trying to get out there with my statement was if people are launching these things, these campaigns, you know, or they're starting to launch, like, you need to backpedal into how much work actually went into that. And you got to get started early. I guess that's where I was coming from.

    Laurel Mintz  

    For sure. But I mean, if you are not just like a baby startup, you should have had an idea of the timeline that it takes to execute a campaign like this. That's why you're working with an agency, right? It's our job to manage expectations and those timelines within some sort of framework or dashboard that everyone is accountable to. 

    So that's always been a part of the process. Like I said, this time is just a bit more truncated, which I frankly prefer means we can get a lot more shit done. And now let's be in a shorter period of time. 

    That said, we also have to be able to pivot budgets really quickly, like should the world reopen, you know, tomorrow, how are we going to deal with that? So it's almost like having a contingency plan if that makes sense?

    Chase Clymer  

    Oh, yeah, that does make sense. So what are some of those contingencies? Obviously, you don't give away the secret sauce of what you're doing for specific clients. But what is that doing? How does that translate to real-world deliverables from a client in this weird kind of hybrid, you know, the oddity of a transition?

    Laurel Mintz

    Yeah, so everything is digital-first which, you know, frankly was 80% of the work that we were doing anyway. 

    We are just developing scopes, creative, and timelines secondarily if things are able to open back up again. So if we decided to pivot something that was going to be a digital experience to IRL, what might that look like? And at what point do we need to pull that trigger? 

    And we can take these parallel paths and in terms of, you know, what the creative needs to look like? So we are trying not to come up with creative and campaign ideas and concepts that can't be, that can only be executed in one category if that makes sense as well.

    Chase Clymer

    Yeah, no. And I think that's the smartest way to approach it anyway. I mean, I would, I would probably continue to do this, even if there wasn't a pandemic. Keep the marketing message parallel between forms, it's just a bigger impact. 

    And yeah, and then you're using one branding kit for the whole shebang. And everyone can talk together. And, you know, this is a dream for an agency because sometimes things get too siloed. And, you know. 

    Laurel Mintz  

    I couldn't agree more. 

    Chase Clymer  

    Now, it's us ranting about what I want. (Laughs)

    Laurel Mintz  

    (Laughs) But again, it has linearized the process, and that shortened truncated timeline, you know, smaller budgets over shorter times like that have made us have to execute quicker. And I frankly, think it's a much better experience for the customer. 

    And really, that's the biggest shift that we've seen is the change in how you work that customer journey really looks like. Again, which you know, more than most.

    Chase Clymer  

    Yeah, and then just to give people some examples of what you have done in the past year, so did anything come to mind?

    Laurel Mintz  

    In terms of campaigns? 

    Chase Clymer  

    Yeah. 

    Laurel Mintz  

    Oh my gosh, we've done so much fun stuff. I recently launched a really cool beauty product. So this new category is called beauty appliances. You know, it's all marketing at the end of the day. So it's a tabletop appliance that blends your masks and creams and tinctures and all these things. This is supposed to be the new next thing in beauty. The guy who invented the Clarisonic machine, if you remember the Clarisonic that cleanser, Dr. Rob? 

    Sold like 100 million of them or some ridiculous number. This is his next baby. So that's been really fun. We work with lots of private equity groups because there's been a lot of distressed assets that have been rolling up into this pandemic. 

    So that's good, bad, and ugly at the same time. We just launched, we're launching a new big project with Facebook that I can't talk about, I'd have to kill everyone listening. You know, we do a lot of projects, both big and small.

    Oh, we've got some really fun food brands that we're launching. Oh, there's a really cool brand called verbal VRBL. Check them out. They're an audio-only platform. Blowing up right now. That's a really fun new client. I mean, how much time do we have? I've got you know, we've got 35 on the docket at this point. (Laughs)

    Chase Clymer  

    Oh, that's amazing. Awesome. 

    Well, I can't thank you enough for coming on and sharing all this stuff. Is there anything I forgot to ask you this time that we touched on last time or that just comes to mind that you feel is worthwhile sharing with the audience today?

    Laurel Mintz  

    Well, on our side, you know, we are about to launch a paid webinar series. It's all about DIY. So for the smaller brands that maybe aren't quite ready to work with you or me yet, this would be a really great opportunity for them to understand marketing at a very deep level before they're ready to hire an agency and frankly, will make them a much better client for both of us, you know when they come around. 

    So check us out, elevatemybrand.com. We also have a free marketing guide and a lot of other opportunities for people to learn, you know, best practices. 

    And ultimately, I think that that has been the best part of this whole pandemic is that people are like, well, what are we supposed to do? And there's no supposed to anymore. 

    So we've been able to redefine that. And we put a stake in the sand that this is what you have to do. And they're like, "Okay, we listen now". Like, "What? Everyone is actually listening? That's amazing."

    Chase Clymer  

    Yeah, I think that there was nothing cool about the pandemic.

    Laurel Mintz  

    Correct.

    Chase Clymer  

    Let me start with that.

    Laurel Mintz  

    Correct. 

    Chase Clymer  

    In my world, it has made the conversations about the strength and importance of your digital experience a lot easier.

    Laurel Mintz  

    For sure.

    Chase Clymer  

    And I think it's opened the door to a lot of legacy brands getting onboard and a lot of smart entrepreneurs pivoting what they're doing. And frankly, finding tremendous success when they do it the right way.

    Laurel Mintz  

    Absolutely. It's all about doing it the right way, hiring the right team, you know, to build their sites or to execute their digital.

    Chase Clymer  

    Awesome, thanks so much, Laurel. I'll link to all that stuff in the show notes and I'm looking forward to that webinar series. Thanks for coming back on.

    Laurel Mintz  

    Thanks, Chase. Have a good one.