Blair Hammond, Reebok's Director of Digital Content, explored real-time content marketing and how to maximize its value during her keynote presentation to Argyle's CMO membership at the 2017 Leadership in Digital Marketing Forum in New York City on October 12. In her presentation, "How to Maximize Real-Time Content Marketing," Hammond offered insights into how her company deployed an effective real-time content marketing strategy to engage with its target audience.
According to Hammond, Reebok has revamped its digital strategy to ensure it can optimize its consumer engagement levels. The company currently requires its digital content, public relations and social media teams to work together, and by doing so, promotes collaboration throughout each stage of a digital marketing campaign's development.
In the past, Reebok's marketing department was divided into digital content, PR and social media teams. The three groups operated in silos, Hammond indicated, and had separate goals and initiatives in place.
"Just being three separate groups kept our campaigns not integrated," she said. "But that's not the Reebok of today. Now, we take those three functions and put them together into a cross-functional group."
To get the most out of its digital marketing, Reebok developed the "Newsroom," which combines the company's digital content, PR and social media groups. Today, these teams work together to analyze the customer journey and ensure Reebok can engage with its target audience consistently.
"We're not the Reebok that you might remember … now, we're trying to convince people to be their best selves," Hammond stated.
Reebok also strives to stay "culturally relevant," Hammond said. That way, the company is better equipped to deliver timely, pertinent messages to its consumers, thereby increasing consumer engagement.
"We don't want to make our work seem like advertising. We don't want to push our message at the consumer; instead, we want to pull them into us."
Furthermore, Reebok seeks strategic partnerships to promote its products to a wide range of consumers. The company has partnered with CrossFit, UFC and other prominent brands to further extend its global reach and discover unique ways to connect with consumers.
"We try to hack into cultural moments with relevancy," Hammond noted. "We do that … at a brand-level with strategic partnerships."
Reebok constantly searches for innovative ways to highlight its products to consumers. With the business' digital marketing campaigns, Reebok tries to differentiate itself from other footwear companies. And to accomplish this goal, Reebok strives to find the best ways to showcase the benefits of its products via a variety of brand messages.
"We want to put the product in motion and make it come to life for the consumer," Hammond indicated. "It's our responsibility to relay our message in any way we can."
Moreover, Reebok prioritizes consumer engagement and searches for ways to use visual media to illustrate its products.
"Our consumers are changing … and we need to figure out how to get in the middle of the website where consumers' eyes really are," Hammond said.
The Newsroom plays a key role in Reebok's digital marketing efforts and likely will continue to do so in the foreseeable future, Hammond pointed out.
"We are really interested in growing the audience, and we are interested in making our audience be engaged with us."
With the Newsroom, multiple marketing groups can offer expert insights into many different customer perspectives. Together, these departments can learn from one another and discover distinct ways to present Reebok products to consumers.
"In the Newsroom, PR, social and digital content come together and have an equal voice," Hammond stated. "These groups all have an equal seat at the table and make sure we're not just passing consumers off at each stage of the consumer journey."
Reebok continues to push the limits of digital marketing too. The company promotes its products at major events and works with celebrities to showcase its products. Plus, Reebok takes a proactive approach to its digital marketing campaigns and continuously explores ways to enhance and optimize its day-to-day efforts.
"We don't want to make our work seem like advertising. We don't want to push our message at the consumer; instead, we want to pull them into us," Hammond pointed out. "We want to develop things that are interesting and proactive … and get consumers to engage with us in ways that otherwise weren't possible before."
Real-time content marketing can make a world of difference for any company, in any industry. The ability to deliver real-time messages to consumers can help a business stand out from the competition. Meanwhile, if a company emphasizes consumer engagement in real-time, it could boost its chances to foster long-lasting customer partnerships.
"We are really interested in growing the audience, and we are interested in making our audience be engaged with us," Hammond said. "We make the digital content in a culturally relevant and timely way … and pitch to earned media, and you can see how that comes back to us, and how we're able to make things happen."
Blair Hammond is a strategic storyteller. She's worked behind the editorial desk at a number of publications and across a variety of corporate departments to execute internal communications and consumer-facing digital campaigns. Her professional experience includes dynamic multimedia and print content creation at national and international brands.