Social Media Week NYC Report: SVP of global marketing at Smirnoff says organic content is future of marketing teams


In a panel at Social Media Week New York City called “The New Reality of the Changing Marketing Landscape,” three panelists, including SVP of global marketing at Smirnoff Matt Bruhn, discussed the rapidly changing marketing landscape and what brands can do to keep up.

With a number of new platforms and apps for marketers to advertise on today, Bruhn warned that brands shouldn’t arbitrarily insert themselves into new channels unless they could outline a clear reason for doing so.

“We try not to insert ourselves where people don’t want you to be inserted, because then you are going to create a negative experience. We try to find reasons why we should be there,” he said.

In reference to messenger apps such as Snapchat, he said: “For a marketer and brand advertiser, they’re almost impenetrable,” adding that consumers don’t really want them in there since it blocks them from what they’re trying to do.

Jonathan Hall, president of consulting at Added Value, said that a lot of marketers can’t get over the time limits and self-destructing nature of apps like Snapchat, but said he thinks there are opportunities there.

“Snapchat would be great for looking at teasers, behind-the-scenes content, or product previews,” he said.

When it came to marketing to millennials, Pauline Malcolm, VP of agency strategy and development at Maker Studios, said younger generations are drawn to authenticity and that brands should be recognizing that.

“When you look at people who are being perceived as celebrities, it’s totally changed from you’re A-list Brad and Angelinas,” she said, citing a Variety study done last year that says YouTube stars are more popular than mainstream celebrities among US teenagers.

“I think it’s the authenticity. I think people want to see themselves in those creators,” Malcolm said.

She said sometimes these influencers might not want to align with a brand if it doesn’t align with their particular audience. “The brands that allow to be more of a partnership and to rely on the creator and what’s working with their audience is the best practice and is a win-win for both,” she said.

The panel was moderated by Jason Abbruzzese, media reporter at Mashable.

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