“Two Minutes With” is Weber Shandwick Seattle’s employee spotlight series that provides professional and personal insight into our rockstar team. Today we’re profiling our new Digital Strategy Director, Jonah-Kai Hancock. Enjoy!
My last position was Director of Sales & Marketing at Tagboard. Tagboard is a local startup focusing on social engagement, helping brands inject earned media content into their paid and owned strategies. Basically, how can I make my campaigns look and feel like they are not just an advertising push, and what tools (Tagboard) can help me extend the life of the conversation and create authentic content. Some people like to refer to this as native advertising. My role was to build the sales and marketing funnels, create the content and marketing plan, and then go execute!
Prior to Tagboard, I was at Razorfish where I was a Senior Digital Strategy Manager. My main responsibility was to act as the head digital strategist managing media, creative, social and digital strategy for Best Buy, Toyota, Intel and others. We had a very heavy focus on media, digital and social working with the client to think deeply about their audience and how we could create meaningful marketing campaigns that would raise their brand awareness and generate sales.
What’s the most interesting trend you’re watching in digital marketing right now?
I think there are a couple big trends that are taking place, and I am interested to see how these change the overall digital marketing strategies that companies employ. One only has to peruse the Luma Partners Lumascape to see that the marketplace is growing, and fast.
The first trend I see is the convergence of paid, owned and earned media strategies. Traditionally, they have lived as separate functions within companies and act independently of each other. Today, in order to be an effective marketer you have to at least understand each of the basic functions in order to create meaningful campaigns and marketing pieces.
The second trend is the proliferation of mobile/tablet devices and a decrease in desktop usage. This growing trend segments the audiences, what used to be a basic advertising campaign that focused on creative, advertising, messaging, etc. has now become very complex with fragmented audiences across devices, multiple forms of advertising are now available (i.e. video, mobile/tablet apps, etc.) and the emergence of rich applications that can be developed for specific campaigns.
Finally, I am very interested in the fight at the “top” of the networks. What are Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Twitter, etc. doing and how is their audience shifting. Obviously, from a digital media perspective, people only have so much time in a day to spend surfing, playing games, researching, etc. and the networks who own the eyeballs are going to be the ones that win over time. In addition, these platforms will be driving the next generation of advertising units, audience analysis and brand insights, so it is important to watch them closely.
In your mind, what 3 core social/digital marketing challenges facing B2B companies in the year ahead?
If I am a CMO, I am asking a couple questions from my internal team and/or external experts.
- Where is my audience right now and where are they going in terms of content consumption, web surfing, etc. and what are they doing online?
- How can I create meaningful relationships with my clients, stakeholders and ultimately new prospects? Is it through content, advertising, in-person engagement, etc.?
- What is happening in the digital realm, and how does this affect my FY planning initiatives? With the entrance of so many new startups, how does a CMO plan for and prepare to test some of these new experience and technologies?
What drew you to Weber world?
Personally, I am at a place in my career where I wanted to focus on storytelling and an integrated marketing approach. Weber is in a unique position to expand our relationships with clients and help tell their story in the digital realm, more effectively than they are today. Because we work with them to create the content, guide the positioning, etc. it makes sense that we can extend that relationship into the digital marketing realm and become and even more valuable partner.
I think where some of the digitally focused agencies fail is that they become so focused on delivering media at 90-95% of the allocated budget. They do not think through how that story is truly being told across the campaign and brand as a whole. Working with brands to identify their target audience, develop the voice and then engage that given audience is what I am excited to do!
What is Jonah-kai up to on a PNW fall weekend?
Great question, during the fall months I am doing a couple things pretty consistently and they revolve around sports and the great outdoors. You will more than likely see me at every Sounders game, especially because the playoff push is coming up and we are sitting atop the Western Conference. Second, on any given Saturday & Sunday you will see me watching our beloved Seattle Seahawks and Washington Huskies! When I have some time between that I will either be at Crossfit, playing soccer, or trying to sneak out to Leavenworth to admire the beautiful fall colors.