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Three top tips for marketers from our Brandonomics guests

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Robin Tooms revisits three of her favorite guests from the 2012 episodes of Brandonomics and shares marketing tips and great advice for up-and-coming marketing professionals from the pro's.

Robin: Hello and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I’m Robin Tooms, Vice President of Strategy at Savage.  For this edition of Brandonomics we’re going to look back and share three top tips for marketers from our Brandonomics guests.

The first is that we need to continually search for new ways to innovate. This can be difficult to fit in, especially if you already have a lot on your plate. David Brady, CMO from the Houston Zoo had some very practical tips for how you can gain new inspiration and encourage creativity with your team. In this segment, he also talked about job shadowing as a way to get out of the office and out into the field for new ideas.

David: Well, first off, it’s important to know everything about your business from the ground up as a marketing person. Whether you’re the chief marketing officer or director of marketing or marketing management, or an intern, you need to know everything that goes on in the entire business so you can properly market your brand. And for me, a lot of that comes from job shadowing.

We have over 375 employees at the Houston Zoo, a lot of different department from housekeeping all the way up to animal care. And for me to get out and job shadow is a great way to experience what’s going on both from the guest perspective, but also what our employees and our staff are seeing and doing, and it also helps me come up with a lot of great ideas that we might turn into marketing promotions. We’ve come up with a some great ones just from talking to our animal care staff. So getting out here, being a part of the team, getting to know everyone, not only does it help with creativity, but also helps a lot of with staff buy-in which is very important for the marketing team.

Robin: Our second Brandonomics tip is that you have to define and live your brands’ purpose. Better performing businesses are those that get “purpose before profits” right. Both of our guests from Waste Management and Lone Star College Systems have showcased how their companies are doing it. This excerpt is from Laura Morris, Associate Vice Chancellor at Lone Star College Systems and is talking about their purpose “ensuring student success”.

Laura: Well it really informs everything that we communicate and in some ways, it’s really marketing and communications 101. We’re a non-profit organization. Our mission is very lofty to educate people, which touches everyone’s life, but community colleges for a long time have been very focused on access and were very much part of the pathway to higher education from an access standpoint because we accept all students. That has transitioned and Lone Star College has really been one of the leaders in this area to transition from access to success and everything we do is filtered by asking the question how does this improve our students’ success and credential completion mission, which is our fundamental purpose.

Robin: Our third tip for you is that you need to have a strong focus on your digital strategy. The astronomical growth of mobile devices are rapidly changing how businesses interact with their audiences, and quite frankly, the bar is higher on what you should expect out of a digital experience. David Quin from CenterPoint Energy talked to about the power behind personalizing online tools, and this clip from Mark Rudkin, Executive Director of Marketing for Rice University’s Jones School of Business sums up how they approached mobile devices in their new campaign site.

Mark: Well, we owe it all to Jon Paul Estrada, our website manager, but he came up with a platform that’s responsive to whatever device you’re looking at the website on. So no longer do we have to worry about whether you’re on a desktop or a laptop or an iPad or tablet or your iPhone. This website scales to the screen that you’re looking at it with. And I think for the user, it certainly makes it much easier to access the information that we’d like them to see and to learn more about the program.

Robin: A very important strategy for this hyper connected world that we’re in. We hope you find these three tips helpful for you as you plan for this year and beyond. Tune in next week for another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.


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Robin Tooms is a consultant for brand, marketing and communications strategies for B2B and service companies. Expertise includes corporate branding, investor communications, employee communications, social media, and marketing with emphasis on effective online marketing and use of technology.

Contact her at or reach her by phone at 713-522-1555.

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If you’re interested in knowing more about how purposeful companies attract the best employees, build loyal relationships with customers, and differentiate themselves from the competition, then let’s start a conversation.