Episode 54: Be Strategic and Execute, with Morgan Painvin
In this episode, you will learn about the importance of having a strategy in everything you and your organization does.
For Morgan Painvin, it’s all about hitting the bullseye of results. Her quiver of arrows is vast and varied from strategic partnerships and micro-niche placements to national features and creative ideas. The award-winning campaigns that define her career speak directly to her clients brand and goals. While a big hit is thrilling, says Morgan, she’s more passionate about spiking traffic to the client’s website that drives revenue. This is why Morgan has revamped the firm’s measurements and reporting system.
While we could easily forgive one so driven for being grumpy at times, Morgan is famous for her cheerful disposition and ability to mentor. Staffers bloom into PR stars under her wing.
Style and grace follow Morgan to the South of France, where she goes every summer. Her fluency in French can be traced to her driven personality and the day she moved to Paris.
Morgan, her French husband Arthur, and their three daughters live in Williamsburg.
More on Morgan’s Background
Thank you for joining me, Morgan.
Thank you for having me, Nicole. It’s really an honor to be on today.
I’m really excited to talk to you today, and I love your bio. I love how it’s written in the same finesse and personality that I think our listeners will come to know and understand through our conversation today. I think it really gives some really good perspective as to who you are and what you’re doing, but it’s best to hear in your own words, so I’m wondering if you can give us some more context about you and your story and your path, and what’s brought you to where you are today.
Sure. I think if you go way back, I actually grew up in the hospitality industry, quite literally. My father was a hotel GM and a restaurant owner. I actually grew up playing Barbies under restaurant tables and sneaking around and playing practical jokes in the sales offices. I think it was in second grade that we moved to West Virginia and actually lived on a resort that my father was managing at the time. I’m sure you can imagine, it was a very interesting experience. I think that through that, I really started to understand the world of hospitality.
Then fast forward a couple of years. I actually moved to Paris where I studied international communications and traveled incessantly, and I would say that it was really there that I truly fell in love with the discovery of destinations and experiences through travel and tourism. From Paris, I worked with Accor North America in-house, starting in their HR department and then moving into their communications department. Then eventually moved to New York and joined Quinn almost 12 years ago. Since then, I’ve been involved with a ton of travel and tourism work. It’s just amazing to have a job that you love and are truly passionate about.
Yeah, I agree. It makes going to work a lot less more about work, right, and a lot more about the fun and the experience that you have doing your trade.
It absolutely does.
Yup. I love how you have roots in the hospitality industry. Now, you and I have known each other for quite some time, but that’s something new I just learned today.
It’s true. It is funny. You grew up with a father that’s constantly either critiquing service or pointing out early special things. Now he’s kind of retired, but he’ll call every once in a while and ask about business — ask how’s this and how’s that. It’s just fun to have that as part of my life, really.
Yeah. That really is awesome. I can completely relate to that, because I grew up in a family-owned business, although not in hospitality, but, well, in retail, very much a frontline business.
Oh, really? Okay.
It’s so funny as parents how you never know what’s going to really resonate with your kids and how this little piece of your life has grown and developed into the career that you have today. I just think that’s really awesome.
That’s true, and I imagine you as having such a large family, think about that constantly. You’re at work, mentoring and whatnot, then you go home, and you’re raising a family, and you’re thinking, “What part of me is actually going to resonate with them, and whether they’re going to turn out to find their passion.”
Yeah, hospitality and travel ended up being mine.
Tell the Most Interesting Story
Well, on this podcast, as you and I have talked in our pre-interview chat, we focus on both creativity and collaboration, and so I’m really looking forward to hear from you and your experiences with the many clients that you work with and your perspective on these two subjects.
We’ll start with creativity, and speaking of the hospitality industry, the hospitality and tourism industry are very competitive, I’m wondering what you have done or seen your clients do that have really helped them stand out from the crowd.
Yeah. I think that the basis is really we’re storytellers, and so I think at the end of the day, we’re telling our clients’ stories in a way that makes people dream. I think going back to creativity, so traditionally, Quinn is known for being creative, so identifying and executing ideas that will create big buzz without the budget. Doing things like the world’s first outdoor bed, Queensland, Australia’s Best Job in the World campaign, and a lot of other firsts are things that we’ve seen a lot of. What are these big ideas that are going to break through and make people just talk and really go viral and global?
I think a lot of times though, with destinations, it doesn’t always have to be a big creative idea. I think the beauty of destination marketing comes to life through that strategic storytelling and really diving deep into the stories within a destination, telling stories about the people that bring it to life and make it work, talking about the tastes of a region. We call that the yummy details to help tell the stories and make a traveler say, “Wow, I want to go there. I want to see that. I want to experience it.”
“The beauty of destination marketing comes to life through strategic storytelling.” - Morgan Painvin #WhyCollaborate #podcast Click To Tweet
I think something that we’ve seen a lot in the industry of both media and travel & tourism is that content has become more and more important. We have started to become content creators both for our clients and the media, so identifying trends, actually writing the content, and then working with specific media — such as the Travel Channel, or thestay.com, Travel and Leisure, Condé Nast — that actually place our content and tell those stories in a way that does help travelers dream. I think really what we’re seeing across the industry is there is that fight of creativity and big wow ideas, and simultaneously, it’s really just finding the deep roots of a destination and telling those stories.
Yeah. You just shared so many really great nuggets of information that I want to back up and talk a little bit further about some of them in particular. Let’s start with where we just left off, which is finding those deep roots, or as you call them, yummy details. Can you provide some examples of maybe some of your clients, or how someone would do that, someone listening to this podcast, how they should be thinking about their destination? How do you pull out those kinds of details that are going to resonate?
Yeah. That’s such a good question because it’s funny. I think that because we are storytellers, there are a lot of things that we see that people don’t always think, “Oh, wow, that’s an interesting story.” Yeah. We work with Fort Worth, and so it’s all about cowboys and cultures there. I mean, you can go to the stockyards and see a real cattle drive and the cowboys, and then at the same time go and see the only Michelangelo in the Western Hemisphere. I think that it can be that, but it can also be just sitting down with a chef. I was actually in Dallas last week, and I sat down with an executive chef at a hotel and just said, “What are the things that you’re doing that are different, and what are you seeing?”
It was just really interesting to hear from his perspective the different types of questions that they were getting asked. I think that as you hear what people are looking for and how you’re catering to that, that’s what, whether it’s a hotel or a destination overall, makes them special. It’s hard to think through what people should be looking for, but I would say we ask a lot of questions and anything that makes you raise your eyebrow and say, “Wow, that’s interesting.” Those are the kind of things that we like to dive a little bit more into.
Yeah. That is interesting. Giving that right back to you, but the whole idea of asking a lot of questions, and I think what you’re illustrating here too is that it’s not always just the obvious. Sometimes, I think when you’re in a destination or you’re in the marketing world for a destination, you might not see some of those unique detail, like the chef, the conversation you had with the chef. He might be just naturally responding to unique requests and meeting demand and new trends within his restaurant, but not consciously thinking about how that makes him different and special.
Right. Right. Yeah, I mean, I think we’ve definitely seen that, even with the Finger Lakes. I mean, we’ve worked together for years, and the Finger Lakes has so many stories to tell. I still remember my first trip there and just coming back with a notebook of wows, and I think that that’s certainly a relationship that we had loved, because there are so many stories, and it seems like they’re endless in a lot of ways. I think even just an example like It’s a Wonderful Life — that festival that takes place in Seneca Falls — and looking back last year and saying, “Oh, wow, it’s the 70th anniversary, what can we do with that?”
Then just taking a step back and brainstorming and looking at the characters that were involved in the film, and how that town was the backdrop for that movie. Then thinking through, okay, so who has the rights to it, and can we get the Today Show up there. Then pitching it, why, then just telling those stories, and in a way, you had this huge audience seeing that and saying, “Oh, wow, what a really special town. I’d like to go there. I’d like to see that.” Yes, it’s an interesting process that we all go through as storytellers and communicators.
Yeah, I agree, and that’s an interesting example — the Today Show example that you just brought up. I worked closely with you and your team on pulling that together. You mentioned the Today Show, but it’s not just the Today Show. Then it’s finding who is the right personality on the Today Show that would have an interest in this story angle, right?
It’s not just like a broad net that you’re casting.
No, of course. Right. Right. We’re like, “Okay, so NBC, NBC assets, so where do we go from there?” Then you look at all of the different opportunities, and of course, Al Roker does the Living Legends series, which, of course, you’re familiar with it now, but it focuses on legacies in American Film and television. After a good bit of research, that seems like the perfect avenue to tell that story, and so that’s how we approached.
Then as you said it, it wasn’t just that, but it’s also looking at additional national broadcasts. Looking at CBS This Morning, Fox & Friends, and NPR, and then also that lifestyle and pop culture coverage, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Time. I mean, that was a good example of some things that just really went viral, and it wasn’t a big creative idea. It was more of a strategic storytelling and just seeing that opportunity and again having consumer say, “Oh, wow, that’s really interesting I didn’t know about that.”
Yeah, I think we had a lot of fun with that one. It was great to work with you on it.
Yeah. That was a great PR win for the Finger Lakes vacation region, but also a really good case study on how you take something like an anniversary and dig deeper, and try to find those threads on how you can best get that story out. I think that was a great example. Yeah.
Thank you, and I think even beyond all of the … I mean, like you read in my bio, of course, a big wow and a big hit is great, especially to a publicist, but I think then hearing afterwards that visitation to the museum increased by 75%, and visitors specifically mentioned the Today Show segment, and things like that, that you really see the ROI and how communication can drive business. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.
Yeah. Absolutely. I think that’s an important point as well because it’s not just about getting a lot of placements, although that’s part of a strategy, but it’s about how do those placements help you achieve your business goals at the end of the day, right?
Right. Absolutely. Absolutely. We’re all about driving visitor spending and getting more people into the region and whatnot.
Right. Yeah. That’s fabulous.
Collaborating with the Media to Create Great Stories
I want to back up too because I thought this was a really interesting point you made about how as a PR agency, you’re also content creators. I think it’s a really interesting evolution of public relations and publicity and how the industry has evolved over the years. I’d like to have you share a little bit more with our listeners about how that evolution happened for you at Quinn, and then just a little bit deeper about some of the specifics, some of the day-to-day or the tactical things that you’re doing under that umbrella.
Right. The evolution, I think PR has seen tremendous evolution even just in the past five, 10 years. I think that we have seen online content grow exponentially. Of course, we also recognize the unfortunate decrease in print media. What we’ve seen with that is really a hunger from journalists for content. As online outlets grow and editorial staffing decreases, I think that at the end of the day, that journalists appreciate help. We can work as a team, and of course, our job is just telling the stories of our clients. We started as an agency to identify whether it’s trends or just fun stories that go with the times, or seasonal festivities, and then really just providing content to the media.
A lot of times, we will take non-competitive clients, but create a story around the top 10 historic towns to visit by the end of 2017, or the top 10 views from hotel bathrooms, or things that are kind of unexpected. What we have found is that through a lot of our relationships with the top media, both in travel and lifestyle, that they’re able to take the content and utilize it, sometimes almost verbatim, and sometimes they obviously will bring life to it through other examples, but it is certainly something that we have seen help our clients get the message out there, and then also helping with SEO, and ensuring that everything is linked back properly and whatnot.
“Journalists appreciate help. We write fun content and present it to the media, and it helps get our clients’ message out there.” - Morgan Painvin #WhyCollaborate #podcast Click To Tweet
Yeah, I think that’s just a really great example, because some of our listeners may be from agencies, but some of them are also just tourism professionals working for destinations directly and might hire agencies to help them. When you think of an agency, you think of an agency maybe as serving the client, but you’re actually serving not only the client but also your media partners. Partners might be too formal of a word, but you have these relationships that you’re building with them as well and trying to help and assist them in creating this win-win. That’s what I’m really hearing through that description.
Oh, absolutely. It’s certainly a two-way relationship, the journalists are such amazing people. You research and you produce content that consumers want to read about and the news that they need to know about. We’d like to think we certainly work in partnership with them. Being based in New York City, we’re friends with a lot of journalists. We travel with them. They come to our weddings and whatnot, but it’s also helping them and helping provide story ideas.
Also, a lot of times, they’ll come to us and say, “Hey, we’re working on this story, do you have any examples that we can add in?” It could just be me being at a dinner party, and my friends are talking about something. I’m like, “Gosh, that’s really interesting.” Coming in and shooting a line to a journalist and just saying, “Hey, I’ve been hearing a lot of this. What do you think about doing a story on it?”
Yeah. I think that’s really great. It’s so funny, with this podcast, because we focus on creativity and collaboration, and I have questions around both topics, but usually, we’re talking about creativity, you can’t help but talk about collaborations. I think that’s just a really good example of collaboration and how you’re collaborating between your agency, your clients, and the media to bring these stories to life. I think that’s just a great example, love it.
Taking Something That’s Been Done Before and Doing it Differently
I want to switch gears just a little bit to explore challenges or some sort of adversity because I think we learn so much when we’re faced with a challenge, whether it’s a challenge of getting some unknown destination some recognition, or a professional challenge. There are so many different ways that we learn and grow, but I’m wondering if you can think of a time where you were faced with a challenge, and then maybe share some of the creativity that came from that.
Sure. I’ve actually spent a bit of time thinking about this question because as an agency, our clients come to us constantly with challenges. I mean, I remember even when I started, funny enough, my first client was Club Med. If you’re familiar with them, 15 years ago, they were “Fun, and Sex, and Single,” and I was brought on board at Quinn to actually help rebrand them as family-friendly. I remember my first couple of phone calls with journalists, people almost laughing at me and being like, “Really? You’re kidding. This is not a family-friendly property. This is not a family-brand.” Oh, no, wait, listen, they really are.
We constantly have clients that are coming to us with interesting challenges. We’ve certainly learned a lot along the way. I think one recent example that we actually won a Best of Show for, it was for an individual hotel, but I think it definitely works in terms of even just the broader spectrum.
I was working with the Waldorf Astoria in New York, and I’m sitting in a marketing meeting when the client says, “We’re getting bees, and we’re going to put them on the rooftop.” At that time, I feel like, “Okay, so you’re definitely not the first hotel to do this. You’re certainly not even the fifth or sixth in New York City to do this.” We really had to take a step back and say, “Okay, so how do we do this differently and bigger and make it a big win?”
I remember what we ended up doing was actually just recommending that they bring the bees in Waldorf style, so in a long stretched black limo and that they roll out the carpet like they do for the dignitaries and do an all-staff lineup. I remember, of course, calling all the media stations, and broadcast, and say, “We have this VIP arrival.” All of the camera crew showed up, and we had the red carpet rolled out. The entire sidewalk started gathering, and everyone was whispering on the sidewalk, like, “Oh, is it Brad and Angelina? Who’s going to come out of this black limo?”
Out comes this box of bees. The cameras are flashing, and up they go on the rooftop, but I think that it’s a good example of just a very simple, creative solution that draws attention, and then we turned it into a multi-tiered campaign. They had the bees. We built a rooftop garden which we then leveraged into all of the restaurants and the dishes and cocktails that was kind of a continual news source. We added the stop on the rooftop to the hotel’s historic tour, which actually grew exponentially in sales over time. We used the honey from the bees in cocktails and ice cream and actually even recommended that the spa start utilizing it in their treatments.
I think from a media standpoint, it was certainly huge. We had the Associated Press three times, Wall Street Journal twice, New York Times twice, huge segment on the two. I think in the initial campaign, there were more than 60 broadcast placements. It’s big from a media standpoint, but it also evolved into a program that really drove continual buzz and business to the hotel.
Yeah, and no play on words with the continual buzz, huh?
Yeah. Well, I know it’s like the VIB arrival, like the real buzz. Yeah, I know, so now I’m done. You can’t blame me. I’m a publicist.
Yeah, but that’s a really great example because it’s not just a campaign. It transcends into the actual business itself and what their offerings are. Although by having it transcend into the business, it helps continue that PR outreach and publicity, the mentions, and just keep that machine going. At the same time, you’re enhancing the guest experience. You’re offering new products. You’re able to show some direct impact on revenue growth, and I think that that’s just awesome. What a great story, no wonder you won an award with that.
Well, I think, you know what? It’s always interesting in working with such vast clients and just hearing the different challenges and different goals, and then really being able to just take a step back and say, “Okay, how are we going to do this, and how are we going to do it differently?” I think that’s, at the end of the day, what we all love about our jobs and why we’re here.
Yeah. Absolutely. Well, I love that story.
Being Strategic with Influencers
I am wondering if there is anything that you are working on right now, or that’s coming up in the future that you’d like to share with our audience or our listeners?
Sure. We actually work with a lot of destinations. We have a very interesting mix. Obviously, the Finger Lakes, and we do Lexington, Kentucky, and Fort Worth, and then on the other side of it, we’re working with Paris, France, and Setoguchi, Japan, and we actually just started working with Thailand as well. I would say that I’m really excited about our work with Thailand. I think that it’s a different type of challenge that we’re all really interested and looking forward to.
With them, they’ve challenged us to clearly define three very specific campaigns throughout the year, and an integrated strategy for each. We’ve defined these three major integrated campaigns that would each include branded content, a lot of social, of course, the media pitching, and then also work with influencers. I think we’re excited about it, because, like we talked about, content is so huge. Photos, videos, it’s just such a beautiful way to tell a story, and also to be able to collaborate simultaneously with influencers and the media, and just to have this very targeted campaigns I think is going to be an interesting approach.
So, there are three campaigns, one of which is going to be Focused Professional Women. I think it’s just a really special time right now in the world to be talking about women and professional women and the power of them, and also focusing on health and wellness, and female empowerment. I’m very excited about that. Then the second one is going to be Thai the Knot, you know, play on Thai in Thailand of course, but just focused on weddings and honeymoons, and just love and the beauty of a destination and how you can tie the knot. Then the third being just A Million Smiles, and just being focused on millennials. Thailand, we’ve tagged them as the land of a thousand smiles, and off the beaten areas of Thailand, and how the locals and the culture just bring joy to people that visit it. I think that’s one project that we’re really excited about for this year.
That sounds really exciting, and it’s always fun to add a new client, but especially when the new client is such a beautiful destination, and you get to not only have fun putting these campaigns together, but also, your team, I’m sure, gets the chance to get out and tour and FAM.
Well, that’s always fun. That’s always fun. I will say that I think we certainly do our job better when we know what we’re talking about.
Oh, I agree.
I think that it creates a love and a bond, and even a deeper passion when we’ve been there and we can talk about it firsthand.
Yup. Absolutely, but it is kind of a perk of being in travel and tourism. I’m sure that you too have seen that over the years, being able to travel and share that joy.
Absolutely. I mean, people who are working travel and tours do so because they like to travel.
Of course. Of course.
Literally. That’s what makes us really good at our jobs.
When you were describing that campaign for Thailand, you mentioned media influencers. I know that this is a trend that’s been trending for quite some time now in terms of adding media influencers into the mix for campaigns. Can you talk a little bit about how Quinn is approaching media influencers, and maybe some examples from projects that you’ve done with them?
Sure. I think that we have all seen an increase in demand and an interest in influencers. We oftentimes hear a desire for clarity from our clients, maybe a bit of confusion around “What should we be doing with influencers? Is this for real, or which one should we pay attention to? Which one shouldn’t we pay attention to, and how should we approach it?”
In terms of how Quinn approaches, I certainly will say that we see the benefit of working with influential influencers; I know it sounds redundant. I think that we take a step back and really think through our client’s goals and who their target audience is. Then it’s not only looking at how many followers they have, but at how engaged are their followers, and on what platforms.
I think that Instagram and Facebook and Twitter certainly caters to a different demographic. Instagram might not be the right platform for specific clientele. I think it’s very important to look at the target audience as opposed to looking at “Oh, my gosh, this woman has got a million followers, and they’re doing a lot of travel. Let’s get them to our destination,” but rather take that reverse approach.
“Instagram might not be the right platform for specific clientele. It’s important to look at the target audience.” - Morgan Painvin #WhyCollaborate #podcast Click To Tweet
We’ve done a lot of work with influencers. We recently executed a trip to Hawaii with our Hilton properties, where we had eight super influential women, and they came from all different backgrounds, It was kind of a beautiful mix to see how they were collaborating with each other, reposting, and being engaged, but it was also really interesting just to see the dynamics of having a fashion influencer who has got to change clothes a million and one times and the pictures and whatnot.
Then you’ve got the foodie influencer that you’re at a table and everyone is starving, and she’s like, “Wait, wait, wait, don’t anyone touch the food. I got to get my likes. I got to take the pictures.” It’s just working through that dynamic, but it’s beautiful when you see the results and how people engage with the influencers. When your client can call you and say, “Wow, I just got a call and they mentioned that they saw our hotel posted on this influencer’s platform,” again, that goes back to the ROI and just knowing that you’ve done your job well.
Yeah, and I think that this is becoming a theme with our conversation. I might even have our episode title here in this conversation, but being very strategic. I mean, you started with strategic storytelling when we first started this conversation, and you keep coming back to that, being aware, what are your goals, who is the target audience, and just being very strategic with anything that you execute as opposed to maybe just jumping on a trend or trying to throw something at the wall and see if it sticks, right?
It’s fairly important, and I think that’s really the way that we approach things for a successful partnership is really thinking through things. It’s the same with strategic plans. We are full force putting finalizing all of our strategic plans for 2018 and what we’re putting in for December right now. Fast forward nine months, and we will never just be like, “Okay, that’s in the plans, we have to do it,” because so much can change in nine months. We take a step back on every initiative that we’re doing and say, “Does this still make sense, is the timing right, are these the right demographics that we’re going after,” because things can shift quickly.
Yeah, that’s a great point too, having that strategic plan in place, but also knowing that it’s a living and breathing document that can change. In this industry, things do change really quickly.
We all have to remain nimble, that’s for sure.
Absolutely. Yeah. I love that.
The Finger Lakes’ Sweet Treat Trail
Switching gears a little bit and talking about collaboration. You and I have talked about this before, but I’m a huge believer in what I like to call coopetition, which is really this whole concept of perceived competitors coming together to create programs that they couldn’t have otherwise done on their own, and that then creating these big wins for everyone. Can you share an example of a time where you’ve seen collaboration or this idea of coopetition working for you and for your clients?
Absolutely. I think just talking about destination and tourism PR is a really good example of that. I think if you take the Finger Lakes region as a specific example, we have 14 counties, 9,000 square miles, and they are all coming together for the common cause of promoting the region. You have competitors, whether it’s hotels, or wineries, or breweries coming together and creating something special such as the Finger Lakes’ Sweet Treat Trail. The Wine Trails, Apple Trail, Across That Bridge, The Cheese Alliance, The Cider Trail — all of these entities coming together to create something special in these experiences that travelers can have in order to promote the region. I think that that’s a really good example of these competitors that are right next door to each other, but they put together something special because they know that at the end of the day, they’re going to help each other through it.
“Competitors work together because they know that at the end of the day, they’re going to help each other through it.” - Morgan Painvin #WhyCollaborate #podcast Click To Tweet
Right. Exactly, and I think that that is just a really great example because what we’re really trying to do is not just tell the story and drive business but also help the visitor with the experience and help them understand the experience. I think those trail examples that you just listed are really good illustrations of how you can do that to help the visitor understand.
Yeah. I think that’s great.
Collaborate With Those Who Share Your Desired Demographic
This next question is about partnerships, because when we talk about collaboration, and we’re talking about working together in a collaboration, I think it’s important to understand how to find great partners, and how to lay the groundwork for those kind of partnerships so that they can be successful. Can you talk a little bit about or maybe share some ways that our listeners might go about looking for a great partner and then how they might think about laying that groundwork for a successful partnership, and what you’ve seen work in your experience.
Sure. I guess just a clarifying question, I think we see partnerships in two ways. One is the partnership that we have with our clients, and then the second being the types of partnerships that we do for our clients, so finding like-minded brands that will help continue their messaging and create buzz. Is that the type of partnership that you’re referring to?
Yeah. Either one of those, but I’d be interested to hear how you create that buzz and align clients with brands because that’s something we haven’t explored before on this podcast. I think that would lend a lot of insight that’s new. If you wouldn’t mind expanding on that one, that would be great.
Of course. Of course. Something that we have seen a lot of success with actually is doing these like-minded brand partnerships. What we do is in looking at our client’s target audience, we then go out and research other like-minded companies in a different space that share those desired demographics. It could be pairing a spa with a workout brand, like a SoulCycle, or it could be pairing a hotel with a clothing line. It could be museums and gyms. Really, just the noncompeting industries but two brands that share the same desired demographic, and then the beauty of pairing them together is the opportunity for both brands to tap into shared databases, just share on the social media love platforms to really just garner exposure within the demographic that they’re seeking in another engaged audience, if that makes sense.
“Look at your target audience and then find other like-minded companies in a different space that share those desired demographics.” - Morgan Painvin #WhyCollaborate #podcast Click To Tweet
I think to give you an example of that, our work with VBT, they are a brand that targets active female baby boomers. The VBT is a bicycle and walking vacation company. In thinking about them as our client, and them really wanting to tap in to these active female baby boomers, we identified Talbots, which I’m sure you’re familiar with. It is a clothing company for women, and they were just getting ready to launch T, which is the brand’s activewear line. What we did was we created a Talbots Ultimate Summer Bucket List Sweepstakes, and so basically offering Talbots customers the chance to win this vacation of a lifetime on the Amalfi Coast with our client VBT.
It was extremely successful. The partnership launched across the Talbots brand nationwide. They have 500 stores, so they had the in-store displays. The featured our client both in-store as well as on their print catalog, in their emailers, on their social platform, and at the end of the partnership, of course, there was a very happy winner who had this once in a lifetime beautiful vacation. Our client had then gained access to all of the opt-in subscribers from the sweepstakes, and they were then able to market to those opt-in subscribers. Through the partnership, they actually garnered a quarter of a million dollars in booking in a very short period of time. That was an example of creating this like-minded partnership, tapping into a very engaged database that was in their target demographic but that they hadn’t necessarily tapped into yet.
Yeah. I think that’s a fabulous example, and it really makes you think outside of the box, right, in terms of trying to find partners. What I like about it is that you called it like-minded partnerships, but what you’re doing is the research first. Again, we’re back to that strategy, understanding the audience, researching other brands that are also marketing to that audience, and then sharing audiences, really, is what you’re talking about. As you were describing that, it actually reminded me of this book I just read, which I really enjoyed.
Maybe you’ve read it, but it was just released in September called Killing Marketing.
Oh, no, I haven’t read it, but it’s on my Amazon list.
Yeah, and it’s by Joe Pulizzi, and his partner, which his name is not coming to mind at the moment. It’s a great book because it actually talks about content marketing, and we had discussed earlier how you’re content creators. It also talks about leveraging audiences to create larger marketing programs, and it’s really, exactly what we’re talking about here with this coopetition and this collaboration conversation. I think that’s really cool, and I encourage you to read it, and any of our listeners to go out and read it. It’s a really easy read, and it’s just a great way to think about marketing and the future of what marketing can be.
Oh, I definitely will, Killing Marketing. That’s cool, yup.
Yeah. It’s perfect.
It’s been on my list, and I’ve actually heard a number of people talk about it. I’ll be sure to pick it up. Next time I see you, we could talk about it.
That’s right. That’ll be awesome. Well, this has been a fantastic conversation, as I knew it would be, Morgan. I really appreciate you sharing, giving us a little bit of a peak on the inside of Quinn, and how you and your team approach your clients, and sharing those really great examples with us. Before we say goodbye, are there any final thoughts, or is there anything that you’d like to share that I haven’t asked you in this conversation?
I don’t think so. I will say it was a true pleasure to talk about this with you. I think it’s interesting to reflect on everything that we talked about, and going back to our goals and really listening to clients and strategy and whatnot. It’s been great to talk through it with you.
Well, thank you very much for spending this time with us. I look forward to speaking with you again.
Ways to contact Morgan:
- Website: www.quinn.pr