MMU #5 Redefining the Present-day Marketer: Brand Strategist + Content Creator


Aaaaaand we’re back!

Mark your calendars for the next #nobsmktg meetup on Monday, November 5th!

Join us as we discuss how the industry is redefining the present-day marketer. With each innovation in social and mobile technologies, the marketer's skillset quickly adapts to weave in new strategies to the marketing plan. While the mission of creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and partners remain the same - the marketer today is expected to be master of everything, and then some. Now, that’s one heavy toolbox.

How can you take advantage of your many skill sets to build, and market yourself for the role that you want? Is brand strategist or content creator or a different industry your next desired outcome? On November 5th, we will be joined by these inspirational marketers:

  • Babba C. Rivera, Forbes 30 Under 30, social media maven, and Founder of the brand marketing agency bybabba

  • Uma Mantravadi, Veteran Global Strategist from Saatchi & Saatchi, BBDO, co: collective, and currently freelancing for brands such as Gap, Google

  • Jon Chang, Product Marketer at IBM Watson, by way of Kickstarter, MakerBot, Stack Overflow, and marketing instructor at NYU, General Assembly

Hear how these marketers have grown, pivoted, or re-defined their roles to actively shape and transform their marketing careers. Apply the learnings and sense of fluidity to your personal mission.

Date: Monday, November 5, 2018
Time: 6:00-8:00PM
Location: AppNexus HQ
28 W. 23rd Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10010

Can’t wait to see all your lovely faces very soon!

#nobsmktg & General Assembly Present "Tech and Marketing to Millennials"

We are teaming up with General Assembly to discuss “Marketing to Millennials”, a critical topic for brands and marketers that want to stay relevant in the rapidly changing digital landscape, with panelists from PepsiCo, VICE, MEC, Jukely, Estée Lauder, New York Life, and FindSpark/MCG Social!

Panel discussions to include:

  • How leading brands and agencies are successfully activating on a combination of social media, mobile, video, and messaging channels. Case study examples will be shared on the strategies they use to reach and engage millennials.
  • There's no denying the shift in eyeballs from desktop to mobile to apps. Panelists will share their insights on marketing within the mobile app landscape: when/why are apps created, how do you market apps, what are metrics of success, what's needed (from resource and strategy/planning) to execute with impact.

The Details:

  • Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2016
  • Time: 6:30PM
  • Location: General Assembly NYC (East), 902 Broadway, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10010

Event Agenda:

6:30PM-7:00PM: Networking and Introductions


Panel 1: Mobile Apps, the New Norm

  • Ben Jackson, Director of Mobile Apps, VICE
  • Alex Wall, Head of Growth and Marketing, Jukely

Panel 2: Effective Marketing to Millennials: Staying Relevant + Maximizing Engagement

  • Jaime Fabricant, Senior Marketing Manager, PepsiCo
  • Noah Mallin, Head of Social, MEC
  • Heather Park, Executive Director of Global Consumer Engagement, Origins (Estée Lauder)
  • Kari Axberg, VP, Brand Marketing, New York Life
  • Emily Miethner, Founder and CEO, FindSpark + MCG Social

8:00PM-9:00PM: Networking and Conclusion

Feel free to forward to your marketing colleagues. We look forward to seeing you on Nov 15th

Event Recap: Refinery29 & New Republic/Tactile

Last month we hosted our 3rd #nobsmktg meetup ft. marketing leaders from Refinery29 and the New Republic/Tactile at the LinkedIn offices in NYC.

Our first speaker, Erika Velazquez Alpern, VP of Marketing and Communications at the New Republic and Founder of Tactile, spoke on her dual roles: keeping a 101 year old media company fresh, and supporting early stage start-ups at her agency. Both positions require the same diligent work of defining the goals and audiences for each brand upfront.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dive deep into the ‘why’ when defining the brand mission: “people care more about why you do what you do, than what you do”
  • In the whirlwind of creating and launching your product, don’t lose sight of the idea that sparked the company
  • Plan and pre-set a purpose for each marketing channel. This way you are not confusing messages with too many goals and CTAs

Case Study Learnings:

  • The New Republic: Wanted to broaden their audience by reaching a younger audience. Driven by an editorial need, they redesigned their website; offered up their in-depth political analysis in digestible content pieces like “minutes”; hosted live events drawing in new readers and offering new touchpoints
  • Lean On: Initially had multiple goals (B2B platform vs. B2C service), but succeeded in getting major client meetings when they streamlined their messaging to one target audience
  • Argent: Made a powerful splash in front of their specific target market, and sustained the buzz momentum beyond the launch by hosting events focused on networking within their target community to keep a loyal following
  • Tactile: Erika needed to start small when she started her agency as she had to maintain the New Republic marketing efforts. She announced Tactile with a discussion among female entrepreneurs, as well as thought leadership content

At Refinery29, despite having so many marketing channels, the team maintains a central editorial mission: create content that inspires creativity and individuality for a generation of fearless women. Our second speaker Alison Meyer, Group Client Director of Branded Content at Refinery29, takes that mission to heart to develop and execute branded content that fosters a deeper connection between brands and women. The content created helps Refinery29 capture the full gamut of women’s experiences and celebrates diversity.

Key Takeaways:

  • The same piece of content should not be repurposed on every marketing channel - distinct content should be created for each social media channel to truly deliver individual and seamless experiences. It takes a lot of effort, but audiences respond well and it shows
  • Refinery29 has become an accessible resource and destination for all different types of women from the very beginning through its thoughtful curation of content, products and overall editorial voice

Case Study Learnings:

  • Audiences have different behaviors on different channels - the content is most effective when it’s original or adapted to the medium. Refinery29 takes time to dissect each channel for their brand partners.
    • Facebook - inform by provoking, stir an emotion, make readers stop when they are scrolling because they see something of themselves in the content
    • Instagram - provide aspiration but with a ‘wink’, offer inspirational eye candy but human accessibility
    • Snapchat - feed daily curiosities with short snackable content that is utility driven
    • Influencers - obtain advocacy for a brand via thoughtful, authentic and intimate stories
  • Content creation is not just a one-sided push. Give audiences a chance to react to it. 
    • Embracing Live - R29 has experimented with “Facebook live”, which is great for events and talent as it allows audiences a chance to experience the content in the moment, and also ask questions
    • Gaming - R29 has tried gaming actions and applications to drive consumer engagement (ex. “swipe” on the beauty looks you like/don’t like to receive customized product recommendations)
    • Inspiring UGC - R29 has provided immersive, “Instagrammable” in-person experiences for its audience to become content creators (ex. 29Rooms), driving increased quality and on-brand social media output

Thank you’s are in order: To our speakers for sharing their thoughtful marketing strategies. To our hosts at LinkedIn for the great event space and views from the Empire State Building. To our community for staying engaged, asking questions and making new connections with each other.

Stay tuned for news on the next event this November! Click here for the full presentations. Don’t forget to follow us on IG, Twitter, FB for updates!

Meet Erika Velazquez Alpern & Alison Meyer!

As we gear up for the meetup next Wed, 9/14, we'd love to introduce you to our speakers.

Erika Velazquez Alpern is the CEO and Founder of Tactile, a company created to change the ratio. Tactile operates two agencies – a branding and marketing studio for female-owned and female-focused start-ups, and an agency that helps companies of all sizes foster an inclusive workplace for women.  Additionally, Erika serves as the VP of Marketing and Communications for the New Republic, an award-winning magazine of big ideas in politics and culture.

Group Client Director, Alison Meyer started at Refinery29 within its brand experiences team in 2012 when ‘native advertising” was just an emerging buzzword. With past experiences at Vogue and Martha Stewart Living, Alison chose publishing to start her career because of her love of editorial content and curiosity for how it can be harnessed for brands. In her time at R29, Alison has contributed to this growing global media company by working with a breadth of fashion, retail, and beauty brands to create breakthrough content and experiences. 

Get ready to chat with your fellow marketers, have a drink on us, and drink in the views from the Empire State Building thanks to LinkedIn. 

There's still a few days left to RSVP! See you there.

#nobsmktg featuring Refinery29 and The New Republic

Hello fellow marketers -

Oh, how we've missed you! We can't wait to hear how your summers went and to see your sweet faces at the next #nobsmktg Marketing Meetup on Wed, Sept 14th

We have a great lineup of speakers from Refinery29 and The New Republic to talk about how their media platforms stay relevant to readers with new content formats and engagement tactics, insights to readers' consumption habits, successful marketing activations, and personal career (battle) stories from the field (the field of marketing).

Be prepared to ask questions, participate and make some new connections :)
A thanks and shoutout to our friends at LinkedIn for hosting us in their badass office!

The Details:

Date: Sept 14, 2016
Time: 6:30PM
Location: LinkedIn Office, 350 Fifth Ave, 24th Fl, Empire State Building, New York, NY 10118

Event Agenda:

6:30PM: Grab a drink
6:45PM: Event kick off and intros
7:00PM: Hear from these female marketing leaders transforming new media platforms:

  • Erika Velazquez Alpern, VP of Marketing and Communications at The New Republic
  • Alison Meyer, Director of Brand Experiences at Refinery29

8:00PM: Hang out and grab one more drink

Feel free to forward to your marketing colleagues. We look forward to seeing you on Sept 14th!

Event Recap: Betterment & Spotify

Earlier this month we hosted our 2nd #nobsmktg Meet Up at General Assembly with innovative marketing speakers from the tech space sharing learnings around how consumer data has played a significant role in their marketing strategies.

Samantha Ceppos, Senior Manager of Acquisition Marketing at Betterment kicked off the session reassuring the crowd that if you're looking to transfer your numbers background to marketing, there's a huge need for an analytical skill set in acquisition and performance marketing. Samantha gave us insight to the various marketing channels Betterment employs across the entire customer lifecycle and how they've been thinking through measuring cost per acquisition and customer worth. 

Some notable takeaways include:

  • Keep track of your growing list of competitors and reassess your strategies when pivoting to attract additional audiences
  • Don't be afraid to be ambitious! Compare yourself to your largest, most established competitors (as opposed to smaller/same-sized competitors) in your marketing and media tactics
  • As a startup product/brand there is a need to build credibility in everything you do - build a strong core brand identify and never lose sight of it in every touch point
  • Everyone on your content and support teams within the company should be well-versed in talking about the "why" for various client types - speak to the value of the product in each conversation

Although there are quite a lot of regulations in fi-tech, it's forcing Samantha and her team to actively seek out creative opportunities - including podcasts and referral programs. With so much activity, the Betterment marketing team is certainly growing and hiring (check out the last slide of her presentation for open positions)! 

Alexandra Tanguay, Global Brand Director at Spotify, and Jomar Perez, Lead Data Analyst at Spotify shared the stage to give us a glimpse at how their two departments collaborate to develop marketing ideas rooted in data, and how their vast pool of human insights gives Spotify a competitive advantage. Marketing ideas that engage the listeners like "Taste Rewind", "Year in Music" customize the experience for each individual and showcases data usage through the lens of creativity. The beneficial partnership allows the marketing team to hypothesize on new marketing ideas or concepts, and the data science department can help uncover data-driven truths to justify those executions.

Key takeaways include:

  • Diversify your marketing background to enhance career options. Alex mentioned her varied marketing positions in multiple verticals and that you shouldn't be afraid to try something new or even take a misstep - your background makes you attractive to employers and showing a variety of skillsets is valuable
  • Data drives PR too. Jomar's access to Spotify's database has led to informative collaborations with Bloomberg, NYTimes, FiveThirtyEight and more
  • Reward your loyal users. Spotify creates special/hidden VIP content that is accessible only by the loyal fans of specific artists, and gives users a sense of ownership with concepts like "Found Them First"
  • Production value isn't always #1. Many of these 'thank-the-fan' videos are recorded by the artists themselves, which is not only cost efficient but also adds to the genuine sentiments from the artists

Thanks again to all that joined us, and for the great questions and engaged conversations around these topics. Stay tuned for news on the next event!

Click here for the full presentations.


Welcome to the official #nobsmktg marketing meetup website & blog.

#nobsmktg: Meetups for the Present-Day Marketer is the brainchild of Lynda Liu & Suzanne Taylor, who have a combined 20+ years of experience in the marketing, event management and advertising industries.

We are tired of the fluffy, high-level content at conferences that sounds nice, but isn’t actionable. We decided to start this no bullshit marketing meetup group to share battle stories from the field (the field of marketing) - specifically practical case studies, challenges and takeaways that we can apply to our marketing functions immediately.

Here you will find #nobsmktg event announcements and presentation recaps from our roster of innovative speakers. Occasionally, we will post inspirational success stories, marketing news, insights, interviews with industry leaders, and more!

Check back regularly for updates and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @nobsmmu and Instagram @nobsmktg